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Cyber Crimes and Laws in India

The present article is written by Mehak Khurana, 1st year M.Sc Forensic Science student from LNJN National Institute Of Criminology And Forensic Science,Ministry Of Home Affairs, Government Of India; during her internship at LeDroit India.


In the modern times, where technology is a prerequisite and almost everyone is connected through the network, the surge in cyber crimes have turned out to be a great ordeal for all of us .The efflux of cyber crime cases, has raised serious concerns about the privacy and security of the people and to curb such crimes, stringent laws should be introduced as well as implemented.


Cyber Crimes can be defined as a crime or an illegal behavior committed by means of a computer or a network, with the intention of influencing the normal functioning of
victim’s computer system. Cyber crimes are more prevalent because, they can be
committed from sitting at distant places, the criminals are difficult to detect because they
usually tend to hide their identity and such crimes are harder to prove as well.

 Categories of Cyber Crime:

Against Persons:
These crimes are targeted towards harassing people by means of computer system or
network . Example, Cyber spamming, cyber-stalking, child pornography etc.

Against Property:
These cyber crimes include, transferring harmful programs, viruses, worms, and
unauthorized possession of information as well.

Against Government:
These type of cyber crimes are those when , an individual or a group of people cracks
into government or military based website . For example , Cyber terrorism .

 Types of Cyber Crimes:
  •  Computer As Target :
    Computer Theft
    Software piracy
    Intrusions into the computer system
  •  Computer As Repository Of Evidence :
    Cyber Frauds
    Illicit Drugs Trafficking
    Cyber Terrorism
  • Computer As The Tool :
    Financial Frauds
    Cyber defamation
    Cyber defamation
    Identity Theft
    Child Pornography
    Cyber terrorism
    Social Engineering
  •  Theft of parts of computers(1)
Common types of cyber crimes :


Spam is an unsolicited e-mail message or comments , sent to multiple recipients , from which one can’t opt out .Spamming usually includes commercial advertising ,get rich-quick schemes, chain letters , online gambling , online social clubs , and quack health products . Such spam mails are also known as Junk mails , or Unsolicited commercial e-mails and Unsolicited Bulk e-mails.

Spimming :

Spim ,which means ‘Spam over Instant Message’ is a type of spamming technique which intends to target the messaging services.


Spoofing is a type of cyber crime when someone or something pretends to be something
else in order to access victim’s computer systems, and with the purpose of theft or
spreading malware . Spoofing attacks usually include , E-mail spoofing , Website
spoofing , IP Spoofing.


Phishing is the type of cyber crime in which attempts are made to obtain sensitive
information, by disguising oneself as a trustable person / website and vicious URL’s are
sent in order to trap the victim.


It is the technique employed by the cyber criminal , by exploitation of the vulnerabilities
in the DNS server software by planting an automated malware ,to acquire the domain
name from that site and illegally redirecting the traffic to some other false website .

Identity Theft:

The type of cyber crime where the person’s identity is stolen and then used for various
purposes to malign the image of the particular person , it is also done for accessing
confidential information.

Malware Attacks:

Malware (viruses, worms and Trojans) is a software program developed with the
malicious purpose of causing harm to victim’s computer system.

 Social Engineering and Psychological Subversion (SEPS):

Often referred to as ‘hacking the wetware’, it involves human interaction and exploits
victim’s emotions , beliefs , trust by persuading the victim to share his/her personal
details by attacking their vulnerabilities .

Cyber–stalking :

Cyber stalking is the form of electronic harassment to stalk or defame an individual,
group, or organization.

Hacking :

It is a type of cyber trespass, where the security of the victim’s computer system , or
network is attacked by means of intrusion with the malicious intent of gains .

Password- sniffing:

Password sniffing is a technique used to gain knowledge of passwords that involves
monitoring traffic on a network to pull out information. [2]

Denial Of Service Attack:

DOS is a type of security breach which targets the network system by flooding it with
useless traffic by exploiting the limitations of TCP/IP protocols.

Cyber Squatting:

Cyber Squatting is a dubious crime , of registering famous brand names as Internet
domain names with the malicious intention of selling it to another person at inflated rates.

Software Piracy:

It is the cyber crime of unauthorized copying and illegal distribution of software.

Copyright Infringement:

It is an illegal act of copying software, or even someone’s creative work which is
copyrighted by a particular person/organisation.

Cyber Bullying:

It is the harassment of people through electronic media, or the internet , they are mostly
harmful and offensive.

Cyber Terrorism:

It is the pre-mediated use of computing resources for disruptive activities , with intention of harming the social , ideological , political objectives to intimidate any person.

Data Diddling:

It is the cyber crime which involves changing data prior to or during input to a computer.


The cyber crime where one person uses the identity of another person to gain access to a

Web Jacking:

It is the crime of taking forcible control of a website by cracking password or use of key

Statistics of Cyber Crimes in India:
  1. USA’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre(IC3) of FBI released an ‘Internet
    Crime Report’ 2019, which stated that India stands third in the world among top
    20 countries which are victims of cyber crimes.
  2. According to National Crime Records Bureau,27,248 cyber crime cases were
    registered in India in the year 2018. [3]
 Need for Cyber Laws:

In the tech-savvy world as we are getting more dependent on the internet for recreational as well as research purposes , cyber crimes have also become more sophisticated, and to curb such heinous acts , there is a need of proper formation and implementation of cyber crimes.

 Cyber Laws in India :
  1.  Information Technology Act, 2000
    The Information Technology Act, 2000 , also known as the Indian Cyber Act or the Internet. Laws were introduced to prevent cyber crimes and the laws were drafted to bring in view all the electronic records and online/electronic activities to legal recognition. The IT Act also addresses the important issues of security, which are critical to the success of electronic transactions.
  2. Amendments to the IT Act:
    The IT Act and the internet laws were amended under the following:
    The Indian Penal Code
    The Indian Evidence Act
    The Banker’s Book Evidence Act
    The Reserve Bank of India
  3.  Information Technology Act, 2008
    IT Act, 2000 went through amendments in the year 2008, which were enforced to strengthen the cyber security laws. ​Modifications in the Information Technology Act, 2008 included the change in the definition of some terms such as communication. [4]
Case Study:

 Sony Sambandh Case:
This was the first registered cyber case , in this case , Sony India Limited had developed
a website called Sony Sambandh , availing which NRI’s used to buy Sony products . In
one case ,there was a transaction which took place where someone made the payment through credit card and gave the address of the person , named Arif Azim. The order was
even accepted by the owner along with digital signatures. After few days, the company
got to know that the transaction made was not done by the actual owner of the card. Later on, after investigation, the police got to know that the fraudster who was of 24 year age and was convicted for the first time. Therefore, the court released the accused on the
probation of one year.


Although everyone avails the internet facilities but not all people fall victim to
cybercrimes, though one can fall prey to it anytime so one should always remain
cautious , also there is need to implement the cyber laws properly in order to give
punishment to the offenders and to prevent such crimes from happening .

[1] A Forensic Guide For Criminal Investigators, NICFS

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