Cyber Crime in India – With the advent of technology life has become much easier in this 21st century. You can book railway tickets from mobile, pay bills instantly, perform online shopping etc. These are possible only due to advancement in technology of Internet.
The use of Internet has lots of advantage as stated above. In contrast there are disadvantage too for use of Internet. A person can fall prey to online payment fraud, may lose his/her confidential stuffs on social networks due to revenge with someone etc. These kind of malicious activities done on Internet can be classified into Cyber Crime india.
A few years back, there was lack of cyber crime awareness about the crimes that could be committed through Internet. However, with the increase support from Government of India there has been separate law for crimes committed on Internet. The Indian parliament had passed a new law pertaining to cyber crime “Information Technology Act, 2000” on October 17th, 2000. This law deals with the technology in the field of e-commerce, e-governance, e-banking as well as penalties and punishments in the field of cyber crime.
What is cyber crime?
Cyber crimes can be defined as the unlawful acts where the computer is used either as a tool or a target or both. This is general term that covers crimes such as phishing, spoofing, DoS (Denial of Service) attack, credit card fraud, online transaction fraud, cyber defamation, child pornography, kidnapping a person using chat rooms, stalking a person using Internet as medium, unauthorised access to computer system, cyber terrorism, creation and distribution of virus, spamming etc.
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What are different types of cyber crime?
Cyber crime can be categorised into :
- Cyber crime against person
- Cyber crime against property
- Cyber crime against government
- Cyber crime against society
1. Cyber crime against person :
In this category crime is committed against a person using electronic service as a medium. Below are some offences that comes under this category :
a. Cyber stalking : The term stalking means unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person. Cyber stalking refers to threat that is created through the use of computer technology such as Internet, e-mails, SMS, webcams, phones calls, websites or even videos.
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b. cyber crime Hacking : This means gaining unauthorised access over computer system with the intent of personal gain or misuse. It generally destroys the whole data present in computer system. Screenshot 2 shows message that hacker can post once your system is compromised.
c. Cracking : Cracking refers to digitally removing the copy write protection code that prevents copied or pirated software from running on computers that haven’t been authorised to run it by the vendor of the software. The person who carries out this task if called as Cracker.
There is difference between Hacker and a Cracker. Hacker uses their knowledge to find the flaws in the security of systems where as Cracker uses their knowledge to break the law.
d. Defamation : It involves action of damaging the good reputation of someone using computer or electronic service as medium. For eg., Posting vulgar message and/or photos about a person on his/her social network profile such as facebook, twitter etc.
e. Online fraud : This refers to acts of stealing confidential details of victim such as banking credentials using phishing sites and thereafter withdrawing money from victims account, online lottery scams such as nigeria lottery scams. Screenshot 3 shows online lottery scam claiming that you have won $ 5,00,000 amount!
f. Child pronography : This involves the use of electronic device and services to create, distribute or access materials that sexually exploit minor childrens. For eg., Recording heinous act done with child on mobile device and distributing on porn site.
g. Spoofing : The term spoofing means imitate something while exaggerating its characteristic features with some personal gain or profit. Spoofing of user identity can be described as a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades (means pretending to be someone one is not) as another by falsifying data. Spoofing can be done using email or SMS or WhatApp. For eg.,Constantly mailing a person claiming from bank and requesting banking credentials. Screenshot 4 shows hacker claiming to be from WhatsApp and sending an attachment (possibly a trojan or virus).
2. Cyber crime against person :
In this category crime is committed against property of person using electronic service as a medium. Below are some offences that comes under this category :
a.Transmitting virus : A computer virus is a malware program that reproduces itself into another computer programs, disk drive, files or booting sector of hard drive. Once this replication of so called virus is succeeded the areas affected are termed as “infected”. Hacker generally transmit virus to target system using email attachment as medium. When victim opens the attachment (which is infected with virus) this virus gets replicated throughout the system and thereby slowing down your system.
b. Cyber Squatting : The term squatting means unlawfully occupying an uninhabited place. Cyber Squatting is where two or more persons claim for the same Domain Name or any service available on Internet such as facebook profile etc. The hacker claims that he/she had first registered the name before other person or he/she is the owner for twitter handle.
For eg., the first case in India registered for cyber squatting was Yahoo Inc. v/s Aakash Arora in 1999 where the defendant launched a YahooIndia.com website nearly identical to the plaintiff’s popular website Yahoo.com and also provided almost similar services. However, the court ruled in favour of Yahoo Inc.
c. Cyber Vandalism : Vandalism refers to action involving deliberate destruction or damage of public or private property. Cyber vandalism means destroying or damaging the data when a network service is unavailable.
For eg., The Tribune of Pakistan had reported in November 2012 that hackers (group named as ‘eboz’ in Pakistan) replaced Google’s Pakistan logo with a picture of two penguins walking up a bridge at sunset.
d. Intellectual Property Crimes : Intellectual property are intangible property that is the result of creativity such as copyrights, trademark, patent etc. Intellectual Property Right (IPR) crime is any unlawful act by which the owner is deprived of his/her rights completely or partially. These are the most common offence occurring in India and includes software piracy, infringement of patents, designs, trademark, copyright, theft of source code etc.
For eg., The popular case of trademark of Bikanervala v/s New Bikanerwala filed in 2005. The plaintiff (here Bikanervala) had filed IPR case with defendant (here New Bikanerwala) since they were running new outlet in Delhi by using trademark registered with plaintiff. The court had allowed plaintiff’s application and the defendant was restrained by means of an ad interim injunction.
3. Cyber crime against government :
In this category crime is committed against government by using Internet facilities. Below are some offences that comes under this category :
a. Cyber Warfare : Cyber warfare is Internet-based conflict that involves politically motivated attacks on information and its related systems. It can disable official websites and networks, disrupt or even disable essential services such as Internet connection, steal or alter classified data such as sensex details on official website, and cripple financial systems such as blocking payment gateways.
For eg., National Security Agency (NSA) of US spying on large scale on many countries. This spying was blown up by former NSA agent Edward Snowden.
b. Cyber Terrorism : Cyber Terrorism is politically motivated use of computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear amongst people.
For eg., the recent example of 2015 dimapur mob lynching rape accused is due to outspread of message on chatting app called Whatsapp amount locals of Dimapur district in Nagaland.
4. Cyber crime against society at large :
An unlawful activities done with the intention of causing harm to the cyberspace that can affect entire society or large number of persons. Below are offences that comes under this category:
a. Online Gambling : The term gambling means involving in activities that allows chance for money. Online gambling is one of the most lucrative businesses that is growing today in the list of cyber crimes in India. It is also known as Internet gambling or iGambling. The cyber crime incident such as online lottery scam (particularly those of Nigeria lottery scam), online jobs i.e. work from remote location etc.
b. Cyber Trafficking : The term trafficking means dealing or involving in trade activities that is considered to be illegal and is prohibited by cybercrime law. Cyber Trafficking refers to unlawful activities carried out using computer and/or computer services. For eg., selling kidnapped child to human trafficking group using WhatsApp as medium.
What are laws pertaining to cyber crime in India?
Cyber crimes are increasing day-by-day due to extensive use of Internet by people. In order to deal with this Government of India (GoI) has imposed Information Technology Act, 2000 which was enacted with prime objective to create an enabling environment for commercial use of Information Technology.
There are several different offences related to Internet that have been considered to be punishable under the IT Act and the IPC (Indian Penal Code). An extract of this act is illustrated below :
Cyber crimes under the IT Act :
– Section 65 : Tampering with computer source documents
– Section 66 : Hacking with computer systems, data alteration
– Section 67 : Publishing obscene information
– Section 68 : Power of controller to give directions
– Section 69 : Directions of controller to a subscriber to extend facilities to decrypt information
– Section 70 : Unauthorised access to protected system
– Section 71 : Penalty for misrepresentation
– Section 72 : Breach of confidentiality and privacy
– Section 73 : Publishing false digital signature certificates
Note : Section 66 A has been removed.
There is one such incident related to this section happened recently. A 21-year-old Palghar (district in Maharashtra which is nearby to Virar) girl was arrested on 19 November, 2012 for posting a message on facebook that criticises the shutdown in mumbai due to funeral of Bal Thackeray (former chief of Shiv Sena political party in Maharashtra).
Also her friend was arrested for “liking” the post. Initially they were arrested under Section 295 A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that stands for hurting religious sentiments and Section 66 A of Information Technology Act, 2000. However, later a local court dropped all charges against the girls.
Cyber crimes under IPC and special laws :
– Section 503 IPC : Sending threatening messages by email
– Section 499 IPC : Sending defamatory messages by email
– Section 463 IPC : Forgery of electronic records
– Section 420 IPC : Fake websites, cyber frauds
– Section 463 IPC : Email spoofing
– Section 383 IPC : Web-Jacking
– Section 500 IPC : Sending abusive message by email
Cyber crimes under the special acts :
– NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act : Online sale of drugs
– Arms act : Online sales of arms and ammunitions
What to do when you become victim of cyber crime?
It happens that people who become victim of cyber crime doesn’t know what to do and even some people don’t report the crime thus allowing hacker to target next victim. If you become victim of cyber crime you can report to in-charge of cyber crime cell that falls under the jurisdiction where crime has occurred. Cyber crime cell is present in almost all cities across worldwide.
You can file cyber crime complaint alleging cyber crime with following mandatory documents :
1. Cyber crime that involves email abuse, email bombarding etc. should be provided with following documents :
– Extract the extended headers of abusive email and submit soft copy and hard copy of email.
Please note that hard copy submitted should tally exactly with soft copy and should mentioned date and time of email correctly. Never delete such email until cyber crime investigation is completed or the accused is brought to charges.
2. Cyber crime that involves hacking of system should be provided with following documents :
– Server logs (both soft copy and hard copy)
– Duplicate copy of defaced web page (both soft copy and hard copy) in case your website is defaced
– If your data is compromised maybe it on server or computer or on any network submit soft copy of original data and compromised data
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Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Harmful Types of Cyber Crime in India so just go through the link.