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CYBERCRIME: BRIEF ANALYSIS

Author: Ankitha Thangamma K.U, pursuing BBA LLB( hons) from JSS law college, Mysuru, Karnataka.


INTRODUCTION

Cybercrime is not an ancient sort of crime to the world evolved. Cybercrime is one of the prevailing crimes playing a most devastating role in Modern India. Cyber Crime can be defined as criminal activity that takes place on or over computers and technological devices or the internet recognised by Information Technology. It is not only the criminals who are causing enormous loss to society or to the country but are also able to conceal their identity to escape from the clutches of the law.


The term “cybercrime” is being dealt with in The Information Technology Act, 2000; does not define the term cybercrime.Although, there are rulings provided by some Indian Courts about the terminology of cybercrime. Whatsoever good internet does to the growing world it equally has dark sides too. Cybercrime is becoming an intractable evil having its roots in the misuse of growing dependence on computers in modern life.


ORIGIN OF CYBER CRIME

Cybercrime is one of the modern issues. The story of cybercrime and security extends in the world back to 1970s. One of the very first versions of the internet was introduced, called theARPANET. Which has paved way for emergence of cyber security. This computer worm was revolutionary at the time when computer and messages were bouncing. It had no malicious intent. But, set a trend that explored the internet’s vulnerabilities.


In the year 1980, the first ransomware attack was taken place. Again in the same year, Joseph Popp designed the AIDS Trojan to extort money, which was distributed on the floppy disk by door –to-door mail. An act was passed in the UK that made any unauthorised access illegal. Through this act, the foundation for cyber security protections was bought in the world which is amended even today. In 1992, the first cybercrime cases was seen which was Yahoo v. Akash Arora. [i]


DEFINITION

As mentioned in the introduction we have no particular definition provided in the Indian legislature. However, in general terms cybercrime means any illegal acts or activity taking place over the internet or through computers.

“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) divides cybercrime into three categories:

1. Crimes in which a computing device is the target – for example, to gain network access;

2. Crimes in which the computer is used as a weapon – for example, to launch a denial-of-service (DOS) attack; and

3. Crimes in which the computer is used as an accessory to a crime – for example, using a computer to store illegally obtained data.”[ii]

The convention of Europe Convention on cybercrime defines cybercrime as a ‘wide range of malicious activities, including the illegal interception of data, systems interferences that compromise network integrity and availability, and copyright infringement”.[iii]


CYBERCRIMINALS

Cybercrime is so rampant in day- to- day life that it is quite evident that any suspicious activity online may involve a cybercriminal. Before knowing the types, laws and preventive measures of cybercrime let us try to understand who cybercriminals are. Cybercriminals can be told as a person or a group of people who misuse technology to commit activities which are malicious on or over computers or any technological devices with the intention to obtain personal data through unauthorised access to generate profit


DOCTRINE OF MENS REA AND ACTUS REUS IN CYBERCRIME

As far as Traditional crime is concerned there are certain elements to constitute a crime. The elements of crime are human beings, mens rea, actus reus and injury. Mens rea means “guilty state of mind”. There must be omission or commission to constitute a crime. And as far as actus reus is concerned, it means the omission of an act, by omitting to do something wherein the accused who is committing the crime so knows that he is prevented by law to do so. Actus reus in cybercrime has become a challenge as the crime or the act is being committed in a sophisticated environment. The person committing the act may leave footmarks on the computers or the device through which the cybercrime is taken place nonetheless it becomes a formidable task to be proved in the courts as evidence play a key role in every aspect of justice.


TYPES OF CYBERCRIME

1. CYBERSTALKING: Stalking in general sense means following the behaviours, actions or routine of an individual which impregnates fear. Cyber stalking is an extension of physical stalking which is taken place on or over the internet. Cyber stalker is a person who allegedly harasses an individual for purposes such as money, for love or any sexual reasons. The sources through which cyberstalking can be done are chat rooms, messages, voice mails, emails and spams are all options.


The Indian Information technology Amended Act, 2008 addresses the concept of cyber stalking under section 66A which runs towards the punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services

2. IDENTITY THEFT: Identity theft can be told as one of the most widest spreading cybercrime in the modern world.Identity theft means any person who obtains unauthorised personal information to steal money and gain access to private and sensitive information.


In the case, of BANK NSP CASE, the bank management trainee was engaged and was about to get hitched. The couple had exchanged plenty of mails using the company’s computer. After a while, the couple broke up and the girl created false emails and started sending harassing emails to the boys’ clients which resulted in a loss of boys clients and the company sued the bank. The bank was held liable for sending mails through its server.

3. PHISHING: This type of cybercrime is where the cybercriminals try to get in touch with individuals directly through phone or emails which lead to earning trust. They usually act as customer service employees to collect information regarding your name, bank account number and employer’s name.

This is to trick people and reveal into revealing their identities and to have access to their personal information where they later sell these data to steal money.

4. SOFTWARE PIRACY: Software piracy is the act of stealing software programs with the intention of commercial or personal use. A person who carries out these acts of software piracy is called a software pirate. A software pirate need not necessarily be an expert or a professional in programming, but a person with sufficient computer knowledge can also commit software piracy.

5. DATA DIDDLING: Data diddling is a type of cybercrime in which the data is altered before or while entering into the computer. Any person committing this act or who is involved in alteration, receiving, transmitting the data can be called as a cybercriminal. The consequences of committing this crime could be severe.

6. RANSOMWARE: In this type of attack the system is hacked and is under hostage until the victim pays the money which is demanded. Once the payment is done then the attacker provides the necessary details to gain control over the computer so targeted.

PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING CYBERCRIME

The Ministry of Home Affairs has come up with a tremendous platform which is named as the NATIONAL CYBERCRIME REPORTING PORTAL. The victim can file complaint according to their convenience either online or offline. The cybercrime complaint need not be filed in the place where the victim is residing but can be filed in any cybercrime cell. The victim can file or lodge FIR at the police station under section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure.


PROCEDURE FOR FILING CYBERCRIME COMPLAINT: OFFLINE: Making a written complaint to the cybercrime has been one of the most feasible ways wherein the victims can write the complaint which shall address the Head of the cybercrime cell. Any complaint that is to be filed must have information pertaining to the victim i.e. name, contact details and mailing address. Other documents which are required to be attached depend upon the complaint. It is necessary to attach these documents both online as well as with offline complaint.[iv]


PROCEDURE FOR FILING CYBERCRIME: NATIONAL CYBER CRIME REPORTING PORTAL: With the emerging technology; the traditional methods are being overstepped. The cybercrime can be registered on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. Established by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the initiative of Government of India.


There are two types of complaint that can be registered on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal:

RELATED TO WOMEN OR CHILDREN: This may include any sexually explicit content that has been uploaded online, any material that contains explicit images of a child who is abused or exploited.

The complaint can be reported anonymously. The victim can follow the steps below

  • Firstly, visit the website https://cybercrime.gov.in/

  • Since this report is being filed anonymously the personal details of the victim need not be provided.

  • The above mentioned crimes are only to be filed anonymously.

  • The complaint must include with the suspects name and identity. It should also have details of the incident where and through which source it occurred. The residential address of the victim or where the crime was committed.[v]

The above mentioned, are the details and procedure that is to be mentioned while reporting the complaint by the victim. The victim can also attach additional documents and information that will be helpful for the investigation.

OTHER CYBERCRIMES: The victim or the complainant shall follow the following steps:

  • Visit the website of National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.

  • The complainant shall proceed to file the complaint on the portal by filling the necessary details.

  • The contact number which has been given with the complaint; the complainant will receive an OTP which will be valid for 30 days.

  • The complaint will be successfully registered.

ANALYSIS OF CYBERCRIME IN INDIA

The list of cybercrimes from the year, 2012 to 2021 are enlisted below;


​2021

​68,045

​2020

​50,035

​2019

​ 44,546

​2018

​27,248

​2017

​21,796

​2016

​12,317

​2015

​11,592

​2014

​9,622

​2013

​5,693

​2012

​3,477


As the above report, it is clear that there is an increase in the number of cybercrime from the year 2012-2021. The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) as per its latest data, reported 27,248


PREVENTIVE MEASURES

1. In order to prevent cybercrime make sure you do not disclose any of your personal information.

2. Always keep your computers updated with latest anti-virus software.

3. Do not send your credit card number or any of your bank details to any site that is not secured.

4. Using of firewalls may be helpful or beneficiary.

5. Keep a track of the site or apps which your children have been using in order to prevent any kind of harassment.

6. Make sure you have back up volume of data in order to prevent any kind of loses.

7. Using strong passwords.

8. Avoid opening of spam messages via emails or text messages.

These are few measures to be considered in order to prevent cybercrime.


LAWS GOVERNING CYBERCRIME

As mentioned earlier the laws relating to cybercrime is provided under theInformation Technology Act, 2000.

Section 65: Tampering with computer source documents.

It elaborates about the punishment and penalty for the crime committed by a person who knowingly or unknowingly destroys or alters any computer system. And the punishment for this offence is imprisonment for up to three years, or with both.

Section 66: Hacking with computer system.

Whoever commits an offence of hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 67: Publishing of information which is obscene in electronic form.

Section 71: Penalty for misrepresentation.

Whoever makes any misrepresentation shall be punished with imprisonment or fine which may extend up to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 72: Penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy.[vi]


As provided in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, any person who discloses any type of information, record, document or any material without consent shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend up to two years or with fine which may extend up to one lakh rupees or both.


The Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 also covers certain topics of cybercrime such as cybersecurity, cyber forensic and cyber terrorism.


CONCLUSION

Overall we have understood in depth that cyber crime is an intricate part of the modern day crime world and it is acknowledged that it doesn't show signs of reduction in the future. We have also understood that precautionary measures are necessary to protect ourselves from these crimes even though some cyber attacks may be beyond our control and also the due procedure to be followed to report them. Even though cyber crime investigation involves a lot of detailed investigation processes various police departments try solving them by raising cyber crime units and they are involved diligently in the investigation process

[i]https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1741869/ [ii]https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/cybercrime [iii]https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/cybercrime [iv]https://www.myadvo.in/blog/how-to-file-a-cyber-crime-complaint-with-cyber-cell-in-india/ [v]https://blog.ipleaders.in/procedure-for-filing-cybercrime-complaint-in-india/?amp=1 [vi]https://infosecawareness.in/cyber-laws-of-india