CYBERCRIME AND CYBER TERRORISM

INTRODUCTION

Cybercrime is an intrusion on data about people around the world, governments or any associations. Even if the attacks do not take place on a real body, they take place on an individual or corporate constructive body.

The menace posed by different types of cybercrime advances to intensify in density and intricacy. According to a research firm CyberEdge Group, ‘As many as 78% of organizations globally, and 76% of organizations in the United States, are hacked by successful cyber-attacks. Cybercrime takes place in many different patterns such as hacking, malware, software piracy, identity theft etc. Weak cyber-security can result in huge costs to organisations and pose many threats such as confidentiality threats, a threat to communal safety etc. There are considerable cyber-attacks every day. According to Norton Cyber Security Insights Report 2017, an analysis was aimed at 20 countries around the world and the result was that 978 million people became victims of criminal activities carried out in the automated world.

Maximum successful attacks were due to disproportionate action by victims caused by frivolous access to digital technologies and a generic absence of consciousness of the web.

Cyber Terrorism are attacks on a computer structure, data stores and systems that are used for diverse methods and many functions. Government agencies like the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) and CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in the prior have identified numerous cyber attacks and cyber crimes through terrorist associations. Cyber terrorism is more destructive than a typical cybercrime. In most cases, the criminals target military power, banking sectors, and air traffic control for composing dismay or for political gain.


DEFINITION OF CYBERCRIME AND CYBER TERRORISM

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”), the term cybercrime refers to any illegal activity for which a computer is used as its primary means of commission, transmission, or storage.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), a Cyber Terrorism attack is defined as a cybercrime that may be used intentionally to cause harm to people on large scale using computer programs and spyware.


CYBERCRIME

In a commonplace, cybercrime is defined as “Any illegal action where a computer or computer network is used to carry out or aid the act of crime. These illegal acts are particularly committed with the intent of making cash through duress or persuasion or piracy of data and trading them to inadmissible parties or opponent parties. These crimes are also done for other confidential reasons and political reasons.


THE HISTORY OF CYBERCRIME

The history and progression of cybercrime are simple to record with the progression of the Internet itself.

The early crimes were of course clean hacks to steal data from local systems but as the Internet became more based so were the attacks.


The first huge wave of cybercrime came with the propagation of emails during the 80s. It approved for a host of scams or malware to be delivered to your inbox.

The later outbreak in the cybercrime history record came in the 90s with the upgradation of web browsers. Viruses were delivered through the Internet network whenever suspicious websites were visited.

Cybercrime commenced to take off in the 200s when social networking sites came into our lives. The upsurge of people inserting all their profile information created a flow of personal information and a surge of identity theft.


The recent wave is the formulation of a global criminal industry totalling nearly half a trillion dollars yearly.


TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES

Cybercrimes can be branched into two types:

1. Those crimes that cause meticulous damage;

2. Those that cause inadvertent damages

There are various forms of cybercrimes again committed over contrasting measures of technology. Technology advancement in society is making lives easier and more chances for lawbreakers to commit cybercrime. Cybercrimes are becoming an extensive peril these days. Cybercrimes take place in multiple forms and it is indirectly becoming tenacious to battle. Common forms of cybercrimes are the following:


1. Hacking: Hacking is the process of crime committed by discerning the fragility of the network systems of computers for approaching the information in the systems. Computers store a huge amount of personal data of a country, an individual or an organisation. Hackers commit such crimes by collecting a person’s information from their computer after their knowledge and using it for financial gains.

2. Identity Theft: It is a misdemeanour committed through which a person’s personal identification specifics are stolen to emulate that of the real person. Identity theft is of two types, namely ‘true to name theft’ and ‘account takeover theft’. True name theft is when the lawbreaker embezzles personal details for the desire of creating a new account on that name such as the creation of a bank account etc. whereas account takeover is when the lawbreaker utilizes the stolen personal details to get access to the existing account.

Phishing: Phishing is the approach of attacking private information utilizing ambiguous emails or websites.


STATISTICS OF CYBERCRIME

The risk of cyberattacks has heightened considerably as human beings are much more reliant on digital technology to live, work and play.

According to the studies conducted by Comparitech, more than 71 million people are victims of cybercrime each year. Due to this healthcare associations, financial institutions and people in the cybersecurity industry have begun to find actions to reduce the danger of successful cyberattacks.


Cyberattacks have become more common in the world. Studies conducted by the University of Maryland found that more than 2200 cyber attacks occur every day. Someone is the victim of phishing, data breach, or other cybercrime every 39 seconds and more than 800,000 people experience ransomware attacks or data security breaches each year.


i. Phishing Attacks Statistics: According to the sources of CSO Online, 85% of phishing arrangements aim for login information, including email addresses, usernames and passwords. Due to this, 20% of data breaches begin with stolen information which makes it difficult for an individual to login into certain websites.

ii. Malware Statistics: According to the sources of Statista, Sift etc, hackers use 678 million types of different malware to affect computers throughout the world. On average, a malware attack costs a company over $2 million.

iii. Ransomware Statistics: According to various sources such as SonicWall, and TechJury, more than 700 million ransomware attack attempts happened throughout 2021.


EFFECTS OF CYBERCRIME

Cybercrime is a criminal action involving devices and networks. Cybercrime has various consequences on production, human resources, investment activities etc.

Weak cyber security can cause inexpensive costs to business organisations and pose privacy and national security risks. The effects of cybercrime are the following:

1. Loss of Revenue: The unfavourable result of the cyberattack is an abrupt drop in funds. Business companies lose monetary funds for many reasons in the course of limited operations. This loss may be caused by an intruder who gains sensitive financial information, using it.

2. Wasted time: The later consequence of cybercrime is an atrophied time when personal data must commit a maximal section of their day handling such occurrences.

3. Loss of Data: For example: If there is a ransomware attack on a computer device, the applicant or staff may not be able to access any data and the data cannot be restored even if a ransom is paid.


WAYS TO TACKLE CYBERCRIME

There are a few ways to avoid cybercrimes are the following:

1. By using strong passwords: Enduring different password and username combinations for each account and combat the craving to write them down. Weak passwords can easily be known by hackers.

2. Keep your social media accounts private: It is advisable to set all our social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook private.

3. Protect your storage data: Protect your storage data using encoded diplomatic files.

4. Calling the legitimate individual for help: Try not to hesitate if you are the victim. If you come across illicit online content such as child exploitation or identity theft or commercial scam, just like any other crime, report this matter to your nearest police station.


CYBER TERRORISM

According to the researchers Jordan Plotnek and Jill Slay, Cyber terrorism is an aimed attack or intimidation such as an attack by non-state actors contemplating using a computer network to cause physical, psychological and political etc damages.

The motive of cybercriminals is to activate fear or intimidate a government or non-government bodies to operate in a way that furthers the criminals’ social, financial or ideological aim.

A cyber terrorism taxonomy includes six elements:

● An actor or actors with three unique attributes: nonstate, terrorist, and clandestine

● A motive, which may be ideological, social, economic, or political

● An intent to induce or coerce some action, effect change, further objectives, or cause interference

● The means to commit the act, which includes using a computer and network to access cyberspace and cross borders to commit acts of cyber warfare or crimes, including cyberattacks and threats of attacks

● An effect, most commonly violence, service disruptions, physical damages, psychosocial impacts, economic damages, or data breaches

● A target, most commonly civilians, information and communication technology (ICT), data sources, government agencies, non-government organizations, or physical infrastructure.[1]


A. History of Cyber Terrorism

Cyber terrorism began as early as the year 1986. This comprehensive challenge started after the invention of the internet. The online public has been growing ever since at a high rate.

This has regulated numerous economic, social and terrorism opportunities. (Rhodes, 2011)

On any occasion when cyber terrorist groups want to commit a crime, they construct a virus that they use to hack into their targeted websites. Ingenuous users click on pop-ups that emerge on their browsers. This grants the terrorists to approach those sites and finish their plans. Separately from using pop-ups, cyber terrorists also practice other trickeries to hack into online accounts on social interacting sites and send abhorrence messages that can lurk the safety of a nation. The frequently hacked social networking sites are Facebook and Twitter. The two sites have many users because people prefer them for online communication (Alex, 2012)


B. STATISTICS OF CYBER TERRORISM

A survey conducted by the Science Applications International Corp.

In 1996 found that 40 major corporations reported losing over $800 million to computer break-ins. An FBI survey of 428 government, corporate and university sites found that over 40% reported having been broken into at least once in the last year. One-third said that they had been broken into over the Internet. Another survey found that the Pentagon's systems that contain sensitive, but unclassified information, had been accessed via networks illegally 250,000 times and only 150 of the intrusions were detected. The FBI estimates that U.S. businesses lose $138 million every year to hackers. According to the CIA in the past three years, government systems have illegally been entered 250,000 times. (Heidari, 2010)


C. EFFECTS OF CYBER TERRORISM

Technology is an essential part of our lives. This also means that it is used as a weapon by terrorists.

The computers have been hijacked by terrorists to carry out their plan. Terrorists can use the internet as a weapon because the internet is the main source of information and communication in today’s world.

For example, they can use social media to spread hate messages that could lead to fear, panic, and chaos. They can infiltrate computer systems since they often have the necessary know-how. They can steal confidential data from a company such as a customer’s credit card numbers or other personal information which might hurt many people in one attack. (AssignmentGuru, n.d.)



CYBERCRIME LAWS IN INDIA

When it comes to cybersecurity, there are five main types of laws that need to be followed. As India becomes increasingly connected to the internet, cyber laws are becoming increasingly important.

Cyberspace is governed by strict laws that dictate how information, software, and electronic commerce can be used. Financial transactions are also monitored closely in the digital world.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, 2000

“to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out utilizing electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as electronic methods of communication and storage of information, to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”[2]

The Act says that an electronic acceptance of a contract is valid unless the parties have agreed to something else. This acceptance will have the same legal effects as if the contract was signed in person. The Act is designed to help promote and develop an environment that is conducive to the successful implementation of electronic commerce.


SECTION 292 OF IPC

The purpose of this section was to address the sale of obscene materials, however, in this digital age, it has evolved to deal with various cybercrimes as well. A manner in which obscene material or sexually explicit acts or exploits of children are published or transmitted electronically is also governed by this provision.

The penalty for such acts is imprisonment and fines up to 2 years and Rs. 2000, respectively. The punishment for any of the above crimes may be up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs. 5000 for repeat (second-time) offenders.[3]


Section 354C OF IPC

In this provision, cyber-crime is defined as taking or publishing pictures of private parts or actions of a woman without her consent. In this section, voyeurism is discussed exclusively since it includes watching a woman’s sexual actions as a crime. In the absence of the essential elements of this section, Section 292 of the IPC and Section 66E of the IT Act are broad enough to include offences of an equivalent nature.

Depending on the offence, first-time offenders can face up to 3 years in prison, and second-time offenders can serve up to 7 years in prison.[4]


SECTION 420 OF IPC

This section talks about cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property. Seven-year imprisonment in addition to a fine is imposed under this section on cybercriminals doing crimes like creating fake websites and cyber frauds. In this section of the IPC, crimes related to password theft for fraud or the creation of fraudulent websites are involved.[5]

SECTION 468 OF IPC

Fraud committed with the intention of cheating may result in a seven-year prison sentence and a fine. This section also punishes email spoofing.[6]


SECTION 354D OF IPC

Stalking, including physical and cyberstalking, is described and punished in this chapter. The tracking of a woman through electronic means, the internet, or email or the attempt to contact her despite her disinterest amounts to cyber-stalking. This offence is punished by imprisonment of up to 3 years for the first offence and up to 5 years for the second offence, along with a fine in both cases. [7]


CONCLUSION

Cyberspace is not generally seen as a safe place to be when it comes to being protected from cyber-attacks.

It is not enough to know about cyber threats and risks and the implications they can have on national, regional and global security. We need to do big efforts in developing mechanisms to counter cyber threats as new types of asymmetric threats are emerging. While some countries have technological advances and more experience in combating cyber threats and protecting critical infrastructure than others, cybercrime is the most dangerous threat in the world. Compared to cyber terrorism and cyber warfare. An additional threat is caused by the lack of developed security mechanisms in terms of consequences that may affect individual users and the possibility of exploiting gaps in cyberspace.

Criminal gangs and terrorists. It is equally important which of these gaps will be used by the actors who are participating in the simulation.

It is generally accepted that international organizations should lead in the development of standards to be used in selecting activities in cyberspace, but there is no identified international organization that should lead. The United Nations (UN) missed an opportunity to be a leader because it cannot build consensus and all efforts in developing standards are futile about cyber security. Therefore, shortly, there is a need for greater vigilance by the cyber community to find out what is relevant. A solution to deal with and combat cyber threats. In conclusion, it is accepted that cyber security is an international (global) responsibility. Each user has an important role to play in cyber security, depending on their affiliation. The networks we use are interconnected and depend on each other for security, so everyone in the network needs to do their part to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Cyber protection is important to maintain, and it's important to come up with new ideas to strengthen it.


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[1] Maryville University, https://online.maryville.edu/blog/cyber-terrorism/#back-to-top [2] Information Technology Act, 2000 [3] Section 292 of Indian Penal Code, Sub-clause (e) [4] Section 354C of Indian Penal Code [5] Section 420 of Indian Penal Code [6] Section 468 of Indian Penal Code [7] Section 354D of Indian Penal Code


REFERENCES

  1. LEGALDICTIONARY.NET, https://legaldictionary.net/cybercrime/ (last visited May 31, 2015)

  2. GeeksForGeeks.org, https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/what-is-cyber-terrorism/ (last visited Feb 17, 2022)

  3. https://legalreadings.com/an-introduction-to-cyber-crime/

  4. Vuk Mujovic, where does cybercrime come from? The origin and evolution of cybercrime, [LE VPN] (October, 18 2018) https://www.le-vpn.com/history-cyber-crime-origin-evolution/

  5. Josh Howarth, The Ultimate List of Cyber Attack Stats, [Exploding Topics] (Feb,12, 2022) https://explodingtopics.com/blog/cybersecurity-stats

  6. Dot Net Software Development, https://www.dotnek.com/Blog/Security/what-are-the-negative-effects-of-cybercrime (Feb 26, 2022)

  7. GeeksForGeeks.org, https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/cybercrime-causes-and-measures-to-prevent-it/ (last visited May 11, 2020)

  8. Maryville University, https://online.maryville.edu/blog/cyber-terrorism/#back-to-top

  9. IvyPanda, https://ivypanda.com/essays/cyber-terrorism/,

  10. Maryam Heidari, Cyber Terrorism Statistics, https://maryamheidari.blogspot.com/2010/05/cyber-terrorism-statistics.html (May, 4, 2010)

  11. AssignmentGuru, https://assignmentsguru.com/7-cyberterrorism-impacts/

  12. Nikunj Arora, Cyber Crime Laws in India, (April 28, 2022) https://blog.ipleaders.in/cyber-crime-laws-in-india/#Cyber_crime_laws_in_India



This article is written by Ananya Kalita of NMIMS SCHOOL OF LAW, NAVI MUMBAI.


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