As a coin has two sides, one which we can see directly and to see the other we need to flip the coin, our society also has two sides. On one side there are people who use the advancement in technology for good purpose and on the opposite side there are people who misuse them.
From the early period of civilization there is the existence of laws to guard against crimes and criminals and these laws were maintained restrict to bring law and order in the society. And in this age of information, a new variety of crimes are evolving, and these are known as Cyber Crimes.
Any illegal or unlawful activities commited by an individual or group of people which is against and harmful to the society and its people or harmful to the nation can be regarded as crime. And the person or groupmof people, who committed such activities are regarded as criminals.
Cybercrime or computer crime is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been for the help in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrimes may threaten a person or a nations security and financial health.
There are many privacy concerns in which surrounding cybercrime when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise. Debarti Halder and K. Jaishankar further define cybercrime from the perspective of gender and defines ‘cybercrime against women’ as “crimes targeted against women with a motive to intensinally harm the victim physically and psychologically, using modern telecommunications such as mobile and internet.”
A report published in 2014 estimated that the annual damage to the global economy was $445 billion, approximately $1.5 billion was lost in 2012 to online credit and debit card fraud in the US.
History of Cybercrime
Cybercrimes first started with hackers trying to break into computer networks. Some of them did it just for the thrill of accessing high level security networks, but others sought to achieve sensitive, classified material. Eventually, criminals started to infect computer systems with computer viruses, which eventually led to breakdowns on personal and business computers.
Computer virus are forms of code or malware programs that can copy themselves and try to damage the datas and systems. When computer viruses are used on large scale, like with banks, government or hospital networks, these actions may be categorized as cyberterrorism. Computer hackers also engage themselves in philshing scams like asking for bank account numbers, and credut card theft.
1. A Byte of history $10 million hack,1994-style:
It was hardly the opening salvo in a new era of virtual crime, rather it was certainly a shot across the bow. Two decades ago, a group of enterprising criminals on multiple continents- led by a young computer programmer in St. Petersburg, Russia-hacked into the electronic systems of a major U.S. bank and secretly started stealing money. No mask, no note, no gun-this was bank robbery for the technological age.
2. Botnet Operation Disabled:
In an unprecendant move in the fight against syber crime, the FBI has disrupted cyber crime operation by seizing the servers that had infected as many as two million computers with malicious software.Botnets are networks of virus infected computers controlled remoted by an attacker. They can be also used to steal funds, hijack identities, and commit other crimes. The botnet in this case involves the potent coreflood virus, a keylogging programme that allowes cyber theives to steal personal and financial information by recording unsuspecting users eyestroke.
3. Melissa Virus:
In late March 1999, a programmer named David Lee Smith hijacked an America online (AOL) account and used it to post a file on an internet newsgroup named “alt sex”. The posting promised dozens of free passwords to fee based websites with adult content. When users took the bait, downloadig the document and then opening it with microsoft word, a virus was unleashed on their computers.
The Melissa Virus, reportedly named by Smith for a stripper in Florida, started by taking over victims ‘ Microsoft Word program. it then used a macro to hijack their Microsoft Outlook email system and send messages to the first 50 addresses in their mailing lists.
4. Boys Locker Room:
A social media consists of websited and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook.
Delhi police cyber cell has registered a case talking cognisance of a series of conversations on instagram between an alleged group of school students who threaten to sexually assault a classmate and speak of uploading her photographs online. Initially confined to Instagram, screenshots were shared widely on twitter and #boyslockerroom was a top trend in India throughout the day.
Later in the Delhi police’s investigation in the ‘bois locker room’ case has revealed that the conversation casually discussing rape and gangrape of a girl never happened on the private instagram group of that name. Instead, it was a separate Snapchat conversation between two individuals, initiated by a girl. According to a senior Police officer, the girl took on a fake name, ‘Siddharth’, and suggested a plan of “aggravated sexual assault on herself” to a male friend, just to gauge his reaction.
Hart in his work has said ‘ human beings are vunerable so rule of law is required to protect them’. Applying this to cyberspace we may say that computers are vulnerable, so rule of law is required to protect and safeguard them aginst cyber crime. The reasons for the vunerabilty of computers may be said to be:
1. Capacity to store data in compartively small space:
The computer has unique characterstic of storing data in a very small space. This affords to remove or derive information either through physical or virtul medium makes it much easier.
2. Easy to access:
The problem encountered in guarding a computer system from unauthoritized access is that there is every possibilty of breach not due to human error but due to the complex technology.
The computers also work on operating systems and these operating systems in turn are composed of millions of codes. Human mind is too fallible, and it is not possible that there might not be a lapse at any stage. The cyber criminals take advanatages of these lacunas and peneterate into the computer system.
Neglegince is very closely connected with human conduct. It is therefore very probable that while protecting of the computer system there might be any negligence, which in turn provides to a cyber criminal to gain access and control over the computer system.
Major Forms of Cybercrime
• Phishing: using fake email messages to get personal information from
• Misusing peronal information (identity theft)
• Hacking; shutting down or misusing of websites or computer networks
• Spreading hate and inciting terrorism.
• Distributing child pornography.
• Grooming; making sexual advances to minors.
International Cybercrime Trend
As more and more criminals are aware of potentially large economic gains that can be achieved with the cybercrime, they tend to switch from a simple adventure and vandalism to more and more targeted attacks, especially platforms where valuable information highly concentrates such as the computers , mobile devices and the cloud . There are several emerging international trends of the cybercrime:
Cybercrime is switching its battle ground from Windows-system PCs to other platforms, including mobile phones, tablet computers, and VolP. Because a significant threshold in the vulnerabilities which has been reached. PC vendors are building a better security into their products by providing faster updates, patches, and user alerts to potential flaws. Besides, global mobile devices’ penetrations —from smart phones to tablet PCs—accessing the Internet by 2013 which will surpass 1 billion, creating more opportunities for the cybercrime. The massively successful banking Trojan, Zeus is already being adapted as a mobile platform. Smishing, or Sms phishing, is an another method which cyber criminals are using to exploit mobile devices, which users downloads after falling prey to a social engineering ploy, is designed in order to defeat the SMS-based two- factor authentication most banks use to confirm online funds transfers by customers. VolP systems are being used to support vishing (telephone-based phishing) schemes, which are now growing in popularity.
Social Engineering Scams:
It refers to a non-technical kind of intrusions, in the form of which e-mails or social networking chats, that relies heavily on the human interaction and often involves fooling potential victims into downloading the malware or leaking personal data. Social engineering is nevertheless a highly effective mechanism for attacking well-protected computer systems with the exploitation of their trust. Social networking becomes an increasingly important tool for cyber criminals to money mules assist their money laundering operations around the globe. Spammers are not only spoofing social networking messages to persuade targets to click on links in emails — they are taking advantage of users’ trust of their social networking connections to attract new victims.
The newest twist in “hypertargeting” is malware which is meant to disrupt industrial systems — such as the stuxnet network worm, which exploits the zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft. The first very known copy of the worm was discovered in a plant in Germany. A subsequent variant led to a widespread of global outbreak.
Dissemination and use of Malware:
malware generally take the form of a virus, a worm, a Trojan horse, or spyware. In 2009, the majority of malware connects to host the Web sites registered in the U.S.A. (51.4%), with China second with (17.2%), and Spain third with (15.7%). A primary means of malware dissemination is its email. It is truly international in the scope.
Intellectual Property Theft (IP theft):
It is estimated that 90% of the software, DVDs, and CDs sold in some countries are counterfeits, and that the total global trade in the counterfeit goods is more than $600 billion a year. In the USA alone, IP theft costs businesses an estimated cost of $250 billion annually, and 750,000 jobs and many counting.
1. Keep Everything Up to Date:
Many breaches, including the 2017 one at the equifax credits bureau that exposed the financial information of almost every of American adult, boil down to someone leaving out of date software running.
2. Use Strong, Unique Passwords:
Remembring passwords, especially complicated ones, is not one, which is why so much work is going to finding better alternatives.
3. Enable Multi Factor Authentication:
In many situations, websites are requiring users not only to provide a strong password but also to type in a seperate code from an app, text message or email message when logging it in.
4. Encrypt and Back up the Most Important Data:
If you can, encrypt the data thats stored on your smartphone and computer. if a hacker copies your files, all he gets your files they are gilliberish rather than for instance your address books and financial records
Computers adds a new dimension to criminal law, presenting many issues for law enforcement. At the forefront of law enforcements concerns is the necessity to secure adequate training of to combat these crimes. This requires additional resources. The technical sophistication is needed to follow the “electronic trail” far surpasses traditional methods of investigation. In some cases, data are encrypted, tend to make it difficult for police authorities to discern the contents of the information. The detection of criminal conduct may also be get hampered by the reluctance of entities to report an unauthorized computer access. Corporations may fear the negative publicity which might result because of their systems being compromised. In many cases, unauthorized computer access may go to undetected by the individual or entity whose computer system had been invaded.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Q1: What is Cybercrime?
Answer: Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime. The term “cyber-crime” is not defined under the Information Technology Act, 2000.In simple terms cyber crime 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.
Q2: What are the various Modes or Manners to Commit Cybercrime?
Answer: There are various modes or methods by which cyber crime can be committed such as
• Unauthorized access to computer systems or networks / Hacking
• Theft of information contained in electronic form
• Email bombing
• Data diddling
• Salami attack
• Denial of Service attack
• Virus / worm attacks
• Logic bombs
• Internet time thefts
Q3: What do you mean by Phishing?
Answer: Phishing is the criminal and fraudulent act of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, password, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity or person in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel almost identical to the legitimate one.
Q4: What are the various Types of Cybercrimes?
Answer: Cybercrimes can be classified into 3 major categories such as
a) Crime against government such as cyber terrorism.
b) Crime against persons such as cyber pornography, cyber stalking, cyber defamation
c) Crime against property such as online gambling, intellectual property infringement, phishing, credit card frauds.
Q5: Is Cyber Harassment also a Cybercrime?
Answer: Yes, it is a distinct Cybercrime. Various kinds of harassment can and does occur in cyberspace or using cyberspace. Harassment can be sexual, racial, religious, or other. Persons perpetuating such harassment are also guilty of Cybercrime.