Cyber crime

What is cybercrime?

Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cybercrime. The term “cyber-crime” is not defined under the Information Technology Act, 2000. In simple terms cybercrime would be “unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both”. It is also known as computer crime, e-crime and electronic crime.

What are the various types of cyber-crimes?

a)     Crime against government such as cyber terrorism.

b)     Crime against persons such as cyber pornography, cyberstalking, cyber defamation.

c)     Crime against property such as online gambling, intellectual property infringement, phishing, credit card frauds.

What is an I.P address?

The word I.P stands for Internet Protocol Address. It is a unique number consisting of four parts separated by dots, e.g. 151.164.1.6.Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number, if a machine does not have an IP number; it is not really on the Internet. The IP address is just like any telephone number which identifies a particular computer on the Internet.

What is Cyber squatting?

Cybersquatting is the practice by means of which a person or legal entity books up the trade mark, business name or service mark of another as his own domain name for the purpose of holding onto it and thereafter selling the same domain name to the other person for valuable premium and consideration. Cyber squatters book up domain names of important brands in the hope of earning quick millions.

What is Cyber Terrorism?

Cyber Terrorism denotes unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, network and information stored therein to intimidate or coerce a government or its people for propagating hidden political or unlawful social and religious motives. These attacks could result in violence against persons or property or cause public unrest. Cyberterrorism can include direct attacks on networks, computer systems, computer programs, and data, which may result in potentially disastrous consequences like shutting down vital infrastructure facilities such as power stations. Nearly every state has statutes banning hacking and unauthorized access, and at least sixteen states ban unleashing harmful computer viruses and contaminants. In India, Cyberterrorism has a stringent punishment of imprisonment of ten years or life imprisonment as per the IT Act,2000.

How does one combat Child Pornography?

With the advent of internet pornography, particularly child pornography is become a major problem faced by nations. Many countries have attempted legislative measures to control this problem for example Section 67 of the IT Act makes publishing of any obscene information online as a punishable offence. There is Section 67B in the IT Act, 2000 to combat Child pornography that prescribes punishment of 5 years and fine of INR 10 lacs.

What is Computer Forgery and Counterfeiting?

Offences of computer forgery and counterfeiting have become rampant as it is very easy to counterfeit a document like birth certificate and use the same to perpetuate any crime. The authenticity of electronic documents hence needs to be safeguarded by making forgery with the help of computers abs explicit offence punishable by law.

What is financial crime and what are the modes of committing such crime?            

Financial Crimes are defined as a crime against property, involving the unlawful conversion of the ownership of property (belonging to one person) to one’s own personal use and benefit. There are many different ways that these crimes can be committed, for instance by mail, fax, telephone and the Internet. By using social engineering techniques or sophisticated technical methods such as “phishing”, fraudsters are able to plunder bank accounts across the world. Victims range from individuals to institutions, corporations, governments, and entire economies.

Is hacking a Cybercrime?

In simple terms it means an illegal intrusion into a computer system and/or network. Some hackers hack for personal monetary gains, such as to stealing the credit card information, transferring money from various bank accounts to their own account followed by withdrawal of money. The offence is punishable under Section 66 of the IT Act,2000.

What is cyber defamation?

E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information.

How to report a Cybercrime?

The application with the redressal should be addressed to the head of cyber crime investigation cell or  In case of an emergency you can directly contact your local police station.

  • Your name.
  • Your mailing address
  • Your telephone number,
  • Specific details on how the offence was committed, along with the names and addresses of suspects and any other relevant information necessary.

Here are 5 of the top cybercrimes affecting businesses and individuals in 2022:

  • Phishing Scams.
  • Website Spoofing.
  • Ransomware.
  • Malware.
  • IOT Hacking.

 

Cybercrime ranges variety of activities. Cybercrime can be basically divided into three major categories:

  1. Cybercrimes against persons like harassment occur in cyberspace or through the use of cyberspace. Harassment can be sexual, racial, religious, or other.
  2. Cybercrimes against property like computer wreckage (destruction of others' property), transmission of harmful programs, unauthorized trespassing, unauthorized possession of computer information.
  3. Cybercrimes 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 completely destroys 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 has broken into your computer systems without your knowledge and     consent and has tampered with precious confidential data and information.
         
  • E-Mail Spoofing:
        A spoofed e-mail may be said to be one, which misrepresents its origin. It shows its origin 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 victim's 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 person or properties which are as follows:

  • Intellectual Property Crimes:
        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.vakilpro and www.vakilproo.com.
         
  • Cyber Vandalism:
        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:
        Due to the hacking activity there will be loss of data as well as computer with the sole intention of defaming the person and for financial gain.  
  • 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 someone 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 else 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 person knowledge. You can identify time theft if your Internet time must be recharged often, despite infrequent usage.

Who can file appeal to cyber appellate tribunal, Bangaluru?

Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), a person not satisfied with the Controller or Adjudicating Officer's order can appeal to the Cyber Appellate Tribunal having jurisdiction in the matter.

Who handle cyber crime in India?

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is the national nodal agency established by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, for responding to computer security incidents & securing the Indian cyberspace.

Who investigates cyber-crime in India?

National Cybercrime Training Centre (NCTC)

Is cyber crime bailable in India?

It is bailable other than offences under section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), section 468 (forgery for cheating), section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), section 378 (theft) and section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant,

What is the time limit for filing appeal against the order of cyber Appellate Tribunal?

Any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court within sixty days from the date of communication of the decision or order of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal to him on any question off act or law arising out of such order.

What happens after cybercrime complaint?

It really depends upon what type of offence is in the complaint. For the police to act, they will have to register an FIR after which an investigation is done. If police do not register an FIR, then we can go to the court and get it registered under code of criminal procedure.

Can Cyber cell read WhatsApp messages?

Yes, it can be recovered if you activate your whatsapp chat backup with your Google drive account. If you didn't activated then cyber expert would be recover from encryption of your whatsapp data and decrypted your all chat.

 

Relevant cases

Shreya Singhal v. UOI

Two women were arrested under Section 66A of the IT Act after they posted allegedly offensive and objectionable comments on Facebook concerning the complete shutdown of Mumbai after the demise of a political leader. Section 66A of the IT Act provides punishment if any person using a computer resource or communication, such information which is offensive, false, or causes annoyance, inconvenience, danger, insult, hatred, injury, or ill will. The Supreme Court based its decision on three concepts namely: discussion, advocacy, and incitement. It observed that mere discussion or even advocacy of a cause, no matter how unpopular, is at the heart of the freedom of speech and expression.

Syed Asifuddin and Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh and Anr.

Telephone handset is covered under the ambit of “computer” as defined under Section2(1)(i) of the IT Act.

 

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