Snakes and ladders to counter cyber crime
Date of Publishing:20/9/2010
An interactive campaign by Mumbai police in association with NASSCOM intends to train internet users at housing societies, malls, schools and banks
In a massive city-wide drive to make people technologically savvy and aware of the online dangers, Mumbai police, in association with NASSCOM, has formed a team of technology experts who will go to housing societies and shopping malls across the city to spread awareness and train people against hacking.
In a departure from the previous Cyber Safety Weeks where participants were given general information about cyber frauds, the new initiative involves professional hackers apart from other experts, to reach out to smaller groups of people and give information and training specific to their needs.
Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Dayal said, "The online dangers facing a school student are different from that an office goer has to deal with. Similarly, there are frauds specific to the travel, hospitality, health and banking industries. We have thus decided to specifically target different groups through tailored programmes. Our team, which will have experts from NASSCOM, will periodically hold programmes in malls and housing societies to raise awareness. We will also go to schools and colleges and reach out to other industry groups."
LEARNING THROUGH GAMES
To ensure people don't get put off by technological jargon, the programme has been made interactive. For instance, there is a large snake and ladder game to be played at malls. Every number that leads to a ladder signifies a cyber safety measure taken by a player and every snake number signifies an online mistake committed.
Cyber security expert Vijay Mukhi of the Bombay Technology Club, which is helping police in the campaign explains, "The longest ladder symbolises a 15 character password, which is difficult to break, while the longest snake signifies giving your password to someone online. We are now planning to turn this into a mobile phone game so that more people can access it."
PHISHING IN TROUBLED WATERS
The team will also train ordinary people to recognise a phishing web page or a mail and teach them how to avoid hacking attempts. Mukhi said, "We have two underground hackers in the team who will tell people the inside story of how hackers put up simulated web pages and trick people into parting with their passwords. Instead of telling people about do's and dont's, they will give demonstrations of what a phishing page looks like."
Raviraj Doshi, an information security researcher who is part of the team as an ethical hacker, says, "While net banking, a user must first ensure that he is on the right webpage. If the web address does not read www.bank'sname.com, he must avoid logging in as it may be a phishing web page.
"Secondly, it must be a secure connection which can be verified by looking for a lock symbol on the webpage. One must also never respond to emails that ask to click on a certain link to update one's bank account information, as it is definitely a phishing website."
The campaign, however, is not going to be limited to awareness among people. Dayal said, "We will also utilise the team to train our own people."
Web Resource for Reference of the Above Mentioned Article: MUMBAI MIRROR