In a boost to the war against cybercrime, the Maharashtra government has approved a Rs 838 crore cyber-security project that will enable those at the receiving end of criminals in the digital sphere to register complaints and seek redress through a 24X7 call centre, mobile app and portal.
The project, which aims to clamp down on a menace that is fast acquiring the contours of a pan-state and even cross-border organised crime, was cleared in a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by chief minister Eknath Shinde on September 6. It envisages the creation of a superstructure, which will include speedy investigations through state-of-the-art equipment and investigation tools and trained manpower. It will also develop a robust system to lodge cybercrime complaints. A command-and-control centre will monitor and resolve the complaints.
The focus will be on ‘technology-assisted investigation’. More crucially, a security operations centre team will monitor the project and ensure speedy response during cyber attacks. A ‘CERT-MH’, or ‘Computer Emergency Response Team-Maharashtra’, will undertake cyber-security audit and also emergency response and recovery measures during adverse incidents like hacking and phishing. The data generated in the project will be stored on a government community crowd or cloud-based data centre. Police officers and staff will be trained in international best practices.
All police commissionerates and district superintendent of police units will be covered under the project, which will be implemented through the special inspector general of police (cyber). The project will be completed by 2029 and overseen by a high-powered committee of the state home department.
Maharashtra has a total of 48 cyber police stations, which are equipped with modern machinery and 16 types of investigating tools, and 3,253 police officers and staff trained in investigating and detecting such crimes.
The National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal and helpline number 1930 caters to cybercrime-related complaints and the Central Equipment Identity Register is used to track stolen and lost mobile phones. The ‘Cybersafe’ portal is used to tackle cases of cybercrime and online cheating.
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