Jamtara has always been in the limelight for its cybercrime and cybercriminals, however, the trend continues, as there is a new cybercrime hub for cyber crooks, i.e., Asansol, a city in West Bengal, India, where cybercriminal activities are increasing rapidly, and this place has turned out to be a new cybercrime destination for cybercriminals. The city has witnessed a surge in cybercrime incidences, ranging from hacking, phishing, and identity theft. In this blog post, we explore the reasons behind Asansol’s growing reputation as a cybercrime hub and what can be done to curb this trend.
The Rise of Cybercrime
Asansol, located in eastern India, is a major industrial and commercial hub. With the adoption of digital technologies, the city has become a prime target for cybercriminals. According to a survey, 47% of cyber crimes have increased, including Phishing, online fraud, hacking, and ransomware attacks. Most of the victims are small and medium-sized business owners who fall prey to online scams.
The aftermath of the incident
A group of hackers hacked into the computer systems of a local bank and transferred a large sum of money to different accounts. The bank officials noticed the unusual activity and alerted the police. The police took immediate action and started their investigation. During the investigation, it was found that the hackers had used malware to gain unauthorised access to the bank’s computer system. The police were able to track down the location of the hackers. The hackers used a cyber café. Further, during the investigation, it was revealed that the hackers had a link to a large cyber network operating in the area. It was found that the cyber cafe owner was aware of illegal activities but turned a blind eye in order to gain monetary gains.
Simple money on display
Asansol’s industrial collapse has resulted in an unemployment crisis. However, several of its areas have altered in the last 2-3 years. There is a cell tower every few hundred meters, and the marketplaces are thriving. Young males on pricey motorcycles are a common sight here. People ascribe the transition to a sudden inflow of money, yet no one says so on the record.
“No major industry has emerged in the last ten years.” The administration has also yet to conduct any mass recruiting. So, how do individuals gain so much money so fast?” stated the proprietor of a brand-new furniture store in Neamatpur.
The Impact of Cybercrime on Asansol’s Economy
With the rise of cyber crimes in the city, the city’s reputation is at stake, as Asansol has become a hub for various industries such as steel, mining, and energy.
- Financial losses: If any cyber attack happens on any organisation or individual, it would result in the loss of money and sensitive data. The cost of detecting and recovering from a cyber attack can be substantial, and firms may take a long time to recoup their losses. In rare situations, firms may be forced to close entirely, resulting in employment losses and a negative economic impact.
- Loss of Trust: Cybercrime breaks down trust in businesses and organisations. Customers may be unwilling to do business with a firm that has suffered a cyber assault, resulting in revenue loss. This breach of trust can have long-term consequences for a company’s image and the Asansol economy as a whole.
- Investment Drop: The spike in cybercrime events in Asansol may lead to a drop in investment in the region. Potential investors may not be willing to invest in organisations or industries that are vulnerable to cyber assaults, slowing economic growth.
Improved Cybersecurity Measures Are Required
Improved cybersecurity measures are required to combat Asansol’s rising cybercrime problem. Businesses and individuals must proactively safeguard their sensitive data from cyber-attacks. Using strong and unique passwords for each account, activating two-factor authentication whenever feasible, and keeping software up to current with the latest security updates are all examples of best practices. Using reliable antivirus software to protect devices from malware, being wary of unsolicited emails, messages, and links, and routinely backing up data can all help to reduce the chance of being a victim of a cyber assault.
Police heat up
The cybercrime in Asansol, the local police took immediate action to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to justice. Here are several steps that police officials have taken. Let’s have a look at them.
- Investigation: The officials have conducted an extensive investigation into an event that took place. Authorities conducted an extensive investigation into cybercrime and how the hackers accessed the bank’s computer systems and transferred money. They gathered evidence from the crime scene, examined the bank’s computer systems, and interviewed bank officials and workers.
- Culprit Identification: the police team coordinated with cyber forensics, and the joint efforts helped identify the perpetrators who had hacked into the bank’s computer system. The officials were able to track the hackers down to a cybercafé in Asansol.
- Arrests: During the investigation, the police officers found the hackers and the café owners who were involved in cybercrime, i.e., hacking, stealing, and more, Some arrests were made in order to gain more information.
- Recovery: The police officers retrieved and restored many stolen monies to the bank. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities seek to recover the remaining stolen funds and bring any other persons engaged in the cybercrime to justice. Despite arrests and investigations, the police have also conducted awareness camps to educate the public about cybercrimes, their modus operandi, and how to protect oneself from such crimes. In addition to this, some cyber awareness sessions relating to cyber security were also conducted in companies and organisations.
The Role of Law enforcement agencies
Law enforcement agencies and Government play an important role in creating cyber awareness to fight against cybercrime. States must create a strong network to trace and curtail crime. Inter-state departmental training programs and investigation processes should be conducted. To prevent cybercrime occurrences, all parties must work together to make a concerted effort. Businesses and organisations must invest in proper cybersecurity protection and provide frequent personnel training. New cybercrime units must be set up. The general population should be informed on how to defend themselves against cyber dangers and take the required measures, such as using strong passwords and avoiding clicking on questionable websites.
This cybercrime incident has been a wake-up call for all the stakeholders to take cybersecurity measures to increase awareness about cyber threats. The police have taken significant steps to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice, but much more needs to be done to prevent cybercrime incidents.
Author : Ms. Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace