In the modern age of internet connectivity, cyber crime has become a very burning issue because the world is becoming digitalised day by day. There are many challenges involved in forestalling cyber crimes. Modern techniques and technologies are required to protect the country’s cyber infrastructures and to ensure digital security.
Foreign governments or institutions, politically and ideologically motivated hacktivists and individuals motivated by greed, abhorrence or curiosity usually perform cyber attacks. It is widely believed that Stuxnet computer worm was created as a cyber weapon targeting industrial computer systems and this weapon caused damage to Iran’s nuclear program. Alarming news is that the copies of these advanced cyber weapons are in the hands of many countries and hacker groups. Therefore, in case of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Bangladesh needs highest cyber security system. The nuclear power plants may be targeted by the cyber attackers which might lead to substantial discharges of radioactive material with resulting loss of lives, radiation sickness and psycho-trauma, extensive property annihilation and economic turmoil.
To address cyber challenges, the proposed Digital Security Bill has provisions relating to the establishment of National Cyber Security Department and Bangladesh Cyber Emergency Response Team (BDCERT). As a unique team, the BDCERT has the primary responsibility to coordinate, assimilate and share information to conduct cyber crime investigations and support intelligence analysis for the decision-makers.This is obviously a great iniative for securing the cyber space of Bangladesh. However, the proposed Bill has not kept any provision for creating research wing for forestalling future cyber threats.
In February 2016, 951 million US dollars was stolen from the Bangladesh Bank via the SWIFT network. Later it was identified that Dridex malware was used for the cyber attack. Cyber criminals were also involved in the skimming racket that stole money from several ATM booths of three commercial banks. The criminals skimmed off at least BDT 25 lacs in February 2016. In this backdrop, it is needless to say that cyber security system of Bangladesh needs to be upgraded as soon as possible.
These crimes are committed through quick transmission of digital information that can travel thousands of miles in the twinkle of an eye. The police force fighting with the digital criminals has to be conscious about all the ways in which the digital criminals try to outwit the law. Considering the intricacies, it is necessary to develop a different kind of force that will be competent and cautious of the digital technologies although the proposed Act has not mentioned anything regarding this.
As discussed above, digital crime does not necessarily cause physical harm the way violent crime does but criminals operating in the digital area can cause significant harm to individuals and institutions by interfering with the digital data that represent actual people and entities. The way these virtual crimes cause real-life consequences is the main concern. To ensure effective prosecution of cyber crimes, particularly in respect of detecting the cyber criminals, in respect of computer systems and networks, user’s consciousness is mandatory. Laws should be implemented strictly to curb cyber crimes, otherwise the benefits of digitalisation will go in vain.
The writer is Advocate, Dhaka Judge Court.