NTRO may check cyber crime cases

The government is contemplating making the country’s premier technical intelligence agency, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), the nodal agency for all cyber-related crimes in the country.

Highly placed government sources said there was a growing view within the government that with the increasing use of technology, particularly computers, in terror related cases there was an urgent need to have an umbrella organization which can co-ordinate with all State agencies and police force on such cases.

“In any case, the state agencies normally do take NTRO’s help particularly in terror related cases or that of financial fraud. Its just that we want to formalise the arrangement so that the NTRO has a database for all cyber crime and can prepare its forward plan accordingly,’’ a senior intelligence official remarked.

Officials are quick to clarify that the NTRO in no way will infringe on the autonomy of the state agencies who will investigate the case but will keep the NTRO informed about the progress and if required seek its assistance.

The National Technical Research Organisation, country’s sole technical intelligence agency which came into existence after the Kargil conflict, has also been directed to expand its area of operation and a new unit within the agency has now been carved out to deal exclusively with what is being described as “increasing cyber threat from China.’’

It is suspected that China-based cyber experts are always attempting to hack into the data base and sites India’s sensitive ministries and departments to access information.

At a recent meeting of the NTRO top brass and senior intelligence and security officials it was believed that Indian agencies were far behind China when it comes to expertise in cyber related crime.
Thus, the NTRO has been directed to immediately enhance it capacity to match that of China.

“See the real security threat is from China and we need to be prepared for it. For instance a recent cyber security audit for all Government sites has revealed that our systems are still not foolproof,’’ a senior government official remarked.

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