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Understanding Digital Arrest


Following increasing reports of “digital arrests” by cybercriminals the central government has collaborated with Microsoft to block more than 1,000 Skype IDs used for online intimidation, blackmail, and extortion.


GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Digital Arrest
  2. Preventive Measures

Understanding Digital Arrest:


  • Digital arrest is an emerging cybercrime tactic utilized by fraudsters to deceive unsuspecting individuals and extort money through digital means.
Modus Operandi:
  • Cybercriminals impersonate law enforcement officials, such as police, Enforcement Directorate, or CBI, tricking victims into believing they have committed a serious offense.
  • Victims are coerced into believing they are under “digital arrest” and must remain visible on platforms like Skype until demands are met.
  • Fraudsters threaten prosecution unless victims pay a significant sum of money.
  • Victims may be manipulated into self-arrest or self-quarantine, believing they cannot leave their homes without paying.

Preventive Measures:

  • Cyber Hygiene: Regularly update passwords and software, and enable two-factor authentication to thwart unauthorized access.
  • Avoid Phishing Attempts: Refrain from clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Verify the legitimacy of emails and messages before sharing personal information.
  • Secure Devices: Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware solutions, and keep operating systems and applications updated with the latest security protocols.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): Utilize VPNs to encrypt internet connections for enhanced privacy and security. Be cautious of free VPN services and opt for trustworthy providers.
  • Secure Communication Channels: Employ encryption for sensitive information protection. Exercise caution when sharing passwords and other details, especially in public forums.
  • Awareness: Promote preventive measures and increase public awareness about digital arrest and other cyber threats.

-Source: Indian Express

June 2024