Kerala police gear up to scan underworld of Internet

Expert from Israel trains Kerala Cyberdome analysts to monitor the darknet

September 25, 2019 08:04 am | Updated 10:36 am IST - KOCHI

Illustraion for The Hindu

Illustraion for The Hindu

The Kerala police have set up a state-of-the-art lab complete with enabling software to intervene and crack down on the rising criminal activities over the Darknet, known as the underworld of the Internet.

Spearheading the programme is Cyberdome, the State police department’s premier facility dedicated to prevent cybercrime and mitigate security threats to the State’s critical information infrastructure.

Intentionally hidden

Darknet is a layer of the Internet accessible only by using special software like Tor (The Onion Router), or I2P, which stands for Invisible Internet Project. Websites and information on the Darknet are intentionally hidden and cannot be accessed using traditional search engines like Google.

A pool of four analysts has been trained and deployed in shifts for round-the-clock monitoring of Darknet. Since the expertise for imparting training in tracking the Darknet is limited in the country, the analysts were given 14-day training by roping in an expert from Israel.

Drug smuggling

“We have come across three cases of drug smuggling over Darknet since we jacked up the surveillance with the help of trained analysts a couple of months ago. We chanced upon an attempt to sell drugs, the delivery of which was traced back to Darknet,” Manoj Abraham, ADGP, Headquarters, and the nodal officer of Cyberdome, told The Hindu .

The relative impermeability of Darknet has made it a major haven for drug dealers, arms traffickers, child pornography collectors and other criminals involved in financial and physical crimes so much so that one can buy anything from tigers to hand grenades to any kind of narcotic substances, provided the potential buyer finds the right website on the Darknet.

“Place the order and make the payment in bitcoins and it will be delivered at the doorstep with little risk of detection and intervention by the law enforcement agencies,” said Mr. Abraham.

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