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It’s the true world wide ‘web’
Global coordinated action is a huge necessity to tackle cyber crimes

A young man called Jimmy, an Internet hacker, walks discreetly to a Cyber Café in Nigeria to demonstrate his skills of perfidy, fooling perfectly innocent people into his well crafted web of fraudulence. He sends tens of thousands of e-mails congratulating them for winning $6.4 million worth of a sham British lottery. Anybody falling into this trap would be asked to pay ‘fees’ and ‘taxes’ amounting to $5000, which would be pocketed by Jimmy, leaving the respondents in the lurch.

Jimmy is only a tiny fish in the huge ocean of cyber crimes. In UK, internet crime gangs are recruiting students from British universities to join them. Often, these syndicates have developed a cult following among young hackers who are lured by the promise of celebrity status. This kind of recruitment resembles the KGB style of doing things in the heydays of the Cold War. The online fraudulence includes Internet auctions, sweepstakes, lotteries, identity theft and prizes that have despoiled money worth $152 million in the US alone last year. Older people are more susceptible to these crimes; they have being defrauded to the tune of $43 million in 2005. Around 41% of complaints of fraudulence filed by people from the age group of above 50 and received by Federal Trade Commission of US are online crimes. The figure was only 33% in 2002; indicating an alarming increase. As if things were not bad enough for the US, top secret data from Pentagon has been hacked regularly by Russian, Chinese & French hackers, which has kick-started a cyber war with them. Now these hackers are a cause of concern across borders. Coordinated action needs to be initiated between governments across the globe to clamp down on them, especially in the third world countries where laws to tackle cyber crime are archaic and implementation is largely ineffective.

By:- Sayan Ghosh

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