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Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Composition, objectives and functions of Interpol.

Context: The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has warned member countries that cybercriminals were attempting to target major hospitals and other institutions on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 with ransomware. Interpol has also issued a ‘Purple Notice’.

What has the Interpol said?

  1. Organisations at the forefront of the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak have also become targets of ransomware attacks, which were “designed to lock them out of their critical systems in an attempt to extort payments”.
  2. Cybercriminals are using ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage, preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid.
  3. Locking hospitals out of their critical systems will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths.

How is it being spread?

At this point, the ransomware appears to be spreading primarily via e-mails —often falsely claiming to contain information or advice regarding the coronavirus from a government agency, which encourages the recipient to click on an infected link or attachment.

Need of the hour:

Prevention and mitigation efforts are crucial to stopping the attacks.

What is Interpol?

The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation. Headquartered in Lyon, France. Formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956. India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.

Goals and objectives:

Interpol’s declared global policing goals include countering terrorism, promoting border integrity worldwide, protection of vulnerable communities, providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses, curbing illicit markets, supporting environment security, and promoting global integrity.

What is the Interpol General Assembly?

It is Interpol’s supreme governing body, and comprises representatives from all its member countries.

  • It meets annually for a session lasting approximately four days, to vote on activities and policy.
  • Each country is represented by one or more delegates at the Assembly, who are typically chiefs of law enforcement agencies.
  • The Assembly also elects the members of the Interpol Executive Committee, the governing body which “provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly”.

Assembly Resolutions:

The General Assembly’s decisions take the form of Resolutions. Each member country has one vote.  Decisions are made either by a simple or a two-thirds majority, depending on the subject matter.

Insta Links:


Prelims Link:

  1. Composition and voting in Interpol general assembly.
  2. Interpol notices- types and purposes.
  3. Genesis of Interpol and its headquarters.
  4. Difference between ransomware, virus, Trojan Horse, spyware and malware.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Interpol and different notices issued by it.

Sources: the Hindu.