Over 58 government websites, including those of Department of Passports and Nepal Law Commission, were hacked in the past one year.
The frequent cyber-attacks show how vulnerable the country’s cyberspace is. In 2016, Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested Bikash Paudel of Balaju in Nagarjun Municipality on the charge of hacking over 200 official websites of government and non-governmental organisations.
MPCD said Paudel had hacked the websites of government and non-governmental organisations by using the name of “Anonymous # Opnep”. Paudel had hacked the websites of National Tuberculosis Centre, Nepal Telecom, Dairy Development Corporation, Office of Cottage and Small Industries, various educational institutions, among others, besides stealing details of the website users.
A high-level source in Nepal Police said it was planning to establish a high-powered cyber bureau to deal with cybercrime and cyber-attack. “We are laying groundwork for the establishment of the proposed bureau which will look into threats posed by cybercrimes,” the official informed. Responsibility for almost all cyber-attacks are claimed by foreign hackers.
The bureau will also work in close coordination with internet service providers to ensure cyber security, while enhancing awareness among users of malware infection along with measures to be adopted to secure their cyberspace.
Central Investigation Bureau and MPCD are two key branches of Nepal Police deal with cases of cybercrime as per the Electronic Transaction Act, 2008.
Cybercrimes include activities like hacking, raiding bank accounts, stealing identities and violating privacy, among others. The official said it had been a tough nut to crack for police as it was posing threat to peoples’ personal security, dignity and confidentiality as well.
“With greater access to the internet and other technologies, misuse of social networking sites, especially Facebook, has not only posed a threat to the younger generation but also has become a tool for criminals,” he warned.
Any person involved in cybercrime is liable to Rs 100,000 in fine or five years in jail or both under Article 47 of the existing law.