We are living in the digital era. The modern technologies have been benefiting the lives of the people. The modern day technologies have eased our day-to-day activities. The dependency of the society on the digital devices and the e-applications is drastically increasing. Along with the pros come cons. Even the digital technologies are no exception to that. With all the witty advantages, it has also introduced a new kind of threat, the cybercrime!
When we go on digital, store our information on cloud, we consider that we are safe. No one can get us into trouble regarding the data. But the cybercrime can do! India has been a home for many technological experts, who are capable of using the technology either ways. Unfortunately, India is among the countries, where cybercrime rate is very high. Maharashtra stands first in cybercrimes and Karnataka stands second. It is an alarming sign for the people of Karnataka.
To tackle the crime, there are several experts who work along with the police and society. But their number is not enough to control the cybercrime rate completely. When people hear the word hacking, they get it in a negative terminology. But ethical hacking is very much essential and most of the people are not aware of it says Samarth, 7th semester engineering student at Siddhartha College of Engineering, Tumkur who works as an ethical hacker. He along with his friends organised a team named ‘Revenge’ – which stands for Reverse Engineering.
He learnt about hacking when he happened to attend a ‘Hackathon’ conducted by a private organization, where one has to work with them continuously for 24 hours and solve the hacked websites. Later he got an opportunity to work with the police to solve cybercrimes as an initiative by a Nagpur based firm named ‘Trivion’. He learned to handle the cybercrime cases there. “Our police are not trained well enough when it comes to handle the cybercrime. When they find a pen drive or any other digital device at the crime spot, they carry it to station and insert into a computer. Every time they do it, the hash value of the device changes and it cannot be valued at the court. There are several instructions to be followed before collecting the devices,” says Samarth, who has solved more than hundred cybercrimes for the police.
He had helped the police to solve cases in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Nagpur and other places and the team is planning to establish themselves in Mysuru in near future. “The requirement of these experts for the country to tackle cybercrimes is 65,000 but there are only 15,000 experts available. Modi government plans of having 10 lakh experts by 2020, which looks pretty much impossible to fulfill the demand by looking at the current scenario,” says Samarth.
“Most of the students are unaware of having ethical hacking as a profession. They know hacking is only restricted to Facebook and email. Nigerian crime is taking place in higher rate. They get close to single women and win their trust. They assure them of getting gold for much cheaper price from their country and ask them to pay only after receiving the gold. These women trust them and nod their offer. After sometime they receive a call saying the Nigerian is stuck at customs and demand for money if they need the gold. Believing him, many credit money to his account and there would be no sign of gold or the money. When the police begin the investigation, they would be in some other country. Unless we become alert of such incidents, it is difficult to save ourselves from being duped,” he says.
“Our devices are outdated. Without having the modern technologies, the cases will become unsolvable. It is not been introduced into the syllabus and the students still consider hacking as a negative term. Private firms are taking up the initiative to improve this by organising contests like ‘Bug Bounty’, in which students will be paid for every bug they find,” he says.
The team ‘Revenge’ is also planning to attract the students towards this field by conducting such hackathons for the engineering students. They have already visited various engineering colleges and made the students aware of it. The team is situated in Mysuru and they want it to be helpful to the firms and the society. They have trained the police, air force people and also corporate firms in this regard.
Even if students want to perceive a course in ethical hacking, India does not possess a course as such. But there is a US based course by name CEH (Certified Ethical Hacking). Samarth and his team have tied up with them and provide the course to students. We need to be independent in terms of producing quality software and firewalls in India, as of now we get these technologies by Israel and US, which are of very high price. As India produces qualified engineers, it is essential to employ them than hiring foreign engineers.
“The major problem is to find investors as most of them are not ready to invest on digital platform, as they are scared by the term ‘hacking’. When we conducted workshops in colleges, we received a very good response. They call us every year and we have covered more than 20 colleges. As there is a bright career opportunity in this field, we are trying to show them a path,” says Samarth.
The team wants to get established in Mysuru. They want to train up the students who possess certain skills and prepare them to establish their own firm individually. The third world war has already started and it is not fought by weapons, but by digital devices! We should be ready for the uphill task ahead and the awareness should be created among the youth. It is the actual need of the hour.
– Shreeharsha C M