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An Elaborate View Of Cyber Crimes

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 crime
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:
  1. 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.
  2. Phishing:
    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.
  3. Spamming:
    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.
  4. Hacking:
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Cybersquatting:
    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.
  7. 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.

Legislative framework: Cyber crimes?
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. []
The cyber crime adjudication had a steep rise of 68%, but there is 89% pendency rate []

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.
  • Hackers:
    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 computers.
  • Foreign Intelligence:
    Sometimes, countries spy on others, may be for different intentions but the crimes can have a motive of cyber wars.
  • Terrorists:
    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 IT Act,2002.

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.

  • The leading cause of ransomware infections worldwide are due to phishing or spam emails.
  • 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.

Ecom ( E-commerce)
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:
  1. E mails
  2. E tailing.
  3. Demographics.
  4. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  5. Security.
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.
  • 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.

Other important tips:
  • 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 card number.
  • Don't trust lottery e-mails or messages.
Offences relating to cybercrime under IT Act of 2000
Under the IT Act, sections 65 to 74 deal with offences and punishments reg. the crime committed.

Some important sections:
  • Section 65: This section deals with tampering with computer source documents
  • Section 66 : It deals with hacking computer systems and data alterations
  • Section 66A: Deals with sending offensive messages through communication service
  • 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

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