THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Blue Whale which allegedly has claimed the lives of two youngsters in Kerala cannot be completely alienated by blocking it in the cyber space, claim Cyber Forensic experts. However, the primary responsibility of identifying the victims remains with the parents and the teachers. They can do so by keeping an eye open for behavioural changes in their wards. Once identified such dysfunctional behaviour can be rectified with the help if a psychologist, say the experts.
Vinod Bhattathiripad, Cyber Forensic expert who has been doing a study on Blue Whale game since April this year, had been warning the authorities with the help of media since past few months. According to
him, around 10 percent of the game can be negated by blocking the cyber links. “This is not a cyber game. It is not downloaded. The Blue Whale Challenge is transferred by an existing player to a new player. Other games can be blocked by the authorities but Blue Whale can’t be. It is used by several students in the
10 to 15 age group. And will spread among the student community if the parents and teachers do not take preventive steps,” he said.
Simplifying the Blue Whale game operation, Vinod said it targets those children who are psychologically weak. “The game is played on the mobile phones. The administrators hack into the phones of the players and give them certain tasks to perform. If the players refuse to comply, they receive threat calls. The players’ mobile phone remains under the surveillance of the administrator,” he said.
As far as the police and investigation agencies are concerned, they can obtain evidence by retrieving IP dumps from the service provider. However, in order to book the persons who are running the game, the assistance of police and law enforcement agencies in other countries will be need. “The game originated in Russia but is administrated from several other countries. To identify the persons behind the game, the agencies will have to extend their investigations to other countries.
Kerala police will have to form a liaison with agencies outside India,” Vinod said. Vinod claims apart from boys, several girls too have got hooked to the game. “I have spoken to some teachers who hinted that many kids including girls are playing the game,” he said.