To make the best use of the lockdown Schools, colleges, and various institutions have been hosting webinars. One of the institutes that have been hosting webinars is Girls In Tech – Nepal in collaboration with Genese Cloud Academy. They have been hosting three webinars each week, since the end of March 2020. They have hosted over two dozen webinars that has hundreds of encouraging enthusiastic youths as participants in each session.
But sadly, the webinars have started getting violated by spammers. These spammers anonymously participate with the aimed intention of disturbing these sessions. After severe disturbances, some of the webinars hosted by Girls In Tech – Nepal had to be terminated and postponed. Unfortunately, Girls In Tech – Nepal is not the only victim of such occurrences, more institutes have faced such situations.
Institutions that faced similar Cyber-Crime activity
Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) also encountered similar spammer activity. It was in a virtual panel discussion which was hosted on 27 April by its Miss Tech wing. Some spammers posted remarks with vulgar words in the chat section of the session’s LIVE video creating an inconvenient situation for all the guests and participants.
Likewise, NxtGen which is a non-profit organization under the Pulchowk Engineering Campus also encountered a similar incidence on ‘COVID-19 Preparedness for Students’ session hosted on 27 April. During the event, the organizers noticed some audiences from fake emails violating cybersecurity laws which left the audience and the speakers to misery. However, NxtGen immediately fixed the situation and promptly began working with law enforcement. Moreover, the NxtGen team has perceived all the information of these breachers by tracing their emails and intends to file a cybercrime case soon.
How Did They Trace Them?
After such mishaps in the webinars, Girl in Tech – Nepal team traced the fraudulent people involved in the activity. Anjani Phuyal, CEO of Genese Cloud Academy and founder of Girls In Tech– Nepal shared stepped in to address the incident. To address how the group successfully tracked the culprit and what steps the team is taking, she said;
“After we faced such disturbances, we tracked the users through their emails and we came to know they were doing it in an organized way. They had formed a private Facebook group where they used to note down all the webinars that are happening in Nepal and abroad. After the webinars started, they would spam & hijack these sessions. Such activities are cybercrime and punishable by law. After we tracked them and found that they are young college students who didn’t know the consequences of such activities, we contacted and warned them that we will take action if they continue such behaviour. They have promised to not repeat such activities in future and provided a written apology and hence we decided to forgive them as taking them with law enforcement at this stage will ruin their career and life.”
Similarly, Shova Shedai, Miss Tech Coordinator at Robotics Association of Nepal shared,
“We faced spammer activity during our virtual panel discussion live through the Facebook page. A Facebook user through an anonymous profile made multiple comments using vulgar words in the LIVE video of the virtual panel discussion. We had senior and respected speakers so we felt bad seeing such comments, and had to delete the comments at that moment. Such spammer activity is disgusting and we don’t want to let this type of crime go as normal. We are raising our voices for controlling this kind of activity.”
The topic of Internet security and cybercrime is a growing concern all across the world. Due to lack of knowledge about laws, many cyber-criminals don’t know what they are doing is a crime. Many of those involved in such activities think they can get away with it if they remain anonymous. They commit such crime and ignore the consequences.
What We Learned.
Notwithstanding, such activities shouldn’t be taken carelessly and such people should face the consequences of the harms they have caused. It’s high time we raise awareness about cybercrime and internet security. So, this incident leaves us marking that some strict rules and regulations should be implemented and followed.