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Making Cyberspace Safer

Making Cyberspace Safer

By: Mian Majid Ali

The intensity and sophistication of cybercrimes has significantly increased in the recent years all over the world. The developing countries, including Pakistan, have also suffered many cyber attacks, in both private and public sectors. The extent of cybercrimes includes defamation, plastic money scams, internet banking frauds, unauthorized/illegal termination of international voice, hacking of national database, emails,  and so on. To address this increasingly burning issue, the Government of Pakistan has established a cybercrime centre within the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Interior. The National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) is headed by a Project Director and it has the jurisdiction of taking cognizance of offences committed by cybercriminals. The reasons behind cybercrimes are greed, adventure, power, revenge and publicity. This type of crime can be a serious threat to e-business and communication and banking sectors. The extensive use of pornographic websites is also a cybercrime and it is highly unfortunate as it will destroy our cultural values.

Some suggestions to combat cybercrimes

The potential cyber threat is looming large on national security and online database infrastructure of our state. The potence of this crime can be assessed by the fact that cyber policing against recurring cyber attacks on online database infrastructure of the country has become the highest priority of law-enforcement agencies. This article focuses on problems and challenges of cybercrimes in Pakistan, their types, actions taken so far for prevention and control of cybercrimes, and constraints in the evolution of strategic formulation of framework to curb the menace.

Types of Cybercrimes

Various classifications of cybercrimes targeted toward a person, a business or even against a government may be one of the following:

Making Cyberspace Safer

Types of Computer Security

The computer security or computer network is the main target of an unlawful act and it is the violation of cybercrime ethics and rules. The types include:

a. Unauthorized access to a computer system or a network;
b. Theft of information contained in electronic form;
c. E-mail bombing;
d. Internet time theft
e. Physically damaging a computer system;
f. Data diddling;
g. Denial of service; and
h. Virus/worm.

Following are the objectives that broadly reflect the nature of policing now required:

a. Maintaining a professional investigation capability;
b. Enhancing the investigation capability of the Police force;
c. Developing accredited computer and mobile forensic laboratories;
d. Proposing changes in cyber laws and policies;
e. Training, seminars and awareness campaigns on such crimes;
f. Liaison with other law-enforcement agencies;
g. Proper enactment of the legal framework; and
h. Improvement of the institutional infrastructure so that awareness in general public regarding cybercrimes and their reporting may be created.

Recommendations

Short-term Plan

a. Public awareness and education campaigns to promote cyber security, through print and electronic media, seminars and workshops
b. Promulgation in true spirit of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance.
c. Replacement of the outdated paraphernalia with the latest equipment.
d. Capacity-building and training of LEAs in handling cybercrime

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