We fight cyber terrorism and we shall continue

US_Customs_and_Border_Protection_officers 1Cyber terrorism is a relatively new face of terrorism and genocide. It is an act against humanity which nobody can deny. Every act of terrorism has 3 things in common- man, money and weapons. If we drill down further we will see that there is one thing which is absolutely vital and that’s money. How do terrorists get money? One way of getting funds is through the banking system which you and I use. The word used to describe this is ‘Terrorist Financing’. It is the act of acquiring funds whether legally or illegally but used to promote terrorist activities. Funds raised to finance terrorism usually have to be laundered and thus anti-money laundering processes in banks and other reporting industries are important in the identification and tracking of terrorist financing activities. To combat terrorist financing and money laundering regulators mainly in USA, Europe and also UN have imposed sanctions on different countries. Any attempt of commercial activities with a sanctioned country would lead to fines and prosecution. This is what has happened with BNP Paribas. The huge fine of $8.9 is on their shoulders now. This is not just a financial loss for them but a loss of reputation, a loss of customer confidence. Hence financial organizations for a moment need to shift their focus from balance sheet and concentrate on KYC. There should be clearly laid guidelines as to whom you should take in as customer and who should you reject. Fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is an ongoing process. I have mentioned cyber terrorism in the beginning. One primary objective of the sender as well as the receiver of funds online is to hide their identities. Here comes TOR (The Onion Router).

  • It is a network of virtual tunnels or onions that allows people and group to improve their privacy and security on the internet.
  • It enables the use of highly anonymous services for communication and payment (web, IRC, other TCP based communication)
  • Payments can happen and secret services can be published for offer.

TOR specific sites are accessed via .onion and are used to host illegal file sharing, currency exchange, and illicit drug purchases. Users never know the site’s true IP. An average of over 1500 nodes comprises the TOR cloud. Users can choose to be a node by clicking a button. Transactions happen through TOR accepted currencies like DBC (Digital Bearer Certificates), which are backed with gold coins which they hold in their secret vault. With the growth of militant groups like ISIS which is rumored to have a dedicated cyber operations team it is extremely vital that we make the walls of our financial houses stronger. Our fight against money laundering should be one step ahead of theirs. It is a war that has begun with the advent of the web and we will continue fighting for ever.

Sankha Chatterjee rupeefy@gmail.com

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