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An Introduction To Cyber Crime

India as we all know is the second most populous country in the world with population around 138 cores and out of which millions and millions of internet subscribers. According to telecom regulatory Authority of India in March 2021 there are about 825.30 million active subscribers in India. With their average data consumption over 20 GB a month. This is all possible because of accessibility of internet and cheaper rates in India.

It is surprising to know that the first ever cybercrime was recorded in the year 1820. It is believed and argued that cyber or digital crime in India started since 2005.

What is cyber space?

Cyber space can be considered as a realm of interconnected computers or to be more specific, a network of electronic devices that is used to store transmit or modify data over the net. It generally involves a widespread network of electronic devices throughout the globe that works interconnected Lee to share information and as well to receive it they use TPC or IP protocol in order to perform communication and to have data over the air. Cyberspace is a virtual world in itself with millions of users.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrimes or digitalized crimes can be considered as the crimes that are committed using electronic devices namely smart phones or interconnected computers. There can be variety of motives to commit a cybercrime such as sexual exploitation prime fraud or even vengeance. With the time the number of cybercrime cases in India are as well increasing with an exponential number. This number is proportionate to the number of subscribers that are increasing day by day. The Ministry of home affairs reported around 51,000 cybercrime cases in the year 2020

Types of cybercrimes:

There are numerous types of cybercrimes, and are some of the most common forms of Cybercrimes:
  • Distributed denial of Service Attack
    This type of attack that is distributed denial of service attack is a malpractice and an attempt to disturb the normal inflow of the targeted server, service, and network by overcrowding the target with floods and floods of traffic. This attack causes inconvenience, hanging of servers, failure in showing results etc.
  • Phishing
    Fishing is a kind of cybercrime in which the victim or the target is approved by way of sending spam emails, telephonic calls, SMSes by someone who impersonated himself to be a legitimate person or organization in order to gain your personal information. They usually send such message that requires to fill in your details like, bank information or social medial passwords in order to access the information. This is done to gain unlawful access of your personal accounts and to commit frauds and withdraw money.
  • Spamming
    The act of spamming is a cybercrime which involves sending of unwonted and requested bulk message via email ID or two in individual. There are various types of spamming such as engine spamming, blogs spamming, ad spamming, social spamming etc. It disturbs the administrator of a website.
  • Hacking
    It is an act of first identifying a backdoor into others' computer in order to gain unlawful and unauthorized access to the data inside such computer. This back door is exploited to gain access to the computer.
  • Cross Site Scripting
    Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) assaults are a kind of instillation, in which mischievous scripts are introduced into otherwise trustworthy websites. XSS assaults happens while an attacker uses a web application to direct mischievous code, usually in the form of a browser side script, to a different end user. Failings that lead these assaults to thrive are fairly prevalent and occur wherever a web application uses input from a user within the output it creates without certifying or encrypting it.
  • Identity Theft
    This is an act of stealing personal information of a targeted individual and later using such information to impersonate him/her. With the help of the acquired information the offender pretends to be the targeted person in order to commit fraud, or violate laws being the victim.
  • Piracy Violation and IPR Infringement
    Most people download movies, games and other digital content from websites and providers such as TORRENT which is pirated material. Pirated material is such material which is not free to use for all and is distributed freely by third party and not the actual developer of such material. Similar offenders also use the trademark and goodwill of other famous companies in order to commit fraud against people.
  • Brute Force Attacks
    In this type of cyber security attack the assaulter tries and testes various types of alphabetic and numerical combination until it finds the correct password to the victims account.
  • Malware
    This can be considered as a wide term used for various types of viruses or program that are designed to access the information of the victim without his knowledge and consent.
  • Trojans
    Trojans can be considers as CURSE IN DISGUIES, as on face it may appear to be a useful software for the benefit of the user but in actuality is built to cause damage to the users device.

What are the Cybercrime Legislation in India?

Internet today is a necessity more than ever. Moreover, this pandemic situation due to Coronavirus has led almost every work online. With this online traffic more than ever cybercrimes has also skyrocketed. Some of the examples of this cybercrime is replicating Bank credit cards, KYC frauds dark web, pornography, cyber terrorism etc.

The cybercrimes are penalized under the information technology act 2000 and the Indian penal code. The IT act deals with cybercrime and electronic frauds. This act lays down definitions for various cybercrimes and as well the punishment for it. The main objective of this legislation is the protection of common man from cybercrimes and two ensure proper governance banking and commerce throughout the internet.

Some of the Crime under the Information Technology Act can be noted as follows:
Chapter XI of the information Technology Act deals with Offences and some of the common offences committed under this Act are as follows:

Section 65:
The section 65 of IT act deals with tampering of computer source documents. Which is penalized for three years of imprisonment and a fine that may go up to 2 lakhs. Considering an example for it a telecom company was held guilty for tampering with the serial number of mobile phones of a X company so that the mobile phone only works with their company SIM card.

Section 66:
Section 66 of IT act deals with hacking of computer systems and or unauthorized and unapproved use of computer network and system. This is penalized for a fine up to 5 lakh rupees and or imprisonment that may go up to 3 years. Considering an example for this : and if a hacker hacked into a network service provider and change the passcode of persons authorized to use our service so as to deny the axis such act is criminalized under section 66 of IT act.

Section 66C:
Section 66C of the IT act deals with identity theft by using password or biometrics even digital signatures to execute fraud on others and to impersonate the victim. Considering the example for this : the criminal via unfair means obtain the login ID and password of the victim of a e-commerce account or a bank account and transfers the money to his account this is illegal and unlawful. Such transfer is unauthorized and is criminalized in the IT act under section 66C.

Section 66D:
Section 66D Deals with cheating by personating using computer resource. It is a punishable offence with up to 3 years of imprisonment and fine me go up to 1 lakh. Consider the example as follows : a criminal impersonates himself to be someone else on the internet and induces the victim to transfer money maliciously can be found guilty under the IT act under section 66D.

Section 66E:
Section 66E of the IT act deals with capturing stills of unauthorized areas, making it public or sharing without the consent of the person is an offence under the IT act. The penalty for such an offence can be imprisonment up to 3 years or a fine that may go up to 2 lakh rupees.

Section 66F:
Section 66F of the IT act covers cyber terrorism. Cyber terrorism can be considered as politically driven agenda that uses information technology to cause severe anguish and widespread distress and anxiety in the society. This is an office if found guilty can be imprisoned for life. An example for this can be considered as follows , The stock exchanges of India that is BSE and NSE where is threatened that their cyber security will be shattered and a terror attack was to be apprehended upon these stock exchanges, the attacker was caught and was penalized under this section of IT act.

Section 67:
Section 67 of the IT act deals with publication of obscene material or nudity on E-platforms. Any person found guilty can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and a fine that is up to 10 lakh. Example for this: the accused leaked nude and obscene photos of the victim when the victim refused to marry the accused, he was held guilty under section 67 of the IT act.

Some of the development in the INDIAN PENAL CODE 1860, which led to recognition of crimes in the electronic mode as well are as follows-

Section 379:
Section 379 of the Indian penal code deals with punishment for theft. The punishment for such crime can be imprisonment up to 3 years and or fine. The enlarged view of this section as well includes the cybercrime committed using stolen devices or computers.

Section 420:
Section 420 of the Indian penal code deals with fraud or cheating. Fraud or cheating and maliciously causing someone to deliver a property. Some of the common cybercrimes such as fake websites, Ponzi schemes, and online misleading ads are punishable under the section of IPC. This crime can land you in jail for up to 7 years of imprisonment and or fine.

Section 463:
Section 463 of the Indian penal code deals with making or developing invalid documents and false electronic records this crime as well can land you in jail for a term of up to 7 years and/or fine.

Section 468:
Section 468 of the Indian penal code deals with forgery. The act of committing forgery with an intent of cheating will attract this section of IPC, an example for this is email spoofing and it is punishable offence with the quantum of imprisonment up to 7 years and or fine.

Some Cases:
  • Yahoo v. Akash Arora (1999) here the accused used the domain and trademark and permanent injunction was sought. It was one of the earliest case of cybercrime in India.
  • NASSCOM v. Ajay sood & ors. (2005) here the defendants were headhunters and recruiter used the name of NASSCOM (NASSCOM) of on the biggest and reputed software association) and sent various mails for fetching personal information from individuals. This was a case of Phishing.
  • State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti. (2004) here the accused used to send obscene and defamatory material to a divorced lady. He was convicted under section 67 of the IT Act.
  • Kalandi Charan Lenka v. The State of Odisha:
    here the accused anonymously sent various messages of damaging character, the accused stalked and created fake account of the victim. He morphed the victims face in compromising pictures. He was convicted under S.354 D of IPC for cyber stalking.

How to protect yourself from Cybercrimes?

Better Passcode for your Accounts:
When most of us talk about password we think of alphanumerical combination that is easily remembered by us and it is related to us in some or the other ways. Hence we go for major events in our life such as our birthday, marriage anniversary etc. These kind of memorable events of our life are easy to remember but are easily decoded as well. This may cause you seizure to your privacy and pose you at financial risk.

A password should be Lengthy enough so that it would be hard to guess and short enough that you should remember it, it should be a combination of alphabets both small and capital and a combination of numbers and symbol as well.

For example:
XaV1_ba₹B such a combination is difficult to decode and will keep you safe.
  • Keeping Software updated regularly:
    Keeping software updated regularly keeps your risks at bay. It is very important for one to keep the software up-to-date as it prevents and removes any loopholes and back those in the previous software and tightens the security. Any available and most likely used exploits are passed in every new software update that ensures your security and your privacy is not compromised, so it is very important for one to promptly keep software is up-to-date.
  • Lucrative pops = High risk:
    Cautious! This add looks so lucrative, but how am I getting this? How is it so relevant to my interest?

    When you browse through the internet you may find very attractive pop-ups and ads, but beware most of these ads are scams and are frauds. Internet uses AI based algorithm to show you are relevant ads and to make them look more appealing to you. Try to avoid such ads as they might be fraudulent and misleading. Many a times while you are browse internet there appear a pop-up that asks you to enter your ID and password to proceed forward this is a red flag you should clearly go back and not enter to such ads. Moreover nowadays fraudulent activities of sending emails that asks you to fill your ID password are very prevalent, Beware a genuine Business will never ask you to fill ID password through emails. One has to be vigilant while surfing the internet.
  • Use Good VPN service:
    Secure yourself with a good VPN service. VPN stands for virtual private network. What a VPN does is it encrypts all the information until it reaches its desired destination that means if any you are a victim of a cyber-assault, the assaulter won't be able to reach you. Using a VPN whenever you are at a public network will keep you safe from cyber-attacks. With a VPN you are ensured that you are not being tracked or traced and you can browse the internet safely.
  • Keeping Social Profiles not so Social:
    Though it may sound weird but, posting everything and anything on social media that is somewhat private to you may pose you to a security risk. Posting something like your birthdate, your dog's name, major events of your life, makes you predictable and makes your password easier to crack. Cyber attackers look for such information out of your social media accounts. Thus limiting the extent to which what you post on social media can help you safeguard yourself from cyber-attacks.
  • Using Good Anti-Virus Software:
    It is always a good idea to have antivirus and net protector installed in your PC. It is not only ensures that your PC is free of any virus but also regulates and protects your activities online. Antivirus constantly checks for any malicious codes or activities within your PC also keeping it updated regularly will ensure that your PC is free of any risk. Net protector on the other hand monitor your online activities and notify you if they sense any malicious or fraudulent activity or application that you might end up entering into. Both of these work together to make your online and offline experience flawless and free from cyber-attacks.

Do Not:
  1. Do not open attachments from spam Emails.
  2. Do not click on links from Spam Emails and untrusted websites.
  3. Do not give out personal information unless you are 100% sure.
Cyberspace is a huge pool to dive into, where you get to find life changing experience. Internet is a daily driver of everyone now more than ever. The subscribers are increasing daily and the average consumption of a common man is as well increasing day by day. With this increase in usage come increasing risks involved with the online surfing. To ensure safe and enjoyable experience over internet both the User and the Govt. plays a vital role.

The Subscriber of must be vigilant enough to be aware of the cybercrime that are prevalent in the cyberspace and be up to date. On the other hand Govt. makes apt legislations to ensure that no offender escapes free of its liability. In the Indian scenario this work of punishing an online offender is done by Information Technology Act 2000 and the Indian Penal Code 1860. These legislations ensure that no offenders are free of liability and thus punishing them accordingly.

With the growing usage will come growing exploitation, one has to be vigilant and the developmental trends in law will ensure that the legislation suffice the need of the time.

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