Delhi Police Fall Behind Cybercriminals and Begin Relying on Outsiders for Help
Between 2015 and 2016, Delhi Police recorded roughly 800 and 700 cybercrime cases, respectively. According to Indian media outlets, only 50 percent of the documented cases resulted in arrests. This year, almost 300 cases remain unsolved by the authorities. The unsolved cases are still under investigation, The Tribune reported on December 24. While police recorded fewer cybercrime cases in 2016, officers voiced their concerns about the growing issue and law enforcement’s inability to catch up.
Some online crimes, specifically crimes reported by civilians that involved illegal sex-related material, went uninvestigated in 2016. Delhi Police registered 77 First Information Reports. The successful closure of a case matched the percentages listed above. However, in the online sex-crime sector, the police’s investigation fared significantly worse. Out of the 77 First Information Reports under the Information Technology Act, The Times of India reported that 20 percent of the reports were sex-related cases. Police officers only filed charge sheets against four suspects. Of those four indicted, police arrested three perpetrators. In prior years, the authorities closed an equally poor number of said cases. Save for 2014; not a single case resulted in a conviction.
Police started seeing an increased number of cybercrimes, especially theft, in December 2015. Hackers stole “several crores of rupees” ($350,000 – $500,000) from a South Delhi organization. The suspected thieves used the organization’s primary email account to switch the bank account from the organization’s account to the hacker’s account in Turkey. Reports began flooding into police databases in February 2016
The departments in Delhi started hiring cybercrime specialists, one officer said. “Cybercrime is increasing day-by-day, and we can’t neglect it. We are also appointing cyber experts so that we are able to combat it.” In December, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account fell victim to a still-unsolved hack. The news agency ANI reported that Twitter provided information about the hack; the actors used IP addresses from five countries—Sweden, Romania, Canada, Thailand and the US. Despite speaking about currency theft, a senior officer said that “the stolen money is spent in the first days [after the incident], but we get the IP logs after a week, even in high-priority cases.”
The official continued “We only conduct raids and make arrests. Private individuals deal with technical issues. They [the private individuals] help us in tracking internet protocol addresses and on other technical problems,” he explained. A senior officer of a Delhi cyber unit added that hackers started using the darknet where they became virtually impossible to detect. “In cases where hackers steal money, delays render the case almost unsolvable.” Raj Shekhar explained that the outside “private individuals” helped deanonymize hackers, especially those who used IP masking software.