Profectus Magazine

Story of Nitin Pandey – Cyber Crime Consultant, UP Cyber Crime

By : Profectus Magazine   /   02 Dec 2021  /   Pride of the nation /   Pride of India

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Story Of Ever-Evolving Cyber Security Phase In India With Mr. Nitin Pandey

Cyber security is one crucial field to be in, after spending 14 years in it Mr. Nitin Pandey feels that India’s Cyber dynamic is changing every second. Every day there is a new opportunity with a new challenge. But how was Cyber security before the Internet revolution in India? How did it evolve?

Nitin Pandey belongs to a political family from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was never interested in cyber security, so he pursued B.C.A from UPTU (now known as AKTU) and M.C.A from Sikkim Manipal University. In the past 14 years, he has seen the Cyber field evolving, as things were quite different back then. Today we have high-speed unlimited internet while it cost Rs. 250 which contains 1 GB data for a month. Pandey says that ‘Few years ago, India didn’t have many resources or any mentors to guide the youth in Cyber Security. Mr. Vivek Ramachandran was my guru, an IITian who chose to mentor the country’s youth over a good-paying job. He used to make tutorial videos on his website, almost every Cyber expert used to learn from him. I was interested in how Gadgets like Mobile Phone and Laptop works, so in 2005, I bought an IBM laptop and learned how to make viruses. I used to prank my friends with it. I remember making a virus with a .bat file which creates copies of itself by reading Blog. From 2007 I started learning Hacking seriously; by 2012 I was a silent learner.’

In 2013 Defcon gave him a chance to be in the forefront as they saw the rise in Cybercrimes day by day. There was a need to spread awareness, so after struggling so much they held a seminar in Uttar Pradesh for the first time on Cyber related issues.

‘ I have learned one thing from my experience that step by step learning is more easy. Learning Cyber security to set up a milestone will only bring frustration and stress between your Goal,’ said Pandey.

He later joined UP Police as a Cyber Crime Consultant; he says that it is a great journey to embark upon. His inspiration to join the team was Prof. Triveni Singh, Add. S.P of UP Special Task Force. He used to admire him as they solved about 45-50 cases together. Working under Triveni sir, who is now S.P Cyber Crime (Cybercrime consultant and treat analyst) every day was a new opportunity to learn and read different criminal mindsets.

Nitin says that Cyber security is an evolved form of Guerrilla Warfare. Our ancestors like Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj and their mavlas used this technique to defeat the hundreds of Mughal army. Using same techniques in cyber space, it creates Cyber Guerrilla warfare. Everything is about protecting yourself and your country without being seen.

Talking about Cybercrimes during the pandemic, crimes and data breaches were at a peak. Data breaches of big companies like Big Basket, Dominoes, Mobiqwik can pose a bigger threat to our nation’s security. Rather than banning VPN, the Indian government should take serious actions against these companies taking customer’s security too lightly. Our parliament has a pending Personal Data Protection Bill that should be passed immediately that would at least help in protecting our data. Banning VPN would lead to lesser Cybercrimes is not true, criminals will find new ways to commit cyber crimes, but it would affect community of hacker’s trying to do good for the country, says Pandey.

If talent is given a fair a chance in India, then no one can beat us in any field. We have so many talented bug bounty hackers who are doing great, but they lack opportunities. Whenever one hears the word ‘Hacker’ they immediately paint a bad image in their mind. But teams like Indian Cyber Troops (ICT) are proof that how good they can do for this field and this country. Two years back they founded an app with better features than Facebook, named ‘Indiebook’, but had to close down due to lack of funds and support. Government and We as Indians should be ahead to help these talented youngsters in every way possible. The correct definition for them (ICT) would be they are Hacktivists, given the right support they would be one of the best in this field undoubtedly.

To improve the image of Hackers, after Defcon, Nitin founded Hackers Day. It was a conference for hackers to share their journey, their perspective and researches in the conference. We can always learn so much from young Cyber security researchers and main motive of conference was to unite all hackers from the country to protect Indian Cyberspace.

Nitin says that ‘I have received lots of love and recognition worldwide. My first conference was in Russia. In that conference I Spoke on Cyber Terrorism and was surprised to see their IT Minister were interested in knowing more about the Cyberworld. In India, we lack interest from higher authorities in such things, which is really important for government to protect the country from cyber threats. This has to change, and it’s changing gradually. We need to learn things from Israel, about how to securely develop safety programs.’

Government should upgrade the technology in rural areas. To stop cyber crime, awareness is the key. If anyone reports vulnerability at government sites like CRTIN and NCIRPC, there’s no reply or recognition, which demoralizes the youngsters.

Don’t ever be a victim, be a Cyber Warrior. And even one falls into the trap, there’s no need to be ashamed of. Protecting oneself should be a priority, small safety measures like two-factor authentication, strong passwords can save you from being a victim.

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Vivek Ramachandran, Cyber Consultant, Home

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