Do you know a cyberattack is attempted every 39 seconds? We have entered the digital age with significant technological advancements in recent times. The age marked by global connectivity and the proliferation of opportunities has a negative connotation attached to it. There is a growing uneasiness among the users of the internet. The ”Digital India” project has eased every individual’s life but has also led to a drastic increase in cyber crimes in the country. Therefore, it’s important to know & understand the nature of cybercrime to ensure that you are free from cyber threats.
Cyber Crime: What Is It?
Cyber Crime is the Illegal deeds performed with the use of technology. The involvement of technology or digital mediums distinguishes Cybercrime from ordinary crimes. Cybercrime requires a computer and the internet to commit unlawful activities. Cybercrime usually exploits the personal or financial security of the victims.
Cyber attacks have been growing in number since the launch of the ”Digital India’India’ campaign in 2015. The year 2021 alone has witnessed more than 14 lakh cyber crime cases in India. This manifests the intensifying threat of cyber security in the country.
Types Of Cyber Crimes In India
In the ever-growing world of digital technology, the type of Cybercrime is also growing and expanding. Therefore, it is very extremely difficult to define the types of Cybercrime. Here are wide varieties of cybercrimes:
Phishing is done when the attacker spams users with fraudulent emails and messages promising special prizes or threatening an account suspension. The users in a state of excitement or panic click on the link. Instead of getting prizes and reactivating accounts, the user’s data gets stolen, and his devices get infected with viruses. In India, the total number of phishing incidents has gone up from 280 in 2020 to 523 in 2021. New instances of phishing witnessed the frauds committed even without the users clicking the links.
In this Digital Age, personal information is one of the most prized possessions of individuals. Identity thieves try to steal this personal information for illegal purposes. Cybercriminals hack into databases or scam the victims to get their personal information. The personal information includes name, number, bank details, and social security code. There is a web where this data is sold called the dark web.
Cybercriminals have started to extort money or virtual currency for the exchange of personal information. After they gain the information through various tactics, they blackmail the victims to exchange the information for money. If the victims don’t oblige, they threaten them to leak their details on the internet. In India, the total number of ransomware attacks too has shot up from 54 in 2020 to 132 in 2021.
Denial Of Service (DoS)
DoS intends to shut down the computer network by flooding it with traffic. This makes the network inaccessible to its users. In recent times, the attackers have been using different IP addresses. This makes it harder for the network to fight off the attack.
Malware is a kind of attack that executes unauthorized functions on the victim’s computer or digital device. Back in August of 2021, India experienced an average of 5,196 attacks weekly per education or research organization. Ransomware is a kind of Malware. Spyware, Trojans, and worms are some of the other kinds of Malware. Malware can be installed on your device when you download some third-party software in your device.
One of the most registered cybercrimes is cyberstalking. Cyberstalking usually involves victims being stalked in online mode. The stalker usually installs spyware on the victim’s device and keeps track of their activities. They then demand money in exchange for the details.
People nowadays are equipped with digital devices. This makes the internet a vital part of their lives. People have social media, do online shopping and play online games. However, what many people encounter during their time on the internet is constant harassment, intimidation, and defamation. This is a form of Cyber Bullying.
Steps To Register A Cyber Crime In India
Due to the rising number of Cyber Crime cases in the country, the Government of India has established different Cyber Crime cells throughout the country. Moreover, You can also file a cyber crime complaint online through an official government website.
How To File A Complaint Offline?
- After witnessing a cybercrime, the first thing one needs to do is visit your nearest Cyber Crime cell. Cybercrime falls under global jurisdiction, so you don’t need to worry about the place the crime is committed. You need to provide a written complaint in the Cyber Crime cell to process your case.
- One should address the complaint to the Head of the Cybercrime cell. It should also clearly mention your name, address, phone number, and email address. You would need certain documents to verify your claim depending upon what type of cybercrime is committed.
- If there is no Cyber Crime cell near you, you can file a First Information Report (FIR) at your nearest police station. The police would report the FIR under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- If, for some reason, the Police station refuses to file a complaint, you can write a complaint to the Judicial Magistrate of your district. The Magistrate will then direct the Police to take necessary action.
How To File A Complaint Online?
- Through the https://cybercrime.gov.in/ website, you can file a complaint online.
- To report women or child-related crimes, choose on report anonymously or report or track option. For other Cyber crimes, choose to report other cybercrime options.
- For the Report or Track option especially, you need to enter your details and the type of complaint to receive a mobile OTP. The OTP can be used to login into the website.
- After selecting any of the options mentioned above, you click on the File complaint option
- Click ”Accept” after reading the information
- Then fill in your details and the nature of Cyber Crime.
- Click on Save and Next option.
- Enter Suspect Details.
- Click on the Preview and Submit option.
- Click on the Submit option.
Steps To File Complaints Related To Social Media Cyber Crimes
- Along with filing a written complaint, you should also file a complaint on the particular Social Media site where the Cybercrime occurred.
To Register A Cyber Crime Complaint, Documents Required In India
There are different ways in which Cyber Crime is committed. Therefore, the type of documents needed also varies according to the nature of Cyber Crime.
For Email-Related Cyber Crimes
- A written complaint containing the details of the offense
- A copy of the original email received by the victim
- Complete the header of the reported email
- The email copy and header should be in both Hard and Soft copy. Soft copy should be provided in a CD-R only.
For Social Media Based Complaints
- A copy or screenshot of the alleged profile or content
- A copy or screenshot of the URL of the alleged content
- Hard and Soft copies of the alleged profile or content. Soft copy should be provided in a CD-R only.
For Mobile App-Based Complaints
- Screenshot of the alleged app
- Screenshot of the location from where it was downloaded
- Victims’Victims’ bank statements if any transactions are made
- Soft copies of the documents mentioned above.
For Business Email-Based Complaints
- A written brief about the offense
- Originating name and location
- Originating bank name and account number
- Recipient’sRecipient’s name, bank account number, and bank location
- Date and amount of transaction
- SWIFT number.
For Data Theft Complaints
- Copy of the data that is stolen
- The copyright certificate of the stolen data
- Details of the suspect
- Documents related to the suspect ( if it’s an employee)
- A proof of breach of your copyright data.
For Ransomware/Malware Complaints
- Details of the medium through which ransom is demanded
- Copy or screenshot of the email or message if malware is installed on your device.
For Internet Banking/Online Transactions/Lottery Scam/Fake Call Related Complaints
- Bank statements of the bothered bank for the last six months
- Copy or screenshot of the email or message through which the alleged communicated
- Copy of victim’s ID and address proof as per the bank record.
For Net Banking/ATM Complaints
- Copy of the original email received by the original victim
- Copy the complete header of the suspected email
- Victims’Victims’ bank statement
- Details of the transaction
- Soft copies of all aforestated documents.
For Bitcoin-Based Complaints
- A written brief about the offense
- The address of the Bitcoin
- The amount of Bitcoin transacted
- The address from/to whom the purchase/sale of the bitcoins have been made.
For Online Cheating Complaints
- A copy or screenshot of the alleged email
- Copy of the complete header of the alleged email
- Victim’sVictim’s bank statement
- Details of the suspected transaction
- Soft copies of the aforestated documents
Punishments Prescribed For Cyber Crimes In India
The intensity of Cybercrimes varies according to the type of crime committed. Therefore, the punishment for each type of Cybercrime committed also differs in India. Here are certain sections based on which the duration of punishment is decided:
- Section 65: Tampering with computer source code. Whoever tampers with Computer Source code can get up to 3 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 2 lakh rupees
- Section66: Hacking with a computer system can lend imprisonment up to 3 years or a fine of up to 2 lakh rupees
- Section 67: Publishing of obscene information in electronic form. A first conviction can lead to imprisonment of up to 3 years and a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees. A second conviction can lead to imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to 2 lakh rupees.
- Section 379: Punishment for theft. Convicts can be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fine.
- Section 420: Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property. Cybercrimes related to fraud, illegal websites, etc., fall under this category. Convicts could be imprisoned for up to 7 years and/or fine.
- Section 463: A conviction can lead to imprisonment of up to 7 years and/or a fine for making false documents or electronic records.
- Section 468 – Imprisonment of up to 7 years and/or a fine for committing forgery for the intention of cheating, like scam emails and messages.
A Word From Lawzik
With developing technology, Cybercriminals are also advancing. They’re developing new and innovative ways to scam people. So, as a user of digital technology, you also need to know and be prepared for Cyber Crimes. You can quickly secure your data if you maintain a strong password and download legitimate anti-virus software. However, you also need to be self-conscious so that you don’t fall for any bait in the form of obscure emails and messages.
The threat of Cybercrime is more evident than ever. But by undertaking the necessary measures, you can live a Cybercrime-free life.
If you have ever faced a Cyber threat, do mention your experience in the comment section. Doing so will help other readers have a more authentic idea about the extent of the threat they are dealing with. Cyber crimes could only be stopped if knowledge about it is shared and people become aware of how to handle them.