The automobile industry has seen massive growth and technological advancements since Karl Benz created the first car. The industry has been strengthened by various car and automobile manufacturers who have created marvellous machines since the previous century. The last century was the mechanical age, wherein we witnessed so many technological advancements in terms of better safety, security, improved driving experience, and innovation.
The theft of cars is a rampant global issue and is a potential threat to all car owners. Multiple ways have been created to safeguard the cars from such bad actors, and earlier, they used to use a long sharp object to break into the car and start it by hot wiring it. In contemporary times, it has been seen that these thieves/bad actors have deployed technology-centric devices and Modus operandi to steal cars. The bad actors have now made their way to the dark web markets, which sell devices and tools to commit such crimes without physically accessing the car. In the era of smart cars, this threat has increased exponentially. Bad actors have now started to use spoofing devices, which actually replicate the signals originating out of a key fob towards the car. The bad actors have also, on occasion, used Bluetooth and WiFi dongles to establish contact with the cars. This is primarily seen in the cases of cars with Internet connectivity. The UP Police has busted a group of 3 such bad actors who have been involved in running the car theft racket since 2013 and have to date, stolen over 500 vehicles from Delhi, NCR, Punjab and Gujrat. The nexus is believed to be pan India, and the origination of the tools/accessories used by bad actors is expected from the dark web. The car owners need to be cautious of such instances and should avoid parking their cars in unknown areas or localities.
Since the previous century, it has been seen that drug lords and traffickers were the miscreants of society, and their operations cause diverse forms of other crimes. We have names like Pablo Escobar and El Chappo, who have been branded as the most notorious druglords of all time. Earlier, this was enabled by a network of traffickers and peddlers, but not the technology acts as the medium of buying and selling narcotics. The Darknet is infested with such marketplaces, where it is like e-commerce platforms for narcotics. The Narcotics Control Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has taken up the fight against drug abuse in India and, since the last year, has confiscated massive volumes of drugs amounting to a street value of 200 Million. In a recent pan India operation, NCB has arrested three people with possession of 13,000 plus LSD blots. The NCB conducted a similar operation six months ago, with led to the arrest of 6 people with over 14,000 LSD blots. The mastermind behind this syndicate/cartel is identified to be Ismael Zambada Garcia from Mexico who has been arrested by NCB. These networks of drug traffickers operate in a hidden manner over the dark net, and the use of cryptocurrencies for payment allows the bad actors and consumers to maintain their anonymity over the net. The Police and Anti Drug agencies across the world are now deploying technological approaches to combat this menace and apprehend criminals. It is pertinent for all netizens to be on the lookout for such bad actors and their traps to avoid any mishappening.
The virtual world is filled with opportunities and tools for the netizens, but their use is entirely dependent upon the digital rights, duties and responsibilities, which the bad actors often overlook. The aspects of cyber safety, security and resilience should be embedded into our daily lives, and parents and elders should inculcate these principles in the younger generation as well to keep them safe. Crimes and frauds will keep on evolving with the new technologies, but the basic safety principles will always remain the same, so one should always be on lookout for such cybercrimes and bad actors.
Author: Mr. Abhishek Singh, Lead – Policy and Advocacy, CyberPeace