File photo of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said cyber crime has become an industry globally and that such offences may occur "very often" due to the availability of resources in wrong hands.
Singh also said penetration of Internet and self-radicalisation have further added to the woes of law enforcement agencies and that continuance of the availability of radicalised materials on the Internet is likely to have a drastic change in society and subsequently to humanity.
Inaugurating a two-day Asia-Pacific regional conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) on "Challenges to Policing in 2020- How is Cyber Space shaping our approach to Cyber crime & Terrorism, how do we perform within it and take advantage of it", the home minister said cyber security network outages, data compromised by hackers, computer malware and other cyber-related incidents and crimes have affected people's lives.
"I am afraid, cyber attack would occur very often. Tools already exist to mount cyber attacks and they will be improving over the next decade. We have already witnessed an increase in the number and severity of such attacks," he said.
Singh said cyber crime has become an industry and many cyber crimes-related tools and techniques are being offered as services. Even novice criminal with limited investments of money can afford to have such services at his disposal.
"The increase in digitisation of the financial services with inadequate attention to setting up of a robust process, controls and monitoring mechanisms has given new age fraudsters the opportunity to exploit these gaps leading to new types of financial crimes," he said.
The home minister said the new age technologies such as the internet of things, virtual currencies, advanced malware, artificial intelligence, etc. Are fast spreading its tentacles. The police are now expected to cope with such rapidly changing technologies, as well.
"Across many countries many cyber criminals uses technologies like darknet, proxy servers, The Onion Router (TOR) services to hide their identity. Extensive use of VolP, caller ID spoofing, use of crypto currencies, encrypted channel for communication, use of social media have virtually created syndicates of criminals irrespective of their nationality," he said.
Singh said in the fast-changing technology world, computer-based technologies are being increasingly used in various activities ranging from simple home security system to complex nuclear power plants or space programs.
"The cyber-dependency has become widespread today. This has increased vulnerability to attacks against both civilian and military infrastructures," he said.
The home minister said the governments, defence forces, corporations, financial institutions, utility services, hospitals and other businesses collect, process and store a great deal of sensitive information on systems and transmit data across networks.
"With the growing volume and sophistication of cyber attacks, each one of us is required to protect sensitive information, as well as safeguard national security," he said.
Singh said there are many risks, some more serious than others, like viruses, computer hacking, pilferage of data, stealing of credit card information, etc.
"Unfortunately, there is no 100 per cent guarantee that even with the best precautions some of these things won't happen to you, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chances," he said.