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Kerala Police to monitor darknet to keep tabs on drug syndicates

According to Manoj Abraham, ADGP, and vice-chairman of Cocon 2019, India is one of the major hubs of illegal drug trade, as per recent reports.

Published: 26th September 2019 04:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2019 04:45 AM   |  A+A-

Participants at the cybersecurity workshop organised as part of Cocon 2019 in Kochi on Wednesday | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Kerala Police are becoming highly watchful after it has been revealed that the darknet - anonymous web network for illegal activities - is becoming a major channel for drug syndicates in the state. Cocon 2019 - the annual cybersecurity conference organised by Kerala Police- will also discuss increasing activities of Keralites in darknet.

According to Manoj Abraham, ADGP, and vice-chairman of Cocon 2019, India is one of the major hubs of illegal drug trade, as per recent reports. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the global trend of buying drugs over darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrency has already spread across South Asia and is particularly rampant in India.

“This is not the first time that illegal sale of drugs in India through darknet has been reported. In Kerala, we have three suspected cases of drugs being sourced over the darknet. Animal trafficking, sale of idols, sandalwood trade, child pornographic material, debit card details are some of the other items suspected to be traded on the darknet from Kerala,” he said.

According to him, Kerala Police have taken it as a serious task to track criminals on darknet. “We have already established a specialised darknet lab in cyber dome and four officers have been trained as darknet analysts to monitor these activities,” he said.

The dark web is the underworld of the internet far more dangerous than the physical underworld with a global spread and total anonymity, which is so difficult to crack. It has now become a major haven for drug dealers, arms traffickers, child pornographic material collectors and other criminals involved in financial and physical crimes.

Cocon will also discuss Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality Technology, BlockChain in Policing and Drone Technology. Apart from Kerala Police, there will be senior officers from NIA, CBI, Intelligence Bureau, RAW, NCRB, BPR&D, CERT-In in Cocon. It also aims at providing a common platform for security forces, government, industrial leaders, start-ups, students and professionals to get hands-on exposure to the latest technological advancements in the field.“The issue of cybersecurity needs to move beyond traditional policing activities and requires a different outlook to deal with technology,” Manoj said.

‘Vehicle manufacturers have to specialise in cybersecurity’

Kochi: Vehicle manufacturers will have to specialise in cybersecurity in the future as all vehicles that are coming to the market are now connected through V2X technologies and the chances are high to hack it.  V2X is a form of technology that allows data exchange between a vehicle and its surroundings.

“Today, all vehicles are connected through V2X technologies. All manufacturers are coming up with new technology like Fleet Management Systems, diagnosis toolset, etc. These systems are from third-party vendors which are still in the vulnerable state. So, addressing their weaknesses requires specific skill set in cybersecurity of vehicle industries,” said Arun Mane, a cybersecurity expert. According to him, several vehicle manufacturers have already strengthened the safety level.

More from Kochi.

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