Police gearing up to meet the future

To police the emerging Kochi, the law enforcers might need something more than lock-ups and hand-cuffs. They need soft skills to crack the documents locked by passwords.

Signs of crime scene going hi-tech way are already on. A compilation of cyber crimes in the State, being done by Sreekanth C. Nair, student of the Asian School of Cyber Laws, points that most of the cyber crimes committed here are related to financial frauds and identity thefts at online communities like Orkut.

But the situation might soon take a turn for the worse, warns Gokul Narayan, Manager (Legal), Data64 LLC (USA), Asia Pacific Zone - I, a private company providing assistance in cyber crime investigation.

The company, in association with the Asian School of Cyber Laws, has set up a laboratory dedicated to cracking passwords. It offers its service free to law enforcing agencies, said Mr. Narayan.

To demonstrate the need for a hi-tech back-up for investigation, Mr. Narayan pointed out the time required to crack passwords.

A 52-character password, which could be a combination of full alphabet either upper or lower case of length seven digits, can have one trillion combinations and would take 100 days for a Pentium computer to crack it.

Worse, a 62-character password, which includes mixed upper and lower case alphabetic along with numeric characters of seven digits length, can have 3.5 trillion combinations, extending the time required to crack it to one year.

Though stationed at Pune, the lab claims to use resources from across the world to crack passwords, while ensuring absolute privacy and confidentiality of the documents submitted to be opened, he said.

The lab claims to have skills to decrypt file passwords, application passwords, operating system passwords and encrypted documents.

Now, the image of police officers locked in front of computer screens could no longer be a scene from a sci-fi Hollywood film, but a reality for our police forces. And experts are warning them to be on guard.


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