Computer Crime Research Center


Technology Can't Stop Cyber Crime!

Date: December 25, 2004
By: Jonah Ramball

Here is a conversation with Capt. Raghu Raman, the CEO of Mahindra Special Services Group, and an expert on information security for nearly two decades.

Techtree: Was the arrest of the CEO of, an online auction site, justified?
Raman Actions like throwing the CEO of Baazee into prison is not going to control crime. Such material over the Internet cannot be filtered. It's impossible. And you can't expect authorities to stop a crime that they themselves have limited knowledge about.

Techtree: Will the arrest and the subsequent release of the CEO mean anything to India's IT Act or to cyber criminals?
Raman This incident has brought to the forefront the fact that innocent people can be implicated because of the interpretation of the law. This may be correct in the objective sense but in the contextual sense it is incorrect. Laws meant for the real world cannot necessarily be applied for the cyber world.

Techtree: Why do you think it's not entirely technology to be blamed for this particular case?
Raman In this case, it is very important to point out the fact that at no point did the MMS clip come on the Baazee server. The seller only posted a message similar to the one he might put it up on an online forum. The file was never uploaded on Baazee's server. Baazee by itself does not sell products. Neither did the seller use any of the banned words; phrases like 'girls having fun' can also be the title of a song. How is technology supposed to filter that? It does not even come into play, in this case.

Techtree: Assuming watching porn online had an effect on the teenagers involved in the scandal, what steps do parents take to curb such behavior?
Raman Firstly, it is important for parents to talk to their children about the ill effects of Internet pornography. Parents should ensure that the computer is placed in an area visible to them so they can keep an eye over what the teen is surfing. Observe patterns in behavioral changes in the kids - for instance, kids locking up the rooms or surfing late at night with the lights off.

Techtree: How do you define a cyber crime?
Raman Cyber crime can be distinguished into three main types - theft of data, crime planned by using Internet space and manifestation of regular crime into cyber crime. However, cyber crime - hacking, distributing porn, cyber stalking - is all in the mind of a person, it's not about technology. These crimes have existed much before the Internet.

It's only now that they are being performed over the Internet. Technology is only serving as a medium for such miscreants.

Techtree: Do you have any solutions to prevent it from affecting the average citizen?
Raman Users are of the belief that increasing information security features on their systems will prevent them from being victimized. Information security is not about increasing security but about aligning security. And it is not about preventing cyber crime but about detection and taking corrective measures after the loopholes have been found.

We lack the ability and infrastructure to foretell the risk factors.

Techtree: How can we create such ability?
Raman We need to think like them; rather, think a step ahead of them to know what the next move of the hacker is. Only then can we be better equipped to take preventive measures to combat such attacks.

Users need to be aware of the methods that these criminals use. They need to educate themselves on the usage of information security. But, they should not forget the limitations of technology.

They need to educate themselves on spotting patterns - banks give the last log-in time. If a user logs-in and realizes that he had not logged in at the time mentioned, there is a good probability that somebody else has operated that account.

Users should understand that information is money and they need protect their data as they protect all their other belongings. Only then will can a user be assured of a lower chance of an attack.

Techtree: How does one protect against being a victim?
Raman Users should immediately report to the concerned authorities of stolen passwords or other personal information. Call the bank and discontinue that account. Also, file an FIR with the local police. For password theft it would be important to notify the authority and get the password changed.

It may be difficult to completely curb cyber crime but changing the mindset of people to ensure that they take every effort to protect their information will reduce the growing number of incidents.
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Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2009-08-10 04:26:19 - sir what is the cyber crime how can... shankar
2008-11-20 04:36:34 - oh o
2007-05-22 20:27:26 - what is cybercrime egg
2007-05-17 13:41:15 - i love youuuu jermy
2007-05-17 13:40:43 - i love youuuuu JEryd
2007-03-06 04:46:34 - jlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll... as
2007-01-30 00:35:03 - I dont know about the stuff written about... Thapa
2007-01-30 00:25:44 - Mississauga Ontario, MIRC layoff!! firstharmony
2007-01-29 23:38:47 - I have trained and served with Raghu.... AK Singh
2007-01-29 23:15:28 - Who is this guy anyway? I'm talking about... NN
Total 13 comments
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