Global Effort Can Alone Thwart Cyber Criminals

Published: 10th October 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2014 10:07 PM   |  A+A-

With the development of smart phones, homes, cars and even cities, technology is gradually changing the way we live and think, making life easier, safer and quicker. The so-called “Internet of Everything” (IoE)—a new era of interconnectedness in which everything from garage doors to hospital health systems will be linked and controlled through computer networks—holds great promise for civilisation. But it also leaves us open to lurking dangers. A recent media report says European police agency Europol has warned that the first online murder can happen by the end of this year. The crime will be perpetrated by hacking an internet-connected device.

So far there have been no proven cases of murder by tampering with protective computer devices. The idea was used in US thriller series Homeland when Cheney’s fictional counterpart was murdered by a similar method. However, hackers have highlighted numerous flaws in computer security systems. In a series of high-profile stunts, Barnaby Jack hacked into cash machines to make them spew money, and exploited a flaw in an insulin pump. He died last year just before he was about to demonstrate how pacemakers could be hacked.

The IoE represents a whole new attack vector and Europol’s assessment fears criminals will be looking for ways to exploit it. This could result in the advent of new forms of extortion and blackmail through connected devices, including locking people out of their smart cars and homes before payment of ransom. What should be worrying is the assessment by Europol that at present governments are ill-prepared to combat the looming threat of “online murder” as cyber criminals exploit internet technology to target victims. The situation, thus, calls for a vigorous international effort to ensure that new forensic techniques “adapt and grow” to address the dangers posed by the increasingly innovative breed of cyber criminals who are always two steps ahead of law enforcement agencies.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp