Hyderabad: Like the FBI the TS cyber crime cops are on a mission to survey the dark side of the Internet where international cyber criminals rule the roost.
“Deep Web” or Dark Web has made its presence felt in Indian metros including Hyderabad with several covert illegal deals in child pornography, weapons, drugs and even hiring of killers being carried out by Indians.
When the FBI busted Silk Road, a popular Deep Web website, it was found that it had several Indian customers. Cyber crime officials say that since Hyderabad is a major IT hub an efficient surveillance system is necessary.
Cyber crime officials are constantly monitoring the Deep Web. “Absolute anonymity and encrypted data are the main features here. It’s not at all easy to track users. However, we are examining ways to build surveillance capabilities,” said an official from the cyber crime police station of Cyberabad.
Cyber experts say Deep Web is a part of the Internet that cannot be accessed through standard search engines. It can only be accessed by search engines like Tor. Users have password-protected or dynamic pages and encrypted networks to surf the Deep Web. In US there is a parallel market, notorious for drug trafficking, on the Deep Web. Many illegal products are sold in this way.
A few months ago, a private cyber crime consultant came across two strange teenage suicides in the city. “When we looked into the suicides it was found that the teenagers had used Tor in their computers and had watched several suicide videos. We think they must have got inspired after subscribing to it,” said Mr Sandeep Mudalkar, CEO of Sytech Labs. He added that there could be a few users in Hyderabad who might be active customers.
An anonymous major player in Deep Web, known by the pseudonym "HeadOfHydra", had declared in one of the forums that most illegal vendors on Deep Web had customers in India. “We are searching for a Hindi/English-speaking staffer. We plan to have localised markets for countries like India, China and Brazil,” the post said.
Cops say most activities on the Tor browser are illegal. “Activities on Tor can be punished under the Information Technology Act, 2000. The moment people clinch deals for illegal goods and services on Deep Web they are liable for legal consequences, both civil and criminal,” said a cyber crime official from Cyberabad.