Cyber crime or computer-oriented crime is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime or it maybe a target. Cybercrimes can be defined as ,” offences that are committed against individuals or group of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (networks including chat rooms, emails, noticeboards and groups) and mobile phones.” Cyber criminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. The one who performs such illegal activities are often referred as hackers. Cyber crime includes hacking, copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, sextortion, child pornography and child grooming.
In India, the Information Technology Act, 2000 was passed by the Parliament of India to curb cyber crimes and to provide a legal framework for e-commerce transactions.
Kinds of Cyber Crimes
- Unauthorised access and hacking: unauthorised access means any kind of access without the permission of either of the rightful person in charge of the computer, computer system or computer network
- Web hijacking: web hijacking means taking forceful control of another person’s website
- Pornography: pornography means showing sexual acts in order to cause sexual excitement
- Cyber stalking: it means repeated acts of harassment or threatening behaviour of the cyber criminals towards the victim by using internet services
- Denial of service attack: an attack in which the criminal floods the bandwidth of the victim’s network or fills him e-mail box with spam mail depriving him of the services he is entitled to access or provide
- Software piracy: it refers to the illegal copying of genuine programs or the counterfeiting and distribution of products intended to pass for the original
- Salami attacks: these attacks are used for commission of financial crimes
- Phishing: it is an act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft, etc.
Cyber Crimes under IT Act:
- Sec65: tampering with computer source documents
- Sec66: hacking with computer systems
- Sec67: publishing obscene information
- Sec72: un-authorized access to protected system
- Sec70: breach of confidentiality and privacy
- Sec73: publishing false digital signature certificates
Cyber Crimes under IPC and Special Laws:
- Sec503 IPC: sending threatening messages by email
- Sec499 IPC: sending defamatory messages by email
- Sec463 IPC: forgery of electronic records
- Sec420 IPC: bogus website, cyber frauds
- Sec463 IPC: email spoofing
- Sec383 IPC: web jacking
- Sec500 IPC: email abuse
- Sec43: penalty and compensation for damage to computer, computer system, etc.
- Sec66A: punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service
- Sec66C: punishment for identity theft
- Sec66D: punishment for cheating by impersonation by using computer resource
- Sec66E: punishment for violation of privacy
- Sec67: punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form
- Sec67B: punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc in electronic form