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India launches Pratibimb app to track cybercriminals in real-time

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), India, has launched Pratibimb, software designed to provide real-time mapping and visualisation of mobile numbers associated with cybercrime. It uses Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities to view criminal activities on a geographical scale comprehensively.

First reported by The New Indian Express, the Pratibimb software was developed under the auspices of the MHA’s Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and provided a significant leap in the technological arsenal available to authorities combating digital threats.

The software enables law enforcement personnel to pinpoint the locations of mobile numbers engaged in cybercrime onto a GIS map. This functionality equips agencies with invaluable insights into the spatial distribution of cybercriminals’ activities, facilitating targeted interventions and operational strategies to disrupt criminal operations effectively.

Furthermore, the software provides a dynamic monitoring feature, which enables continuous tracking of cyber criminals’ movements. This feature was designed and integrated to address a common challenge faced by law enforcement, where criminals frequently evade capture by changing locations following police raids.

The software’s ability to track these movements in real time enhances the agility and effectiveness of law enforcement responses, significantly reducing the time and effort required to apprehend cyber offenders.

Rising cyber frauds threaten the country’s dream of Digital India.

The software has identified 12 cybercriminal hotspots in the country, and MHA has directed officials to initiate action in these areas.

Pratibimb has been delivering results since its launch last week. A collaborative operation led by the Haryana Police arrested 42 cyber criminals in Nuh, Mewat, as part of a crackdown on nationwide cyber-fraud syndicates. The operation also yielded substantial evidence, including confiscated cell phones, counterfeit Aadhaar cards, a cache of SIM cards, illicit cash, and compromised ATM cards. A similar operation was launched in Jharkhand, which is infamous for call scams.

Moreover, Pratibimb played a pivotal role in uncovering and neutralising fraudsters engaged in manipulating fantasy cricket betting games. These cyber criminals employed sophisticated tactics to rig live matches in favour of their fantasy teams, a deceptive scheme that posed significant challenges for individuals to detect.

In October last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initiated Operation Chakra-II, a crackdown on tech support and crypto fraud in India.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here:

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