NEW DELHI: Sextortion, the practice of extorting money or sexual favors from someone by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity, has reached the Indian shores after the western countries, as cybercriminals are now active in Delhi and victimizing Delhiites.
A number of such cases has come to light in the last six months. In most cases, the criminals extorted money in cryptocurrency, which is also associated with online drug sales, money laundering, and sex trafficking, by threatening victims to defame them.
According to a Delhi Police cybercrime official, in sextortion cases, the criminal uses malware to hack into a user’s system or network, grabs the browsing history and keeps an eye on his/her activities.
For example, if a user watches porn, the hacker collects the data and threatens him/her through e-mail to expose them in public and extorts money. Sometimes, they pretend to be a woman and coax the user to send intimate photos, send them links of porn sites and prompt the user to click on those links.
According to DCP Anyesh Roy, Delhi Police (Cyber Crime), cybercriminals often use fake or obscene profiles, obscene e-mails or messages over social media or acquire someone else’s identity.
The victims should immediately logout and report the matter to their parents and the police, he said. The district crime cells can also be approached physically to file such a complaint. A complainant should save headers and URLs of such e-mails and websites, which could help in tracing the culprit, he added.
As a precaution, one should avoid sharing e-mail IDs, passwords, user IDs with strangers on mobile, said a police cybercrime expert. Also, use numbers, symbols and other characters to make it tough for the cybercriminal to hack, and protect your laptops and computers with a good anti-virus, he said.
The cyber cell is using new software and technologies to tackle cyber crimes and keep an eye on cybercriminals.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), set up in 2004, as a national agency for incident response, has reported around 8.5 lakh cybersecurity incidents, like phishing, spoofing, network scanning and probing, data breaches, disruption of services, virus infection, code manipulation, and website hacking till October 2019. (IANS)