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Cyber criminals using foreign servers to remain undetected: Expert

mumbai Updated: Nov 22, 2016 11:31 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Cyber crime

One of the biggest problems, Mukhi said was different laws in different countries which the cyber criminals exploit to evade arrest. (Rep pic/HT file photo)

Numerous cyber crimes remain undetected every year or are difficult to solve as the criminals use internationally located servers.

One of the recent incidents that highlighted the issue was the Hrithik-Kangana saga, wherein an imposter created a fake e-mail address resembling that of Hrithik’s personal account and chatted with a fan (Kangana). The FIR does not mention Kangana, who is reportedly the fan and the actress has alleged that there is no imposter and that the actor has cooked up the story.

Cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said, “About 12 years ago, Hong Kong police came to Mumbai looking for an accused involved in a cyber crime case and said their biggest problem solving cases in which the accused uses server located in another country to commit crime. Every country has a different law. The world has not come together to solve such crimes. The American laws are different from the Indian, and the criminals take advantage of this. This is an age-old problem,”

Read: Mumbai woman cheated of ₹4.32 lakh by Facebook friend

Read: Kangana’s lawyers fire back at Hrithik, say that the case has been closed

Mumbai Police, which received a complaint from Hrithik in 2015, registered a first information report (FIR) in March 2016. Though several months have gone passed sine the registration of the FIR, the cops still struggling to find a breakthrough owing to the international location of the servers which has made it difficult to trace the accused.

Even though the Crime Branch chief, joint commissioner Sanjay Saxena, said the probe is on and that it was too early to say if the case will be closed, a source claimed that the case might be closed as the investigation seems to have hit a dead-end. Cops said that the imposter was communicating with Kangana via a US-based server. The Cyber police have taken Esplanade court’s permission to communicate with the US authorities, but are still awaiting leads . The police are now awaiting the FSL report.

Read: Hrithik Roshan, Kangana Ranaut’s star wars: What’s happened so far

Read: If Hrithik chooses to speak the truth, it will shock everyone: Rakesh Roshan

Mukhi added, “An international body like the United Nations (UN) needs to be put in charge. Otherwise cyber crimes will not be solved. Hrithik Roshan’s case is a good example of such crimes. We will never know who spoke the truth. There are several such cases, as most servers are not in India because it is cheaper to host them abroad than here. The police simply write to the authorities in these countries, but nothing much happens. Biggest problem is on Twitter and Facebook, as the servers are outside India. Also, it is not clear which laws apply, US laws or Indian laws.”

Past Cases

#Several cases of man-in-middle attack have taken place in past few years, and none of these have been detected. In all the cases, location of the servers were traced to another country. The modus operandi of man-in-middle attack cases is where a hacker forges an e-mail address similar to that of an organisation and asks the opposite party to deposit the money into another bank account due to some ongoing issue with the existing account.

#Cases have been registered wherein women have been befriended on Facebook by men, who make them deposit money, collectively running in several lakhs, as custom clearance, tax or fees, for the costly gifts they are sending them. The Cyber police find it difficult to get information on such cases though they have managed to detect a few in the past.