CYBER CRIME IS AN EVIL HAVING ITS ORIGIN IN THE
GROWING DEPENDENCE ON COMPUTERS IN MODERN LIFE.
“A simple yet sturdy definition of cyber crime would
be unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a
tool or a target or both”. Defining cyber crimes, as
“acts that are punishable by the information
Technology Act” would be unsuitable as the Indian
Penal Code also covers many cyber crimes, such as
e-mail spoofing, cyber defamation, etc.
Cybercrime in a narrow sense (computer crime):
Any illegal behavior directed by means of
electronic operations that targets the security
of computer systems and the data processed by
Cybercrime in a broader sense (computer-related
crime): Any illegal behavior committed by means
of, or in relation to, a computer system or
network, including such crimes as illegal
possession [and] offering or distributing
information by means of a computer system or
TYPES OF CYBER CRIME
Cyber Crime refers to all activities done with criminal
intent in cyberspace. These fall into three slots.
Let us examine the acts wherein the computer is a tool
for an unlawful act. This kind of activity usually
involves a modification of a conventional crime by using
computer. Some examples are;
This would include cheating, credit card frauds, money
This would include pornographic websites; pornographic
magazines produced using computer and the Internet (to
down load and transmit pornographic pictures, photos,
Sale of illegal articles:
This would include sale of narcotics, weapons and
wildlife etc., by posting information on websites,
bulletin boards or simply by using e-mail
There are millions of websites, all hosted on servers
abroad, that offer online gambling. In fact, it is
believed that many of these websites are actually fronts
for money laundering.
Intellectual Property Crimes:
These include software piracy, copyright infringement,
trademarks violations etc.
A spoofed email is one that appears to originate from
one source but actually has been sent from another
source. This can also be termed as E-Mail forging.
Counterfeit currency notes, postage and revenue stamps,
mark sheets etc., can be forged using sophisticated
computers, printers and scanners.
This occurs when defamation takes place with the help of
computers and or the Internet e.g. someone published
defamatory matter about someone on a websites or sends
e-mail containing defamatory information to all of that
Cyber stalking involves following a person’s movements
across the Internet by posting messages on the bulletin
boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-rooms
frequented by the victim.
Let us examine some of the acts wherein the computer or
computer Network is the target for an unlawful act. It
may be noted that in these activities the computer may
also be a tool. This kind of activity is usually out of
the purview of conventional criminal law. Some examples
Unauthorized access to computer system or
This activity is commonly referred to as hacking.
The Indian Law has however given a different
connotation to the term hacking.
Theft of information contained in electronic
This includes information stored in computer hard
disks, removable storage media etc.
Email bombing refers to sending a large amount of
e-mails to the victim resulting in the victims’
e-mail account or mail servers.
This kind of an attack involves altering the raw
data just before it is processed by a computer and
then changing it back after the processing is
Those attacks are used for the commission of
financial crimes. The key here is to make the
alteration so insignificant that in a single case it
would go completely unnoticed e.g. A bank employee
inserts a program into bank’s servers, that deducts
a small amount from the account of every customer.
Denial of Service:
This involves flooding computer resources with more
requests than it can handle. This causes the
resources to crash thereby denying authorized users
the service offered by the resources.
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
don not need the host to attach themselves to.
These are dependent programs. This implies that
these programs are created to do something only when
a certain event occurs, e.g. some viruses may be
termed logic bombs because they lie dormant all
through the year and become active only on a
A Trojan as this program is aptly called, is an
unauthorized program which functions from inside
what seems to be an authorized program, thereby
concealing what it is actually doing.
Internet Time Theft:
This connotes the usage by unauthorized persons of
the Internet hours paid for by another person.
Physically damaging a computer system:
This crime is committed by physically damaging a
computer or its peripherals.