Where tech-savvy policemen play cat-and-mouse with cybercriminals

Close watch: District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare at the Kochi Cyberdome on Thursday.

Close watch: District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare at the Kochi Cyberdome on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Chief Minister to formally inaugurate Cyberdome at Infopark on Saturday

Walking into the glass-panelled office on the ground floor of Jyothirmaya building in the second phase of Infopark, one hardly gets the feeling that it is the turf hosting a stiff cat-and-mouse game between the police and tech-savvy criminals in the cyberspace.

If not for the bold white letters in blue background, declaring its identity at the front office, the Cyberdome set up by the Kochi City Police Commissionerate could well pass off as just another IT company.

For, just like any tech company, on one side there is the customary training-cum-conference room with an oval-shaped table in the middle and multiple display panels on the wall and bang opposite it are the work stations where trained police officers teamed up in pairs are glued to their computer screens. Stationed next door is the server where the enormous data mined from the round-the-clock patrolling of the Internet and social media is stored. The server has the capacity to store data up to one year after which it will be moved to external devices.

Media persons were taken on a tour of the Cyberdome on Thursday ahead of its formal inauguration by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday though it is already in operation.

The City Police have assigned 16 qualified and trained personnel led by four officers to man the Cyberdome, which is the third such facility to be set up in public-private partnership (PPP) in the State after the ones in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.

Apart from training in basic computer applications, the officers are being handheld by an expert through continuous training to master the use of various state-of-the-art technological tools, which are pivotal to mining the virtual world for data. “We will continue to enhance manpower and scale up operations once they [officers] have mastered their tasks,” said Vijay Sakhare, Inspector General and District Police Chief (Kochi City).

Assisting them are domain experts, academicians, technocrats, and ethical hackers from across the State and even beyond. “We are constantly in touch with our private partners who help us surmount the various hurdles we come across during our operations, besides getting us up to date on new threats and technological advances,” said an officer at the Cyberdome.

Cybersecurity awareness is another critical focus area of the Cyberdome as part of which 135 cybersecurity clubs have been formed in schools across the district. Curriculum educating children on the dos and don’ts and ways to safeguard themselves against cyber attacks are also being prepared.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:28:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/where-tech-savvy-policemen-play-cat-and-mouse-with-cybercriminals/article30815125.ece

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