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Cyber Crime In India: An Overview

With the increasing use of computers in society, cybercrime has become a major issue. The advancement of technology has made man dependent on internet for all his needs. Internet has given man access to everything while sitting at one place. Social networking, online shopping, online studying, online jobs, every possible things that Man can think of can be done through the medium of internet.

The cyber crime is different from any other crime happening in the society.The reason being, it has no geographical boundaries and the cyber criminals are unknown. It is affecting all the stakeholders from government, business to citizens alike. In India cybercrime is increasing with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT). Therefore, this article tries to study abrief introduction of cybercrime, different types,Amendments,and analyse the cyber crime happening in India. Further he discusses some steps to overcome cybercrime in India.

Introduction:
What is cybercrime? Cybercrime is a broad term that is used to define criminal activity in which computers or computer networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity and include everything from electronic wracking to denial of service attacks. It is a general term that covers crimes like phishing, Credit card frauds, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, kidnapping children via chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, creation and or distribution of viruses, spam and so on.

It also covers that traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used to enable the illicit activity. Cyber crime is increasing day by day, nowadays it has become a new fashion to earn money by fraud calls or to take revenge through hacking other accounts.

Types Of Cybercrimes:

Cybercrime ranges variety of activities. Cyber crime can be basically divided into three major categories:
  1. Cyber crimes against persons like harassment occur in cyberspace or through the use of cyberspace.Harassment can be sexual, racial, religious, or other.
  2. Cyber crimes against property like computer wreckage (destruction of others' property), transmission ofharmful programs, unauthorized trespassing, unauthorized possession of computer information.
  3. Cyber crimes against government like Cyber terrorism

A. Crimes against persons are:
  • Cyber-Stalking:
    It means to create physical threat that creates fear to use the computer technology such as internet, e-mail, phones, text messages, webcam, websites or videos.
     
  • Dissemination of Obscene Material:
    It includes Indecent exposure/ Pornography (basically child pornography), hosting of web site containing these prohibited materials. These obscene matters may cause harm to the mind of the adolescent and tend to deprave or corrupt their mind.
     
  • Defamation:
    It is an act of imputing any person to lower down the dignity of the person by hacking his mail account and sending some mails with using vulgar language to unknown persons mail account.
     
  • Hacking:
    It means unauthorized control/access over computer system and act of hacking completelydestroys the whole data as well as computer programmes. Hackers usually hacks telecommunication and mobile network.
     
  • Cracking:
    It is one of the serious cyber crimes known till date .Cracking means that a stranger hasbroken into your computer systems without your knowledge and consent and has tampered withprecious confidential data and information.
     
  • E-Mail Spoofing:
    A spoofed e-mail may be said to be one, which misrepresents its origin. It shows itsorigin to be different from which actually it originates.
     
  • SMS Spoofing:
    Spoofing is a blocking through spam which means the unwanted uninvited messages.Wrongdoer steals mobile phone number of any person and sending SMS via internet and receiver gets the SMS from the mobile phone number of the victim. It is very serious cyber crime against any individual.
     
  • Carding:
    It means false ATM cards i.e. Debit and Credit cards used by criminals for their monetary benefits through withdrawing money from the victimís bank account mala-fidely. There is always unauthorized use of ATM cards in this type of cyber crimes.
     
  • Cheating & Fraud:
    It means the person who is doing the act of cyber crime i.e. stealing password and data storage has done it with having guilty mind which leads to fraud and cheating.
     
  • Child Pornography:
    It involves the use of computer networks to create, distribute, or access materials that sexually exploit underage children.
     
  • Assault by Threat:
    refers to threatening a person with fear for their lives or lives of their families through the use of a computer network i.e. E-mail, videos or phones.

B. Crimes against Property:
As there is rapid growth in the international trade where businesses and consumers are increasingly using computers to create, transmit and to store information in the electronic form instead of traditional paper documents.

There are certain offences which affects personís properties which are as follows:
  • Intellectual Property Crimes:
    Intellectual property consists of a bundle of rights. Any unlawful act by which the owner is deprived completely or partially of his rights is an offence. The common form of IPR violation may be said to be software piracy, infringement of copyright, trademark, patents, designs and service mark violation, theft of computer source code, etc.
     
  • Cyber Squatting:
    It means where two persons claim for the same Domain Name either by claiming that they had registered the name first on by right of using it before the other or using something similar to that previously. For example two similar names i.e. www.yahoo.com and www.yaahoo.com.
     
  • Cyber Vandalism:
    Vandalism means deliberately destroying or damaging property of another. Thus cyber vandalism means destroying or damaging the data when a network service is stopped or disrupted. It may include within its purview any kind of physical harm done to the computer of any person. These acts may take the form of the theft of a computer, some part of a computer or a peripheral attached to the computer.
     
  • Hacking Computer System:
    Hacktivism attacks those included Famous Twitter, blogging platform by unauthorized access/control over the computer. Due to the hacking activity there will be loss of data as well as computer. Also research especially indicates that those attacks were not mainly intended for financial gain too and to diminish the reputation of particular person or company.
     
  • Transmitting Virus:
    Viruses are programs that attach themselves to a computer or a file and then circulate themselves to other files and to other computers on a network. They usually affect the data on a computer, either by altering or deleting it. Worm attacks plays major role in affecting the computerize system of the individuals.
     
  • Cyber Trespass:
    It means to access someoneís computer without the right authorization of the owner and does not disturb, alter, misuse, or damage data or system by using wireless internet connection.
     
  • Internet Time Thefts:
    Basically, Internet time theft comes under hacking. It is the use by an unauthorized person, of the Internet hours paid for by another person. The person who gets access to someone elseís ISP user ID and password, either by hacking or by gaining access to it by illegal means, uses it to access the Internet without the other personís knowledge. You can identify time theft if your Internet time has to be recharged often, despite infrequent usage.

C. Cybercrimes against Government
There are certain offences done by group of persons intending to threaten the international governments by using internet facilities. It includes:
  • Cyber Terrorism:
    Cyber terrorism is a major burning issue in the domestic as well as global concern. The common form of these terrorist attacks on the Internet is by distributed denial of service attacks, hate websites and hate e-mails, attacks on sensitive computer networks etc. Cyber terrorism activities endanger the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
     
  • Cyber Warfare:
    It refers to politically motivated hacking to damage and spying. It is a form of information warfare sometimes seen as analogous to conventional warfare although this analogy is controversial for both its accuracy and its political motivation.
     
  • Distribution of pirated software:
    It means distributing pirated software from one computer to another intending to destroy the data and official records of the government.
     
  • Possession of Unauthorized Information:
    It is very easy to access any information by the terrorists with the aid of internet and to possess that information for political, religious, social, ideological objectives.

Analysis Of Cybercrimes In India:

India is the second largest online market in the world with over 560 million internet users, Ranked only behind China. And it is estimated that by 2023, there would be over 650 million internet users in the country. According to the latest national crime records bureau NCRB data, a total of 27, 248 cases of cybercrime where registered in India in 2018.

In Telangana, 1205 cyber crime cases where registered in the same year. According to FBIs report,India stands third among top 20 cybercrime victim. The national cyber crime reporting portal (cybercrime.gov.in) which was started last year by the central government received 33,152 complaints till now resulting in lodging of 790 FIRs. In fact, according to a 2017 report, Indian consumers had lost over 18 billion US dollars due to cyber crimes. In 2018, there were over 27,000 cases of cyber crimes recorded in the country, marking an increase of over 121% compare to the number of the cases as two years back.

Total number of cyber crimes reported in India from 2012-2018

Number of cyber crimes
2018 27,248
2017 21,796
2016 12,317
2015 11,592
2014 9,622
2013 5,693
2012 3,377
The above table clearly shows the increasing number of cybercrimes cases in India.The top 5 popular cyber crimes are-Phising scams, identity theft scams, online harassment, cyber stalking, invasion of privacy.

Origin Of Cyber Crime:

At the beginning of 1970s, criminal regularly committed crimes via telephone lines. The perpetrators were called Phreakers. Actually, there was no real cybercrime until the 1980s. One person had another persons computer to find, copy or manipulate personal data and information. The first person to be found guilty of cybercrime was Lan Murphy, also known as Captain Zap,and that happened in the year 1981.He had hacked the American telephone company to manipulate its internal clock,so that users could still make free calls at peak times.

Cyber Laws:

Cyber crimes are anew class of crimes which are increasing day by day due to extensive use of internet these days. To combat the crimes related to internet The Information Technology Act, 2000 was enacted with prime objective to create an enabling environment for commercial use of I.T. The IT Act specifies the acts which have been made punishable. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 has also been amended to take into its purview cyber crimes.

The various offenses related to internet which have been made punishable under the IT Act and the IPC are enumerated below:
  1. Cyber crimes under the IT Act:
    • Tampering with Computer source documents - Sec.65
    • Hacking with Computer systems, Data alteration - Sec.66
    • Publishing obscene information - Sec.67
    • Un-authorised access to protected system Sec.70
    • Breach of Confidentiality and Privacy - Sec.72
    • Publishing false digital signature certificates - Sec.73
       
  2. Cyber Crimes under IPC and Special Laws:
    • Sending threatening messages by email - Sec 503 IPC
    • Sending defamatory messages by email - Sec 499 IPC
    • Forgery of electronic records - Sec 463 IPC
    • Bogus websites, cyber frauds - Sec 420 IPC
    • Email spoofing - Sec 463 IPC
    • Web-Jacking - Sec. 383 IPC
    • E-Mail Abuse - Sec.500 IPC
       
  3. Cyber Crimes under the Special Acts:
    • Online sale of Drugs under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act
    • Online sale of Arms Arms Act

Steps Ton Prevent Cyber Crimes

  • Never disclose personal information publicly on websites. This is as good as disclosing oneís identity to a stranger in public place.
  • Always avoid sending any photograph online particularly to strangers and chat friends as there have been incidents of misuse of the photographs.
  • Never enter credit card number to any side that is not secured, to prevent its misuse.

Conclusion:
We are living in a digital age and cyberspace is not limited to oneís boundaries,rather it covers an entire world. As a result cybercrime is increasing day by day in all the countries including India. The biggest challenge relates to cybercrime being its dynamic nature because of the ongoing evolution of digital technology. As a result new cybercrime methods and techniques come into practice. Therefore cybercrime should be given as much importance as other crime happening in our society be it theft, rape, murder etc.

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