Need for special unit to tackle Dark Web


KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has been urged to establish a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web.

Akhbar Satar of the Institute of Crime and Criminology at Help University said this was necessary in view of the dangers posed by people using the World Wide Web for nefarious purposes.

The most recent case of such abuse involved Briton Richard Huckle, who was jailed for life after admitting to 71 charges of sexual abuse against children in Malaysia. He had used the Dark Web to post more than 20,000 pictures of children as young as six months old being sexually abused from 2006 to 2014.

Akhbar said the Dark Web was not accessible through the standard web browsers and one needed a special browser to access it.

“The Dark Web is dangerous because it consists of both legal and illegal content. This web is used to control access and for privacy because it is dealing with confidential but also illegal activities. It is known to be associated with criminal activity of various sorts from hitmen to heroin addicts using the underworld part of the Internet.

“The web-based gangs, organised criminals, Mafia and terrorists misuse this Dark Web as a marketplace for purchasing illegal goods such as drugs, human organs, child abuse and paedophile material, counterfeit money, fake passports, firearms, ammunition, and explosives. It also involves money laundering, human trafficking, prostitution, child pornography as well as exploitation, child grooming and bounty hunters,” he said.

And that is why, he said in a statement today, a special unit was necessary to tackle the danger posed by the Dark Web.

“Combating criminal activities operating in the Dark Web environment requires being more proactive as compared to traditional security. It demands cyber security experts and technical resources combined with an innovative approach.”

As a short term measure, he suggested that law enforcement agencies and regulators form a task force with Cybersecurity Malaysia and acquire the capabilities pertaining to Deep Web analysis.

This was to enable the task force to conduct investigations effectively on serious criminal activities in the Dark Web.

“For long term planning, the Government may consider forming a federal crime agency with a range of specialist capabilities to fight serious organised crime. The agency can respond to a wide range of threats in the country including cybercrime, drug, human and weapon trafficking and economic crime.”

He said the UK Government formed a National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2013 tasked with fighting serious and organised crime effectively. The NCA has since launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web.

“Malaysia should also introduce a National Plan to Fight Cybercrime. According to the 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), cybercrime will likely emerge as ‘the most popular’ type of economic crime in Malaysia as more IT-related transactions are made in the future,” added Akhbar