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Understanding Digital Arrest

Context:

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.

Relevance:

GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Digital Arrest
  2. Preventive Measures

Understanding Digital Arrest:

Overview:

  • 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
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