Government will set up forensic labs to solve cybercrimes, gather digital evidence

Ramarko Sengupta February 21, 2017 2 min

The government is working towards setting up forensic labs to examine digital crimes, Minister for IT and Law Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

“Digital forensic evidence is becoming very crucial in (solving) crime in India. There has to be an ecosystem to address that and we have notified a scheme under the IT Act and we will empower designated forensic labs to work as the certified authority to establish digital crime,” Prasad said.

According to a study released last year, cyber crime in India grew 300% between 2011 and 2014.

“As digital crime becomes common we also need to accelerate justice delivery, investigation, by having new tools. There will be a way to also establish these forensic labs to become examiners of electronic evidence,” Prasad said.

The timeline or the investment figures for these forensics labs were not immediately known.

This initiative assumes great importance as the government tries to move towards a cashless economy by urging its citizens to cross over to digital modes of transacting. However, in the recent past, attacks from hacking groups, and debit card fraud have exposed the chinks that exist in the system. Experts say the need of the hour is to strengthen cyber security so that citizens and organisations can transact and operate digitally in a secure environment. The Narendra Modi- government expects India’s digital economy to touch a trillion dollars by 2021.

“This government is serious about cyber security and is taking measures to strengthen and fortify the system,” Saket Modi, CEO & Co-founder, Lucideus, told FactorDaily.

The minister also unveiled new desktop and mobile security solutions for citizens while launching the government’s botnet cleaning and malware analysis centre called Cyber Swachhata Kendra. The solutions include AppSamvid, an app ‘white-listing’ (safe to use) tool; USB Pratirodh, a tool to control unauthorised usage of portable USB devices (like pen drives, hard disks); and MKavach, a mobile security app for Android devices that addresses threats related to misuse of WiFi, Bluetooth and camera. All are available free.

The Cyber Swachhata Kendra has a budget outlay of Rs 90 crore over five years and will work closely with ISPs (Internet Service Providers), academic institutions, banks etc. to create a safer cyber space by keeping a tab on malwares and botnets. It has also tied up with IT security solutions provider Quick Heal.

“The potential scale at which this centre can operate will make this the largest in the world considering the size of the Indian Internet ecosystem, which has over half a billion people online and over 250 million smartphones and 1 billion mobile phones,” Modi said.

By the end of the year, there will be a concrete program to build a cluster of startups working in the cyber security space, Prasad added.


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