Andhra Pradesh Information Technology (IT) Minister Nara Lokesh urged the Centre on Friday to chalk out a solution to tackle the Blue Whale Challenge.
Stating that the challenge might jeopardize future of the youth of nation, Lokesh held a review meeting with IT department officials and discussed setting up of Andhra Pradesh Cyber Security Operation Center, ANI reported.
The ANI report also quoted him saying, “The cyber crimes are increasing worldwide. As many as 12 persons per second are getting affected by these crimes. Cyber attacks on government data through ransom ware are rampant. Andhra Pradesh Government is ahead in IT usage, thus prone to such attacks…Proper study should be done and the center should be setup as soon as possible. While designing Cyber security policy, guidance and advice of police department be taken in order to tackle and control cyber crimes.”
This comes after reports that the Andhra Pradesh police are looking into a possible death due to the ‘Blue Whale’ challenge, after an engineering student killed himself by hanging to death at his house in West Godavari district earlier this month.
Known for driving hundreds of teens to suicide in other countries, the Blue Whale challenge has also reportedly claimed lives in India.
The challenge originated in Russia and targets children between 10 and 14 years of age, according to investigators.
The challenge spread through social media, and came to light in 2016 when Galina Mursaliyeva, a journalist with Russian publication Novaya Gazeta investigated her daughter’s online activity after she committed suicide.
There are 50 tasks that someone who signs up has to undergo, which include posting photos of self-harm (often, a blue whale drawn on a body part with a blade).
If, at some point, the child gets cold feet or tries to back out of the challenge, the curators reportedly threaten them, often saying that their parents will be harmed.