India, is a vast country with a population of over 138 crores it has millions of
internet users. There are over 572.2M active users of internet in India and
their monthly average data consumption is over 13GB. It all began after the
internet was made accessible to everyone, in fact the first cyber crime ever
witnessed was in 1820. There exists criticism that the world and the crimes were
digitalized in India since 2005.
Cyber crimes are the crimes which are operated by an electronic device, mostly
computers and smartphones. A cyber crime is done by different motives. These
motives include extortion, sexual exploitation, pranks, fraud, anger and
personal revenge. Total number of cases of cyber crime were alerting since 2012,
and in the year 2020, the cases recorded of personal revenge based cyber crimes
were 1,463, anger 814, fraud 30,075 respectively.
Types of cyber crimes
There are numerous types of cyber crimes and the motives behind them. Major
cyber crimes are listed here:
Legislative framework: Cyber crimes?
- DdoS attacks ( Distributed denial of service attacks):
This is an attack
where the attacker uses systems infected by malware and send a remote
instruction to the botnet to attack a specific server or system, the result in
overwhelming requests results in denial of service.
This is where the attacker sends a fraudulent message which reveals the private
information of the victim, like card details, ATM pin, by which he can use those
to gain money illegally.
This is the most common type of attack where the users receive thousands of spam
e-mails or messages regarding a fake advertisement or an unknown hacked website,
which asks for user's acceptance to enter into their computer.
This is the attack by which the attacker sends an attachment in some type of
media, clicking it results in the attacker entering into the computer's
information and the files saved on it.
- XSS: Cross-Site scripting:
Attack where attacks are a type of injection, in which malicious scripts are
injected into benign and trusted websites. These ttacks occur when an attacker
uses a website to send malicious code.
Cybersquatting is a type of attack in which the attacker creates websites with
popular trademarks which looks similar to the original website, the attacker
misleads and gains personal info of the users.
- Identity theft:
This is also a most common type of crimes happening, in which the attacker uses
personal, financial information of the victim in transactions, purchases
illegally, these are unauthorised and the victim doesn't have the knowledge of
it, till it is done.
There is no cyber law specifically designed and dedicated for cyber law,
although the cyber laws were included in the Information Technology Act of 2000.
There are certain sections for cyber crimes for which the convicts can be
punished for, and if it is not included in The IT Act of 2000, and if it is
included in Indian Penal Code,1860. Punishments will be awarded accordingly.
Need for a separate cyber law in India
The population of India is rising rapidly, the number of cyber crimes are also
increasing rapidly since the last 8 years, the need for separate law can be seen
here. As India is moving to be a digitalized nation, it is really important to
have a cyber law. Although they are included in other laws, there is really a
concern and requirement of the separate law of cyber security which should focus
more on the crimes committed and punishments given. And the IT Act is 20 year
old Act and was amended once in 2008.
Statistics of cyber crimes in India.
According to Norton Crime Report of 2012, there have been 66% adults who were
victims of cybercrimes.
In India, over 18.4K people were arrested to cyber related offences. [www.statistia.com/statistics]
The cyber crime adjudication had a steep rise of 68%, but there is 89% pendency
Are you safe online?
The question is always left unanswered, The answer is a No
from most of the
adults, as there are cyber attacks growing at a large pace, the sexual
exploitation crimes, phishing has seen a massive spike. The victims of these
crimes are not only the people who are not aware of the internet, the users of
software industry and the people working at computer sectors who have a
knowledge of the crimes were also the victims of these crimes.
Who may be behind these crimes?
Behind these crimes, there are mostly people who are:
- Insiders of a company:
People who dislike their jobs and have personal hatred against their
superiors and peers.
People who hack the computers of others for valuable data.
- Virus writers:
These are the people who create a virus which poses a serious threat to the
- Foreign Intelligence:
Sometimes, countries spy on others, may be for different intentions but the
crimes can have a motive of cyber wars.
Terrorists use these to formulate plans of assassinations and bombings.
These are the people who make these crimes, computer experts in the field of
hacking are also behind these crimes, they commit the acts for extortion.
Shreyal Singh v. Union of India
AIR 2015 SC 1523
In this case, they challenged the validity and definition of section 66A of the
The facts were that 2 women were arrested, for allegedly posting objectionable
comments on Facebook regarding complete shutdown of Mumbai. The honourable
Supreme Court held that the section 66A is constitutionally invalid, thereby
striking down the provisions for arrest of those who allegedly post offensive
content in the internet.
Christian Louboutin SAS v. Nakul Bajaj & Ors
(2018) 253 DLT 728
In this case, a luxury shoe company filed a suit against an e-commerce portal
for facilitating trademark infringement with seller for counterfeit goods, the
issue was whether the platform is can use plaintiff's logos, marks and images
which come under section 79 of the IT Act.
It has been held that it is an intermediary, and the website has the complete
control over the products sold, and also stated that an e-commerce platform's
active participation would insulate it from rights granted to intermediaries
under section 79 of the IT Act.
Shankar v. State
Crl. O.P. No. 6628 of 2010
The petitioner approached the Court, to quash the charge sheet filed against
him. The facts were that he secured unauthorized access to the protected system
of the Legal Advisor of Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) and
was charged under Sections 66, 70, and 72 of the IT Act. The Court observed that
the charge sheet filed cannot be quashed with respect to the law concerning
non-granting of sanction of prosecution under Section 72 of the IT Act.
Ecom ( E-commerce)
- The leading cause of ransomware infections worldwide are due to phishing or
- The second major cause and the motive behind it is personal hatred
against each other.
- The greed of a person is also a cause,
- An unachievable chase of desire of money.
- Jealousy which leads to cyber defamation attacks.
Electronic commerce or also known as Ecom, is buying and selling of products
over electronic systems. It works on technology such as supply chain marketing,
network marketing and automated data systems. Electronic commerce is mostly
using the World Wide Web, for buying and selling products online, it involves
ordering a product online. India has a user base of over 100million, it has seen
an increase due to the increasing speeds of internet, increase in literacy and
knowledge of internet, purchasing power and digitalization.
E commerce is divided into:
- E mails
- E tailing.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Crimes are mostly happening at Ecom section, they hack websites and steal info,
mislead buyers to buy a different product at higher price than usual. This Ecom
sector is where transactions happen at a large rate, so the verification of
these transactions is difficult.
Who is at higher risk?
Due to the unacceptable behaviour of the people, companies and individuals are
at equal risk. There can't be an answer for this question in particular. The
world has evolved into a money competitive world and people are not trustworthy
in here. Taking preventive measures might help to be safe from cyber crimes.
Where to report?
Indian government launched a website, called National Crime Reporting Portal
Where an individual who was a victim of the cyber crime can file a complaint.
Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) will thoroughly evaluate and review the
complaint and act upon it.
Or an individual can file a complaint in the nearest police station regarding
the crime and it is mandatory that the police should register the complaint and
take relevant information ( FIR) according to section 154 of Code of Criminal
Procedure and the victim can also approach Cyber Crime Cell of his area.
How can you be safe?
The Cyber crime department has given seven tips to be safe online.
Other important tips:
- Have antivirus and operating system up to date in your devices.
- Regularly backup your sensitive/important data at regular intervals.
- Be careful while opening suspicious web links/URLs.
- Keep your password/PIN confidential.
- Use strong passwords with a combination of special characters, numbers,
upper case and lower case.
- Keep changing your passwords periodically and do not use the same
password in multiple accounts.
- Use the latest security tools like firewall, anti-virus software to
protect your critical data and privacy.
Offences relating to cybercrime under IT Act of 2000
- Stop trusting spam e-mails
- Think before clicking a link
- Verify requests for private information
- Beware of accepting cookies from unknown sites
- Repair your systems at verified service centres
- Don't download attachments from unknown sites or e-mails.
- Don't share information to any person who says he is a representative or
employee of the bank on a call. Banks never ask for your CVV, OTP, Debit
- Don't trust lottery e-mails or messages.
Under the IT Act, sections 65 to 74 deal with offences and punishments reg. the
Some important sections:
- Section 65: This section deals with tampering with computer source
- Section 66 : It deals with hacking computer systems and data
- Section 66A: Deals with sending offensive messages through communication
- Section 66C: Deals with fraudulent use of electronic signature
- Section 66E: Deals with publishing obscene images
- Section 66F: Deals with cyber terrorism
- Section 67A: Publishing or transmitting sexually explicit material
- Section 67B: Abusing children online
- Section 72: Breach of confidentiality and privacy
Cyber security has gained a lot of importance in the recent years, it is
mandatory for people to be safe while surfing or purchasing online, trusting
emails should not be done in this era of cyber crimes. The only way to prevent
these crimes is by stopping and thinking before doing anything online. Internet
is a dangerous place with people committing crimes. People should take
preventive measures to try and stop these from tolerating. And the legislature
should consider making a new separate dedicated law for cyber law and cyber
security related issues.
- Shreyal Singh v. Union of India AIR 2015 SC 1523
- Christian Louboutin SAS v. Nakul Bajaj & Ors (2018) 253 DLT 728
- Shankar v. State Crl. O.P. No. 6628 of 2010
- Cyber Forensics: Dejey Murugan.
- Information Technology Act, 2000
Written By: Koushik Chittella