Cyber Crime |Ms. Palak Patel | |Lecturer, | |BCA Dept-SK Patel,BPCCS, | |Gandhinagar-382023, India. | Abstract Large-scale commercial, industrial and financial operations are becoming ever more interdependent, and ever more dependent on IT.
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At the same time, the rapidly growing interconnectivity of IT systems, and the convergence of their technology towards industry-standard hardware and software components and sub-systems, renders these IT systems increasingly vulnerable to malicious attack. This paper is aimed particularly at readers concerned with major systems employed in medium to large commercial or industrial enterprises. It examines the nature and significance of the various potential attacks, and surveys the defence options available. It concludes that IT owners need to think of the threat in more global terms, and to give a new focus and priority too their defence.
Prompt action can ensure a major improvement in IT resilience at a modest marginal cost, both in terms of finance and in terms of normal IT operation. The term ‘cyber crime’ is a misnomer. This term has nowhere been defined in any statute /Act passed or enacted by the Indian Parliament. The concept of cyber crime is not radically different from the concept of conventional crime. Both include conduct whether act or omission, which cause breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the state.
Before evaluating the concept of cyber crime it is obvious that the concept of conventional crime be discussed and the points of similarity and deviance between both these forms may be discussed. The increased dependence on IT and communication technology for dynamic and fast business solutions has its own side effect. The effect of digital information technologies upon our world certainly poses endless benefits for the citizens of our growing global village. The dark side of it, not surprisingly, is the misuse of Information Technology for criminal activities. Cyber Crimes are a new genus of crimes, which use omputers and networks for criminal activities. Cyber Crimes are any illegal activities committed using computer. Target of the criminal activity can be a computer, network or operations. In another sense, criminal activity can be against a person, an organization or a government. A generalized definition of cyber crime may be “ unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”(3) The computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity- financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking.
The computer may however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases- unauthorized access to computer/ computer system/ computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, data didling, salami attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, internet time thefts, web jacking, theft of computer system, physically damaging the computer system. The difference between traditional crimes and cyber crimes is that cyber crimes can be transactional in nature which limits the law enforcement agencies ability to catch the culprit and put them behind the bars.
Anybody who is having a computer and internet connection can inflict damage to a remote system or network and can remain anonymous. The anonymity on the net is a real problem faced by law enforcement agencies. Another issue is the jurisdiction in cyber crimes. A crime in one country may not be treated as a crime in another country. If a crime is transactional which law can be applied? We can classify this type of crimes into three categories. 1. Crimes done on net – which is possible only because of the existence of Net. 2.
Crimes done using net – which are traditional crimes which can be easily done using the net. 3. Crimes done using computers – which are traditional crimes done using computers and its accessories? Conventional Crime- Crime is a social and economic phenomenon and is as old as the human society. Crime is a legal concept and has the sanction of the law. Crime or an offence is “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings which may result into punishment. ”(1) The hallmark of criminality is that, it is breach of the criminal law.
Per Lord Atkin “the criminal quality of an act cannot be discovered by reference to any standard but one: is the act prohibited with penal consequences”. (2) A crime may be said to be any conduct accompanied by act or omission prohibited by law and consequential breach of which is visited by penal consequences. Cyber Crime Cyber crime is the latest and perhaps the most complicated problem in the cyber world. “Cyber crime may be said to be those species, of which, genus is the conventional crime, and where either the computer is an object or subject of the conduct constituting crime” (13). Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime”(12) A generalized definition of cyber crime may be “ unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”(3) The computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity- financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalking.
The computer may however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases- unauthorized access to computer/ computer system/ computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, data didling, salami attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, internet time thefts, web jacking, theft of computer system, physically damaging the computer system. Distinction between Conventional Crime and Cyber Crime- There is apparently no distinction between cyber and conventional crime.
However on a deep introspection we may say that there exists a fine line of demarcation between the conventional and cyber crime, which is appreciable. The demarcation lies in the involvement of the medium in cases of cyber crime. The sine qua non for cyber crime is that there should be an involvement, at any stage, of the virtual cyber medium. Rise of cyber crimes The increased dependence on IT and communication technology for dynamic and fast business solutions has its own side effect.
The effect of digital information technologies upon our world certainly poses endless benefits for the citizens of our growing global village. The dark side of it, not surprisingly, is the misuse of Information Technology for criminal activities. Cyber Crimes are a new genus of crimes, which use computers and networks for criminal activities. Cyber Crimes are any illegal activities committed using computer. Target of the criminal activity can be a computer, network or operations. In another sense, criminal activity can be against a person, an organization or a government.
The difference between traditional crimes and cyber crimes is that cyber crimes can be transactional in nature which limits the law enforcement agencies ability to catch the culprit and put them behind the bars. Anybody who is having a computer and internet connection can inflict damage to a remote system or network and can remain anonymous. The anonymity on the net is a real problem faced by law enforcement agencies. Another issue is the jurisdiction in cyber crimes. A crime in one country may not be treated as a crime in another country. If a crime is transactional which law can be applied ?
We can classify this type of crimes into three categories. 1. Crimes done on net – which is possible only because of the existence of Net. 2. Crimes done using net – which are traditional crimes which can be easily done using the net. 3. Crimes done using computers – which are traditional crimes done using computers and its accessories? Reasons for Cyber Crime Hart in his work “The Concept of Law” has said ‘human beings are vulnerable so rule of law is required to protect them’. Applying this to the cyberspace we may say that computers are vulnerable so rule of law is required to protect and safeguard them against cyber crime.
The reasons for the vulnerability of computers may be said to be: 1. Capacity to store data in comparatively small space- The computer has unique characteristic of storing data in a very small space. This affords to remove or derive information either through physical or virtual medium makes it much easier. 2. Easy to access- The problem encountered in guarding a computer system from unauthorised access is that there is every possibility of breach not due to human error but due to the complex technology.
By secretly implanted logic bomb, key loggers that can steal access codes, advanced voice recorders; retina imagers etc. that can fool biometric systems and bypass firewalls can be utilized to get past many a security system. 3. Complex- The computers work on operating systems and these operating systems in turn are composed of millions of codes. Human mind is fallible and it is not possible that there might not be a lapse at any stage. The cyber criminals take advantage of these lacunas and penetrate into the computer system. 4. Negligence- Negligence is very closely connected with human conduct.
It is therefore very probable that while protecting the computer system there might be any negligence, which in turn provides a cyber criminal to gain access and control over the computer system. 5. Loss of evidence- Loss of evidence is a very common & obvious problem as all the data are routinely destroyed. Further collection of data outside the territorial extent also paralyses this system of crime investigation. Cyber Criminals The cyber criminals constitute of various groups/ category. This division may be justified on the basis of the object that they have in their mind.
The following are the category of cyber criminals- 1. Children and adolescents between the age group of 6 – 18 years – The simple reason for this type of delinquent behaviour pattern in children is seen mostly due to the inquisitiveness to know and explore the things. Other cognate reason may be to prove them to be outstanding amongst other children in their group. Further the reasons may be psychological even. E. g. the Bal Bharati (Delhi) case was the outcome of harassment of the delinquent by his friends. 2. Organised hackers- These kinds of hackers are mostly organised together to fulfil certain objective.
The reason may be to fulfil their political bias, fundamentalism, etc. The Pakistanis are said to be one of the best quality hackers in the world. They mainly target the Indian government sites with the purpose to fulfil their political objectives. Further the NASA as well as the Microsoft sites is always under attack by the hackers. 3. Professional hackers / crackers – Their work is motivated by the colour of money. These kinds of hackers are mostly employed to hack the site of the rivals and get credible, reliable and valuable information.
Further they are even employed to crack the system of the employer basically as a measure to make it safer by detecting the loopholes. 4. Discontented employees- This group include those people who have been either sacked by their employer or are dissatisfied with their employer. To avenge they normally hack the system of their employee. Mode and Manner of committing cyber crime: 1. Unauthorized access to computer systems or networks / Hacking- This kind of offence is normally referred as hacking in the generic sense.
However the framers of the information technology act 2000 have no where used this term so to avoid any confusion we would not interchangeably use the word hacking for ‘unauthorized access’ as the latter has wide connotation. 2. Theft of information contained in electronic form- This includes information stored in computer hard disks, removable storage media etc. Theft may be either by appropriating the data physically or by tampering them through the virtual medium. 3. Email bombing-
This kind of activity refers to sending large numbers of mail to the victim, which may be an individual or a company or even mail servers there by ultimately resulting into crashing. 4. Data diddling- This kind of an attack involves altering raw data just before a computer processes it and then changing it back after the processing is completed. The electricity board faced similar problem of data diddling while the department was being computerised. 5. Salami attacks- This kind of crime is normally prevalent in the financial institutions or for the purpose of committing financial crimes.
An important feature of this type of offence is that the alteration is so small that it would normally go unnoticed. E. g. the Ziegler case wherein a logic bomb was introduced in the bank’s system, which deducted 10 cents from every account and deposited it in a particular account. 6. Denial of Service attack- The computer of the victim is flooded with more requests than it can handle which cause it to crash. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is also a type of denial of service attack, in which the offenders are wide in number and widespread. E. g. Amazon, Yahoo. 7.
Virus / worm attacks- Viruses are programs that attach themselves to a computer or a file and then circulate themselves to other files and to other computers on a network. They usually affect the data on a computer, either by altering or deleting it. Worms, unlike viruses do not need the host to attach themselves to. They merely make functional copies of themselves and do this repeatedly till they eat up all the available space on a computer’s memory. E. g. love bug virus, which affected at least 5 % of the computers of the globe. The losses were accounted to be $ 10 million.
The world’s most famous worm was the Internet worm let loose on the Internet by Robert Morris sometime in 1988. Almost brought development of Internet to a complete halt. 8. Logic bombs- These are event dependent programs. This implies that these programs are created to do something only when a certain event (known as a trigger event) occurs. E. g. even some viruses may be termed logic bombs because they lie dormant all through the year and become active only on a particular date (like the Chernobyl virus). 9. Trojan attacks- This term has its origin in the word ‘Trojan horse’.
In software field this means an unauthorized programme, which passively gains control over another’s system by representing itself as an authorised programme. The most common form of installing a Trojan is through e-mail. E. g. a Trojan was installed in the computer of a lady film director in the U. S. while chatting. The cyber criminal through the web cam installed in the computer obtained her nude photographs. He further harassed this lady. 10. Internet time thefts- Normally in these kinds of thefts the Internet surfing hours of the victim are used up by another person.
This is done by gaining access to the login ID and the password. E. g. Colonel Bajwa’s case- the Internet hours were used up by any other person. This was perhaps one of the first reported cases related to cyber crime in India. However this case made the police infamous as to their lack of understanding of the nature of cyber crime. 11. Web jacking- This term is derived from the term hi jacking. In these kinds of offences the hacker gains access and control over the web site of another. He may even mutilate or change the information on the site.
This may be done for fulfilling political objectives or for money. E. g. recently the site of MIT (Ministry of Information Technology) was hacked by the Pakistani hackers and some obscene matter was placed therein. Further the site of Bombay crime branch was also web jacked. Another case of web jacking is that of the ‘gold fish’ case. In this case the site was hacked and the information pertaining to gold fish was changed. Further a ransom of US $ 1 million was demanded as ransom. Thus web jacking is a process where by control over the site of another is made backed by some consideration for it.
Classification: The subject of cyber crime may be broadly classified under the following three groups. They are- 1. Against Individuals a. their person & b. their property of an individual 2. against Organization a. Government c. Firm, Company, Group of Individuals. 3. Against Society at large The following are the crimes, which can be committed against the followings group Against Individuals: – i. Harassment via e-mails. ii. Cyber-stalking. iii. Dissemination of obscene material. iv. Defamation. v. Unauthorized control/access over computer system. vi. Indecent exposure vii. Email spoofing iii. Cheating & Fraud Against Individual Property: – i. Computer vandalism. ii. Transmitting virus. iii. Netrespass iv. Unauthorized control/access over computer system. v. Intellectual Property crimes vi. Internet time thefts Against Organization: – I. Unauthorized control/access over computer system ii. Possession of unauthorized information. iii. Cyber terrorism against the government organization. iv. Distribution of pirated software etc. Against Society at large: – i. Pornography (basically child pornography). Ii. Polluting the youth through indecent exposure. iii. Trafficking iv.
Financial crimes v. Sale of illegal articles vi. Online gambling vii. Forgery The above mentioned offences may discussed in brief as follows: 1. Harassment via e-mails- Harassment through e-mails is not a new concept. It is very similar to harassing through letters. Recently I had received a mail from a lady wherein she complained about the same. Her former boy friend was sending her mails constantly sometimes emotionally blackmailing her and also threatening her. This is a very common type of harassment via e-mails. 2. Cyber-stalking- The Oxford dictionary defines stalking as “pursuing stealthily”.
Cyber stalking involves following a person’s movements across the Internet by posting messages (sometimes threatening) on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-rooms frequented by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc. 3. Dissemination of obscene material/ Indecent exposure/ Pornography (basically child pornography) / Polluting through indecent exposure- Pornography on the net may take various forms. It may include the hosting of web site containing these prohibited materials. Use of computers for producing these obscene materials.
Downloading through the Internet, obscene materials. These obscene matters may cause harm to the mind of the adolescent and tend to deprave or corrupt their mind. Two known cases of pornography are the Delhi Bal Bharati case and the Bombay case wherein two Swiss couple used to force the slum children for obscene photographs. The Mumbai police later arrested them. 4. Defamation It is an act of imputing any person with intent to lower the person in the estimation of the right-thinking members of society generally or to cause him to be shunned or avoided or to expose him to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
Cyber defamation is not different from conventional defamation except the involvement of a virtual medium. E. g. the mail account of Rohit was hacked and some mails were sent from his account to some of his batch mates regarding his affair with a girl with intent to defame him. 4. Unauthorized control/access over computer system- This activity is commonly referred to as hacking. The Indian law has however given a different connotation to the term hacking, so we will not use the term “unauthorized access” interchangeably with the term “hacking” to prevent confusion as the term used in the Act of 2000 is much wider than hacking. . E mail spoofing- A spoofed e-mail may be said to be one, which misrepresents its origin. It shows it’s origin to be different from which actually it originates. Recently spoofed mails were sent on the name of Mr. Na. Vijayashankar (naavi. org), which contained virus. Rajesh Manyar, a graduate student at Purdue University in Indiana, was arrested for threatening to detonate a nuclear device in the college campus. The alleged e- mail was sent from the account of another student to the vice president for student services. However the mail was traced to be sent from the account of Rajesh Manyar. 15) 6. Computer vandalism- Vandalism means deliberately destroying or damaging property of another. Thus computer vandalism may include within its purview any kind of physical harm done to the computer of any person. These acts may take the form of the theft of a computer, some part of a computer or a peripheral attached to the computer or by physically damaging a computer or its peripherals. 7. Transmitting virus/worms- This topic has been adequately dealt herein above. 8. Intellectual Property crimes / Distribution of pirated software- Intellectual property consists of a bundle of rights.
Any unlawful act by which the owner is deprived completely or partially of his rights is an offence. The common form of IPR violation may be said to be software piracy, copyright infringement, trademark and service mark violation, theft of computer source code, etc. The Hyderabad Court has in a land mark judgement has convicted three people and sentenced them to six months imprisonment and fine of 50,000 each for unauthorized copying and sell of pirated software. (16) 9. Cyber terrorism against the government organization
At this juncture a necessity may be felt that what is the need to distinguish between cyber terrorism and cyber crime. Both are criminal acts. However there is a compelling need to distinguish between both these crimes. A cyber crime is generally a domestic issue, which may have international consequences; however cyber terrorism is a global concern, which has domestic as well as international consequences. The common form of these terrorist attacks on the Internet is by distributed denial of service attacks, hate websites and hate emails, attacks on sensitive computer networks, etc.
Technology savvy terrorists are using 512-bit encryption, which is next to impossible to decrypt. The recent example may be cited of – Osama Bin Laden, the LTTE, and attack on America’s army deployment system during Iraq war. Cyber terrorism may be defined to be “ the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, in cyber space, with the intention to further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives” (4) Another definition may be attempted to cover within its ambit every act of cyber terrorism.
A terrorist means a person who indulges in wanton killing of persons or in violence or in disruption of services or means of communications essential to the community or in damaging property with the view to – (1) Putting the public or any section of the public in fear; or (2) Affecting adversely the harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities; or (3) Coercing or overawing the government established by law; or (4) Endangering the sovereignty and integrity of the nation
And a cyber terrorist is the person who uses the computer system as a means or ends to achieve the above objectives. Every act done in pursuance thereof is an act of cyber terrorism. 10. Trafficking Trafficking may assume different forms. It may be trafficking in drugs, human beings, arms weapons etc. These forms of trafficking are going unchecked because they are carried on under pseudonyms. A racket was busted in Chennai where drugs were being sold under the pseudonym of honey. 11. Fraud & Cheating
Online fraud and cheating is one of the most lucrative businesses that are growing today in the cyber space. It may assume different forms. Some of the cases of online fraud and cheating that have come to light are those pertaining to credit card crimes, contractual crimes, offering jobs, etc. Recently the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate Delhi (17) found guilty a 24-year-old engineer working in a call centre, of fraudulently gaining the details of Campa’s credit card and bought a television and a cordless phone from Sony website.
Metropolitan magistrate Gulshan Kumar convicted Azim for cheating under IPC, but did not send him to jail. Instead, Azim was asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 20,000, and was released on a year’s probation. We can classify this type of crimes into three categories. 1. Crimes done on net – which is possible only because of the existence of Net. 2. Crimes done using net – which are traditional crimes which can be easily done using the net. 3. Crimes done using computers – which are traditional crimes done using computers and its accessories?
Section 2(1) (I) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 defines a computer as any “electronic magnetic, optical or other high-speed data processing device or system which performs logical, arithmetic, and memory functions by manipulations of electronic, magnetic or optical impulses, and includes all input, output, processing, storage, computer software, or communication facilities which are connected or related to the computer in a computer system or computer network”.
Let us look at the different categories of cyber crimes. Crimes done on net Whenever you are connected to the net there is a possibility that you are being watched by somebody – be it your organization, law enforcement agencies or cyber criminals. The major types of crimes which will affect organizations are (I)Hacking (ii)Identity Theft / phishing (iii)Denial of Service attacks (iv)Virus / Worm Attacks (v)IPR Violations (vi)Stealing Trade Secrets (vii)Website Defacement (viii)Cyber Vandalism / Cyber Terrorism
Even though hacking is supposed to be the most frequently talked about subject, studies shows that it is virus attacks which has caused the major financial losses ( about US$ 42M in 2005) followed by unauthorized access causing damage and theft of proprietary info (about US$30M in 2005). A recent case in US says that hackers from India (Chennai) indicted for online brokerage intrusion scheme that victimised customers and brokerage firms. (www. cybercrime. gov). this shows that what hackers can do on financial institutions which in turn will affect the financial stability of a country.
The suspects have done identity theft and hacking into computer to change information. Cyber Terrorism is another concern by the security experts across the world. In past, Indian industry, government, and service sectors which form the Critical Infrastructure in the country were not fully connected on the network. But in very near future all will be connected. Protection of critical infrastructure will become one main area of concern. Crimes done using net These types of crimes were existing in our society but were difficult to execute.
For example, stalking was one of the oldest method of intimidating somebody to destroy his/her peace of mind and draw the victim to the criminals intentions. But due to the proliferation of internet, this became very easy to execute. Computers and internet provided the criminals an easy way of doing old crimes. (1)Cyber Stalking (2)Identity Theft (3)Defamation (4)Spamming (5)Internet Fraud (6)Extortion (7)Trafficking (8)Gambling (9)Narcotics (10)Pornography (11)Distribution of pirated software Crimes done using computers
These are also traditional crimes, execution of which was made very easy by computers. Forging an official document is now very easy to the extend that if you get an original you can create forged documents which looks like original one by scanning and editing. (1) Document Forgery a. Official Documents b. Certificates c. Stamp Paper d. Counterfeit Currency / stamps (2)Morphing Images (3)Software Theft Prevention of Cyber Crime: Prevention is always better than cure. It is always better to take certain precaution while operating the net. A should make them his part of cyber life.
Saileshkumar Zarkar, technical advisor and network security consultant to the Mumbai Police Cyber crime Cell, advocates the 5P mantra for online security: Precaution, Prevention, Protection, Preservation and Perseverance. A netizen should keep in mind the following things- 1. To prevent cyber stalking avoid disclosing any information pertaining to one. This is as good as disclosing your identity to strangers in public place. 2. Always avoid sending any photograph online particularly to strangers and chat friends as there have been incidents of misuse of the photographs. 3.
Always use latest and up date anti virus software to guard against virus attacks. 4. Always keep back up volumes so that one may not suffer data loss in case of virus contamination 5. Never send your credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds. 6. Always keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children. 7. It is better to use a security programme that gives control over the cookies and send information back to the site as leaving the cookies unguarded might prove fatal. 8.
Web site owners should watch traffic and check any irregularity on the site. Putting host-based intrusion detection devices on servers may do this. 9. Use of firewalls may be beneficial. 10. Web servers running public sites must be physically separate protected from internal corporate network. Adjudication of a Cyber Crime – On the directions of the Bombay High Court the Central Government has by a notification dated 25. 03. 03 has decided that the Secretary to the Information Technology Department in each state by designation would be appointed as the AO for each state.
Conclusion: Capacity of human mind is unfathomable. It is not possible to eliminate cyber crime from the cyber space. It is quite possible to check them. History is the witness that no legislation has succeeded in totally eliminating crime from the globe. The only possible step is to make people aware of their rights and duties (to report crime as a collective duty towards the society) and further making the application of the laws more stringent to check crime.
Undoubtedly the Act is a historical step in the cyber world. Further I all together do not deny that there is a need to bring changes in the Information Technology Act to make it more effective to combat cyber crime. I would conclude with a word of caution for the pro-legislation school that it should be kept in mind that the provisions of the cyber law are not made so stringent that it may retard the growth of the industry and prove to be counter-productive.