People now rely mainly on the internet to satisfy all of their needs as technology evolves. We can now access everything while sitting in one place thanks to the internet.
Everything imaginable can be done through the internet, including social networking, shopping online, file transfer, gaming, online schooling, and virtual jobs. The internet is used in almost every aspect of life. As the internet and its associated benefits gained popularity, so did the concept of cybercrime. With the increased reliance on the internet, various types of cybercrime have emerged. A few years ago, there was a lack of understanding about the crimes that could be committed over the internet, but today, in terms of cybercrime, India is not far behind other countries, where the rate of occurrence of cybercrime is also on the rise.
What is cyber-crime?
Cybercrime, which uses computers or computer networks as a tool, target, or setting for illegal activity, is a broad term that includes everything from electronic cracking to denial-of-service attacks.
It also includes traditional crimes that use networks or computers to facilitate criminal activity. Any railway can be stopped where it is, planes can be misdirected on their flight by sending out the wrong signals, any sensitive military data can fall into the hands of foreign nations, e-media can be blocked, and any system can be brought down in a matter of seconds by cybercrime.
The purpose of this article is to know the facts, types of cybercrime along with the threat it imposes on India. To start, it is necessary to define the criteria of the term "crime." In light of this, there is little doubt that "crime" is a relative phenomenon that is universal and that it has existed in almost all societies from ancient to modern times.
Every culture has developed its own definition of what constitutes criminal behaviour and conduct that is subject to punishment in accordance with the political community that rules the society, which is always influenced by the religious-social-political-economic values that are prevalent in that society. Since the beginning of time, these norms have had an impact on and helped define the behaviour that qualifies for "penal responsibility"
It's interesting to note that as information technology has developed, so too has the definition of crime and the types of criminals who commit it. The definition of crime in Indian society has been influenced by religious interpretation, especially in earlier times. Throughout this time, religion had a complete and total hegemony.
All social and political actions, including so-called "crime," are believed to have taken place as a result of a supernatural force. The Demonological Theory of Crime Causation was developed during this time. During the Middle Ages, there were renaissance and restoration periods, which gave "crime" a new and a revitalising look Utilitarianism, a positive outlook, analytical thinking, and the principles of Natural justice, Lessie Fairy's ideas, hedonistic philosophy, and pain and pleasure theory all helped to expand the field of criminal justice research. The later era helped to pave the way for the scientific and industrial revolutions, during which rational thought ruled.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 both apply to cybercrimes in India. The Information Technology Act of 2000 is the law that addresses matters relating to online crime and electronic commerce. The Act was modified in 2008 to include a definition and punishment for cybercrime, though. Additionally, changes were made to the Reserve Bank of India Act and the Indian Penal Code 1860.
Types of cyber crime
It's possible that the term "cyberbullying" is a bit misleading. Contrary to the traditional definition of bullying, which calls for a disparity in strength or power between the bully and the target, many of the actions that adults would classify as cyberbullying take place between individuals of comparable status. In a cyberbullying scenario, it can also be challenging to tell the perpetrator from the victim clearly. Last but not least, much of the abusive behaviour that occurs in offline relationships may also occur in online settings or be enabled by technology.
Cyberstalking is the process of inappropriate and persistent online contact. Any number of incidents, such as threats, libel, defamation, sexual harassment, or other attempts to intimidate or control their target, may be involved. In the hunt for resources and reputation, Cyberstalking is a serious predatory behaviour that evolved out of the need for control. Originally, the term "stalking" referred to non-electronic means of intrusion that involved behavioural invasion (e.g., physical surveillance, mailing letters).
3. Cyber grooming:
Cybergrooming is when a person (often an adult) befriends a child online and develops an emotional bond with the child with the purpose of sexually abusing, exploiting, or trafficking the child in the future. The main objectives of cyber grooming are to gain the child's trust, obtain intimate and personal information from the child (often sexual in nature—such as sexual conversations, pictures, or videos), and use that information as leverage to threaten and coerce the child into providing more inappropriate material
4. Child pornography or child sexually abusive material:
CSAM is defined as imagery or videos depicting a child engaging in or being depicted as engaging in explicit sexual activity. The publication or transmission of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts in an electronic form is punishable under Section 67(B) of the Information Technology Act.
5. Online sextortion:
Sextortion occurs when a fraudster threatens to publish your private and sensitive information online if you do not provide sexual images, sexual favours, or money.
If you do not comply with their demands, the perpetrator may threaten to harm your friends or relatives by using information obtained from electronic devices. Sextortion is a type of online abuse in which a cybercriminal seduces a victim into an intimate video or audio chat with the intent of forcing them to pose nude or obtaining intimate images from them. The cybercriminal may use various channels, including instant messaging apps, SMS, online dating apps, social media platforms, pornographic websites, etc. to do this. Later, the fraudsters use this information to threaten, blackmail, exploit, and harass the victims.
Phishing is a form of social engineering attack that is frequently employed to steal user information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers.
It happens when an attacker deceives a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message by disguising themselves as a reliable source. Next, a malicious link is tricked into being clicked by the recipient. This can cause malware to be installed on the recipient's computer, a ransomware attack to lock it down, or the disclosure of private data. An assault can have disastrous consequences. For people, this includes theft of money or identity, as well as unauthorised purchases.
Vishing is a type of cybercrime that involves the use of a phone to steal personal and confidential information from victims. Cyber criminals use sophisticated social engineering tactics to persuade victims to act, providing private information and access to bank accounts.
This is known as voice phishing. Vishing relies on convincing victims that responding to the caller is the right thing to do. The caller will frequently pretend to be from the government, tax department, police, or the victim's bank. Cyber criminals use threats and persuasive language to make victims feel as if they have no choice but to provide the requested information. Some cyber criminals frame their conversation as assisting the victim in avoiding criminal charges. Another common tactic is to leave threatening voicemails instructing the recipient to call back immediately or risk being arrested, having their bank accounts closed, or worse.
8. Credit Card or Debit Card Fraud:
Unauthorized purchases or withdrawals from another person's card are made in credit card (or debit card) fraud in order to access their funds. Credit/debit card fraud is the use of a customer's account to make unauthorized purchases or cash withdrawals. When a criminal has access to the cardholder's debit/credit number or personal identification number, fraudulent activity takes place (PIN). Hackers or dishonest employees may obtain your information.
A group of infected computers is referred to as a botnet.
A malicious piece of software that receives commands from a master is known as a bot. The term "bot" originated on the outdated chat service Internet Relay Chat (IRC), where users could create so-called "bots" that could maintain channels, provide amusing remarks upon request, etc. The original botnets were created as IRC bots straight away. A computer can get infected when a worm or virus installs the bot, or it can get infected when a user visits a malicious website that takes advantage of a browser flaw.
Laws governing Cyber Crime in India
In order to commit an illegal act, a computer must be either used as a tool, a target, or both. Cybercrimes may include traditional crimes like theft, fraud, forgery, defamation, and mischief, all of which are punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
A number of modern offences that have developed as a result of computer abuse are addressed by the Information Technology Act of 2000. The Sections of these Acts were amended in order to bring them into compliance with modern technology.
The following Act, Rules, and regulations are included under cyber laws.
1. Information Technology Act, 2000
2. Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules, 2000
3. Information Technology (Security Procedure) Rules, 2004
4. Information Technology (Certifying Authority) Regulations, 2001
5. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
6. The Bankers Books Evidence Act, 1891
Prevention of cyber crimes
Every internet user should take a few simple safety measures. Here are some fundamental safety measures:
a) Use a full-service internet security suite. For example, Norton Security offers real-time protection against viruses, ransomware, and other types of malwares as well as helps safeguard your private and financial information online.
b) Use secure passwords.
c) Maintain software updates.
d) Control your social media privacy settings.
e) Protect your e-identity
f) Use strong passwords
Importance of cyber laws in India
The expansion of electronic commerce has increased the demand for dynamic and functional regulatory frameworks that would fortify the existing legal framework, which is essential to the success of electronic commerce.
All of these governing frameworks and legal systems fall under the purview of cyber law. Because it affects almost all aspects of transactions and activities involving the internet, World Wide Web, and cyberspace, cyber law is crucial. In cyberspace, every action and response has a legal and cyber legal component.
To prosecute those who engage in illegal online activity is a key objective of any cyber law. Cyber laws are necessary in order to effectively prosecute crimes of this nature, including cyber abuse, attacks on other websites or people, record theft, disruption of every company's online workflow, and other criminal activities.
When a person violates a cyberlaw, action is taken against them based on where they are located and how they were involved in the violation.
The most crucial action is prosecuting or expelling hackers because most cybercrimes fall outside the purview of felony charges, which are not crimes. The use of the internet is also accompanied by security worries, and there are even some evil people who want to get unauthorised access to the computer system and use it to commit fraud in the future. Therefore, all regulations and cyber laws are created to safeguard online businesses and users from unauthorized intrusions and malicious cyberattacks. There are numerous ways for people or organisations to take legal action against people who commit crimes or violate cyber laws.
Need for cyber laws in India
All stock-related transactions are currently carried out in demat format, so anyone involved in these transactions is protected by cyber law in the event of any fraudulent transactions.
Electronic records are used by almost all Indian businesses. A business might require this law to stop the misuse of such data. Due to the quick advancement of technology, many official documents, including income tax returns and service tax returns, are now filled out electronically. Anyone can abuse those forms by hacking into government portal websites, so cyberlaw is necessary in order to pursue legal action.
Credit cards and debit cards are used to make purchases today. Unfortunately, some online scams that use credit and debit cards clone these cards. It is possible for someone to obtain your information online by using a credit or debit card cloning technique. Cyberlaw can stop this because violators who attempt to use an electronic password dishonestly or fraudulently face up to three years in prison and a fine of one lakh rupees under Section 66C of the IT Act.
The common method of conducting business transactions is through electronic contracts and digital signatures. Anyone involved with digital signatures or electronic contracts has the ability to easily abuse them. Instances of this nature are protected from cyberlaw.
The dark web is displaying disturbing elements as a result of technological advancement. Intelligent people have turned the Internet into a tool for evil deeds that they use for these purposes and occasionally for financial gain.
Cyber laws are therefore relevant at this time and important for every citizen. Some activities are categorised as grey activities because they cannot be regulated by law because cyberspace is a very challenging area to deal with. With people relying more and more on technology, both in India and around the world, cyber laws need to be updated and improved on a regular basis to keep up. As a result of the pandemic, there has also been a sizable rise in the number of remote workers, which has increased the need for application security. Legislators must take extra precautions to stay one step ahead of the imposters so they can take action against them as soon as they appear. If lawmakers, internet service providers, banks, online retailers, and other intermediaries cooperate, it can be stopped. Notwithstanding, the decision to take part in the fight against cybercrime ultimately rests with the users. The only way for the development of online safety and resilience to occur is by taking into account these stakeholders' actions and ensuring they adhere to the rules of cyberspace.
This article is written by Priyal Shah of University of Mumbai.