internet, crime, cyber

Cyber crime an ongoing threat

INTRODUCTION:

With the advancement of technology, man has become dependent on the internet for all his needs. Today, with the help of ‘Internet’, man has got easy access to everything just by sitting at one place. Today the internet is used in every sphere of our lives. Social networking, online shopping, storing data, playing games, online studying or online jobs, we need the internet for everything. But however, the internet has its own pros and cons. The development of the internet and its benefits has given rise to ‘cybercrimes’ which has become an ongoing threat today. The rate of cybercrimes has been globally increasing day by day.

WHAT IS CYBERCRIME?

Cybercrime may be a crime that involves using computer as an instrument for committing various offences like committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property.. It is often called a ‘computer-oriented’ crime. Cybercrime may cause threat to an individual, company and even to national security.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF CYBERCRIME?

The following are some of the foremost common sorts of cybercrime:
a. PHISHING- Phishing is a kind of a cybercrime where the victims or the targets are contacted by a fake email, text message, phone calls or maybe through social media to attract them in such a way that they provide some sensitive data like their credit card details or passwords.
b. THEFT- Identity theft is a kind of a cybercrime where your personal or financial information like bank account number or credit card details is used by someone without your permission. It creates a lot of damage to the finances and reputation of the victim.
c. HACKING- Hacking is a process of compromising computer systems, personal accounts, computer networks or digital devices. Hacking need not be necessarily a malicious act or a criminal offence as traditionally a computer hacker maybe a skilled programmer who is immersed in computer and software culture. It is a criminal offence when you hack without getting prior consent.
d. LOGIC BOMB- Logic Bomb or slag code is a piece of code which is intentionally inserted into an operating system or software. They act in the same way as a virus and are triggered by an occasion. This occasion can happen on a particular date or time or when a percentage of disk space is filled or on the occasion of removal of a file. It can then make your software useless by deleting certain critical sections of code.
e. CYBER STALKING- Cyber stalking or online stalking is a kind of cybercrime where the victim is subjected to online harassment in the form of messages, mails, etc. It is an invasion of one’s online privacy. It can target an individual, a group or even an organization. A cyber stalker can be a stranger but mostly it is someone whom the victim might already know.
f. CYBER BULLYING- Cyberbullying or cyber harassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. It includes sending, posting or sharing negative, false or mean content about somebody else. It is a kind of bullying that happens online usually through social media channels.
g. RANSOMWARE- Ransomware is malicious software which enters your computer network and encrypts files due to which the victim loses his or her access to them. The victim is then notified by the attacker demanding a huge amount of money if he or she wants his or her data back. A global ransom attack known as ‘WannaCry’ had affected a wide range of countries and sectors on Friday 12th May 2017.
h. WEB JACKING- Web jacking derives its name from hijacking. It is a kind of cybercrime where the hacker, fraudulently takes control of a website. The original content of the website is then changed by him. He may even direct the user to a different fake page which looks similar to the earlier one and which is controlled by him. The website owner will have no more control and therefore the attacker may use the website for fulfilling his own selfish interests.
i. CHILD SOLICITING AND ABUSE- Child soliciting and abuse is a kind of cybercrime where criminals solicit children via chatrooms for the aim of pornography. Here, child refers to someone who is under the age of 16. This kind of cybercrime is heavily monitored by the police.
j. SALAMI SLICING ATTACK – Salami slicing attack is a kind of cybercrime where the criminal uses the technique of stealing money or resources bit by bit in order to avoid a noticeable difference in the bank account. By doing this to a number of different sources, the criminals become successful in accumulating a considerable amount over time.

CYBER LAWS:

Cyber laws are regarded as the sole saviour to battle cybercrimes. An unbreakable security can be provided to our nation’s security only through strict cyber laws. To tackle the problem of cybercrimes, the Information Technology (IT) Act of India came up as a special Act. This act was sharpened by the Amendment Act of 2008. Even though cybercrimes happen every now and then, only a few cases are hardly reported. Only a few cases of cybercrimes reach the court of law. All such grievous punishments and penalties which safeguards the e-governance, e-banking, and e-commerce sectors are highlighted in the IT Act enacted by the Parliament of India.

  • Section 65- This section is applicable to an offence that involves tampering with computer source documents. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees two lakh.
  • Section 66- This section is applicable to an offence that involves hacking with a computer system. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees five lakh.
  • Section 66B- This section is applicable to an offence that involves receiving a stolen computer or communication device. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees one lakh.
  • Section 66C- This section is applicable to an offence that involves using the password of another person. . The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees one lakh.
  • Section 66D- This section is applicable to an offence that involves cheating using computer resources. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees one lakh.
  • Section 66E- This section is applicable to an offence that involves publishing private images of others. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine up to rupees two lakh.
  • Section 66F- This section is applicable to an offence that involves acts of cyber terrorism. The culprit can be imprisoned up to life.
  • Section 67- This section is applicable to an offence that involves publishing information which is obscene in electronic form. The culprit can be imprisoned up to five years or/and with a fine up to rupees ten lakh.
  • Section 67A- This section is applicable to an offence that involves publishing images containing sexual acts. The culprit can be imprisoned up to seven years or/and with a fine up to rupees ten lakh.
  • Section 67B- This section is applicable to an offence that involves publishing child porn or predating children online. The culprit can be imprisoned up to five years, or/and with fine up to rupees ten lakh on first conviction and up to seven years, or/and with fine up to rupees 10 lakh on second conviction.
  • Section 67C- – This section is applicable to an offence that involves failure to maintain records. The culprit can be imprisoned up to three years or/and with a fine.
  • Section 68- This section is applicable to an offence that involves failure or refusal to comply with orders. The culprit can be imprisoned up to two years or/and with a fine up to rupees one lakh.
  • Section 69 – This section is applicable to an offence that involves failure or refusal to decrypt data. The culprit can be imprisoned up to seven years or/and with a fine.
  • Section 70- This section is applicable to an offence that involves securing access or attempting to secure access to a protected system. The culprit can be imprisoned up to ten years or/and with a fine.
  • Section 71- This section is applicable to an offence that involves misrepresentation. The culprit can be imprisoned up to two years or/and with a fine up to rupees one lakh.

OBJECTVES OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) ACT:

The following are some of the objectives of the Information Technology (IT) Act enacted by the government of India:

  • The first and foremost objective of the IT Act is to deliver a lawful recognition for the transactions that are done through the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and other means of electronic communication which are commonly mentioned as electronic commerce or E-Commerce.
  • Another objective of the IT Act is to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the government agencies and also to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act of 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Information Technology Act, 2000, was thus passed as the Act No.21 of 2000. The IT Act received the assent of the President on June 9, 2000 and from October 17, 2000, it had been made effective. India became the 12th nation within the world to adopt a Cyber Law regime by adopting this cyber legislation.
According to the reports more and more cyber-attacks are going to be experienced within the upcoming years. Therefore all the organizations have been advised to strengthen their data security in all possible manners.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST CYBERCRIMES?

In today’s world keeping yourself shielded from cybercrimes is often tough but not impossible. One can protect oneself from becoming a cybercrime victim by following some of the measures as stated below:

  1. STRONG, UNIQUE PASSWORDS
    It is by exploiting people’s weak, easily guessable passwords that the hackers enter the so called secured websites. One should make an effort to not repeat their passwords on different sites. They ought to also make an effort to change their passwords regularly. It is always better to use a complex password. One can make his or her password by making a combination of minimum 14 letters, numbers and symbols. A password manager program can be very helpful when it comes to creating and remembering complex, secure passwords.
  2. KEEPING A CURRENT AND UPDATED SOFTWARE
    Keeping the software updated is extremely important when it comes to operating systems and internet security software. Cybercriminals frequently use known exploits, or flaws, within the software to gain access to the system. Therefore having the latest security software can go an extended way towards protecting against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  3. MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA SETTINGS
    One can reduce the probabilities of becoming a cybercrime target by keeping his or her personal information locked down. With just a couple of data points, social engineering cyber criminals can often get the private information of anyone. Hence, the less they share their personal information publicly, the better. v
  4. ENABLE MULTI FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
    In many situations, while logging in, websites require users to not only provide a strong password but also type in a separate code from an app, text message, or email while logging in. This step of multifactor authentication makes it much harder for hackers to interrupt into someone’s accounts. v
  5. STRENGTHEN YOUR HOME NETWORK
    Starting with a strong encryption password as well as a private virtual network is usually a good idea. A VPN will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. If cybercriminals do manage to hack your communication line, they won’t intercept anything but encrypted data. It’s a good idea to use a VPN whenever you use a public Wi-Fi network, whether it is in a library, cafe, hotel, or airport. v
  6. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE INTERNET
    It is very important to make children aware of both the positive as well as the negative side of the internet. Being a parent, it is important to provide a certain level of assurance to them that they can come to you if they are facing any kind of online harassment, stalking, etc. v
  7. BE CAREFUL WHILE USING A PUBLIC WIFI
    It is quite easy for hackers to connect to public Wi-Fi and watch every move which incorporates all your passwords and account information once you are connected. It is always advisable to not use public Wi-Fi or avoid entering private information or using apps that have passwords while connected to public Wi-Fi in order to keep your information safe. v
  8. TRY TO NEVER FALL FOR POP-UPS
    Today, fraudulent messages and emails are increasing day by day. If an email or pop-up window asks you to enter your username or password, never do it. It is better to open your browser and go to the site directly. If the web site still does not appear convincing to you then you can contact the company or the entity which contacted you. However reputable companies will never ask you for your login information through any mail. Watch out for anyone who implores you to act immediately. vi
  9. KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU BECOME THE VICTIM
    In spite of following all these measures, if you think that you have become a victim of cybercrime, then the primary and the foremost thing that you should do is to alert the local police. In some cases you might also need to inform the FBI. This is often important even for minor crimes. Your report might provide assistance to the authorities to get hold of the culprits who could be taking advantage of other people as well. v
    CONCLUSION
    Thus, crimes behind the computer or the crimes that are executed using computers are the 21st century problems. The hackers could live miles far away from the victim without victim not even knowing that he or she is being hacked. Guns aren’t criminal’s weapons anymore. Today they attack with cursors and passwords. It is not impossible to regulate cybercrimes. What is required to regulate cybercrimes is a collaborative effort of the government, the lawmakers, the internet service providers and the users.

Author

Archita Nambiar