In light of the ever widening scope of cyber crimes, a group of 45 policemen with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch is currently undergoing a comprehensive course on cyber crime investigation.
According to Crime Branch sources, the decision was taken after it was observed that while the Crime Branch gets diverse cases of cyber crime, the investigating officers need to be up-to-date with the latest cyber crime methods as well as techniques to investigate them.
Officials said it was recently noticed that cyber crimes had gone far beyond someone posting offensive or morphed content on social networking websites, and that investigation skills also need to be upgraded accordingly.
Hence, senior Crime Branch officers got in touch with the Asian School of Cyber Law in Pune, which offers several comprehensive courses on cyber crime and investigation.
“After discussing our needs and factors like the time that our personnel have to spend on the field, ASCL came up with a customised course for us, which began around three weeks ago. It is basically a correspondence course, where most of the study material is sent online, with a classroom session in the Bandra Kurla Complex once a week. The course deals with cyber crimes, cyber law and cyber forensics,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) K M M Prasanna.
The batch of policemen undergoing the course includes Prasanna, two Deputy Commissioners of Police with the Crime Branch, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, and personnel from the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, the Cyber Police Station in BKC and various other units of the Crime Branch.
Recalling one of the sessions, DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said, “One of the cyber crimes discussed at the last session was an amazingly simple method to acquire a target’s location. An email is sent out by a miscreant to the target, which claims that a girl wants to get in touch with him on a little known social networking portal, and the email has a link, purportedly for the portal. The moment the target clicks on the link, the geographical coordinates of the target are sent to the miscreant, while the target sees a web page that says that the page is unavailable or some such error.”
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sadanand Date added, “Based on the feedback after the course gets over, we might explore the possibility of making this a regular exercise.”
The Crime Branch is also considering sending a proposal to the government, and asking that at least five officers from every police station be made to undergo the course so that a major bulk of the Mumbai Police strength is proficient in cyber crime investigation, said officials.