Cyber crime has always been a threat to the online world and became a bigger cause of concern during the pandemic. While the entire humankind was busy fighting the war against Covid 19, there were some flagrant people who thought it to be the perfect time to perform hideous cyber crimes. From hacking the accounts to cyberbullying to interfering with the government guidelines and policies issued during the pandemics, cyber crime saw a surge amidst the epidemic.
Founder and CEO of Drive Digital and DigiHunts Academy, Prakash Mishra along with Kapasan CI Himanshu Singh Rajawat took a commendable initiative to keep a check on the increasing cyber crime. They, along with several other senior police officials, created a group on Telegram named “Swachh Social Media”. This group was created with the aim to solve as many social and cyber crime complaints as possible. “Swachh Social Media” is an open group and anyone can join it to register any type of cyber crime.
Being a responsible citizen, Prakash Mishra and Himanshu Singh Rajawat started with the mission of “Social Media Social Responsibility”. To support this initiative, the IT cell and Rajasthan Cyber Crime Team has also stepped forward.
Recent studies and research showed a momentous rise in cyber crime during the pandemic. The research titled “Cyber Security in the COVID-19 Era: Timeline and Analysis of Cyber Crimes and Cyber Attacks during the Pandemic” was published in Computers & Security magazine. The researchers noted that there had been reports of scams by public authorities like the World Health Organization and organizations like supermarkets and airlines that target support platforms like PPE and offer remedies for Covid-19.
The report also added, cyber criminals often target the public, who now socialize and spend more time online in general, as well as the growing population of people working from home. As organizations and businesses are rapidly building remote working systems to help staff working from home, criminals also take advantage of heightened security vulnerabilities to steal data and generate profits.
Between the period of only 4 months (January – April), one of Interpol’s private sector partners detected some
- 907,000 spam messages
- 737 malware incidents and
- 48,000 malicious URLs, all related to COVID- 19.
Sharing his views on the report, Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol said, “Cybercriminals are multiplying and stepping up their attacks at an alarming rate, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by COVID-19. The growing online dependency on people around the world is also creating new opportunities, and many businesses and individuals are not making sure their cyber defences are up to date.”
Pointing out a few more alarming numbers, the report read:
- Google registered 149,000 active phishing websites in January alone.
- The number nearly doubled to 293,000, in February.
- And by March that number not just doubled but registered an increase of 350% in comparison to January.
An increase in counterfeit or inappropriate drugs and medical equipment sold at a very high price to allegedly cure the coronavirus has been recorded on a growing number of well-designed websites by criminals. In this context, there has been an increase in the traffic of counterfeit sponsored products via emails and websites, including hygiene items and face masks.
Apart from these, since most people are spending their time on social media, several cases of cyberbullying have been recorded. However, Prakash Mishra and CI Himanshu Singh Rajawat’s initiative of “Swachh Social Media” is not just challenging the cyber criminals but also taking strict legal actions against them.
If you wish to stay connected with the latest updates of the social and digital world, visit:
Swachh Social Media – https://t.me/hsrfp
Drive Digital – https://www.drivedigital.in/
DigiHunts Academy – https://www.digihunts.academy/