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Fundamentals of Cyber Crime

Nowadays we can't survive the Internet because we are severely addicted to the internet. No one can deny to this fact that the internet has not only made our lives better but smooth as well. Those tough days have gone where people waste hours in roaming around for shopping or standing in queue for bills. Now, they just have to go online and book their tickets or do online shopping from anywhere anytime and that too in less time.

Cyber crimes in India is emerging as a serious threat. Cyber/Internet related crimes have been on rise since the time internet started evolving. Primary reason for this was to extort money from unaware victims. This article is an attempt to provide a quick glimpse on cyber crimes in India.

The internet is beautiful and limitless! It allows information and knowledge based work to be located anywhere. One thing that is incredibly obvious is that bullying is on the rise, and being provided anonymously by the internet to bullies has added to the problem. With the rise in internet use, playground and workplace bullying have moved to the more anonymous cyber bully. The internet can change life for the worse.

Cyber crime is a type of crime that is committed in the cyber world.

Cyber crime gas not been defined under our Indian law, to tackle with these types of crimes, an act has been introduced which is known as the Information Technology Act 2000 or the IT Act 2000. IT Act provides legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. It also defines cyber crimes and penalties in a prescribed manner for them. Cyber Appellate Tribunal has been established to resolve disputes rising from this new law.

Cyber crime is emerging as a challenged for national and economic security. Many industries, institutions, private and public sector organizations are at significant risk.

Do you know that over the last ten years, cyber crimes rose 19 times and cyber crime arrests are nine times in India according to National Crime Records Bureau. Also, USA and China, India ranked third in malicious activity.

An alarming rate of 300% increase was noted. A lot of them go unregistered too. Also, Internet subscribers in India crossed 400 million ranks and 462 million by June 2016.
India's banking, financial services and insurance industry had the largest cyber security investment, amounting to over 500 million US dollars. This was estimated to go up to over 800 million dollars 2022.

Types Of Cyber Crimes

Unauthorized Access And Hacking

It means with out permission access to computer and network where as hacking means illegal intrusion into a computer system or network.


It is a sexual act to cause sexual excitement through pornography websites, magazines via computers and internet delivered on mobile.

Cyber Defamation

It is when a person sends email containing defamatory information to all of that personís friends.

Investment Frauds

It is an offering that uses false claims to solicit loans or investments that provides doe purchase, counterfeit securities etc.


It is an act of sending an email falsely to gather private information as an identity theft and ask to give personal information like password, credit card etc.

Cyber Terrorism

It is a phrase used to describe the use of internet based attacks in terrorist activities, including acts of deliberate, large scale disruption of computer networks, by the means of tools such as computer viruses.

Intellectual Property Crimes

These crimes include software piracy, copyright infringement, trademarks.

Why There Is Increase In Cyber Crimes Day By Day?

The primary reason has mostly been a lack of awareness. Injured party easily share confidential information about their credit/debit card such as card number, CVV, PIN, and OTP.
Injured party easily convinced by fake identity cards and documents shared by fraudsters in the case of job frauds.

Blackmailing is common among teenagers, victims share their personal photos/videos with their boyfriends/girlfriends without realising how it can be misused by them and exploited.

Injured party often prefer to stay silent and do not report the incident under the fear of what their parents or society would think of them in the case of revenge pornography cases
Lack of trust in the law enforcement agencies and competency of professionals and judiciary involved can become other reasons for rapid increase in cyber crimes.

As per NCRB reports, in the last five years, we have dealt with over 6000 cases crimes as they are increasing at rapid growth rate in India.

Need For Amendments In The Information Technology Act, 2000

On December 23, 2008, both houses of Parliament passed the IT (Amendment) Act 2008. The Act was informed on February 5, 2009, following the President's assent.
Sending offensive messages through communication services etc : Section 66A provides punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services.

These messages may be any information created, transmitted or received on a computer systems in the form of:
  • Text
  • Images
  • Audio
  • Video

The law targets messages that:
  • Are grossly offensive or menacing.
  • Providing false information designed to cause frustration, distress, coercion, threat, obstruction, etc.
  • It provides punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend two to three years and with fine for sending offensive messages through communication services etc.

But the Hon'ble Supreme Court declared section 66A as unconstitutional in itís entirety and against the freedom of speech and expression and struck it down in Shreya Singhal and others v. Union of India. Police in various states had misused this section to arrest the innocent individual for making critical comments on social and political issues on the networking sites. Publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form (Cyber pornography)

Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000 amended by Information Technology (Amendments) Act, 2008 deals with the publishing of information, which is obscene in electronic form. Under this act, person shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Judicial Decisions:
The Bank NSP Case
One of the leading cybercrime cases is the Bank NSP case is the one where a management trainee of the bank was engaged to be married. The couple exchanged many emails using the company computers. After some time the two broke up and the girl created fraudulent email ids such as "Indian bar associations" and sent emails to the boy's foreign clients. She used the bank computer to do this. The boy's company lost a large number of clients and took the bank to court. The bank was held liable for the emails sent using the bank's system. case
CEO of was arrested in December 2004 because a CD with objectionable material was being sold on the website. The CD was also being sold in the markets in Delhi. The Mumbai Police and the Delhi Police got into action. The CEO was later released on bail. This opened up the question as to what kind of distinction we draw between Internet Service Provider and Content Provider. The burden rests on the accused that he was the Service Provider and not the Content Provider.

Policies And Initiatives Taken By Indian Government

Several steps taken by government to prevent cyber security incidents which includes:
  • Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country
  • Issue of guidelines for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) regarding their key roles and responsibilities for securing applications / infrastructure and compliance.
  • Empanelment of security auditing organisations to support and audit implementation of Information Security Best Practices.

It is cleared from the previous studies and records that increase in technology leads to increase in cyber crime cases. People are mostly targeted and abused in the form of bullying, revenge porn, cyber stalking, online scams, government agencies can be hacked. By studying past events, we can learn from them and use that information efficiently to prevent cyber crimes. There is need to maintain balance between protecting citizens from crimes and infringing on their rights.

Will Internet remain the same way while becoming tougher on criminals? Only time will tell. Police officers should be given more advanced training on this subject. Judicial proceedings should be carried out on these matters. Apart from all the legal issues, something that is really relevant is that there should be an individual degree of understanding. Anything we can do is create a safe and reliable computing environment for everyone.


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