What is this Cyber crime? We read about it
in newspapers very often. Let's look at the
dictionary definition of Cybercrime: "It is
a criminal activity committed on the
internet. This is a broad term that
describes everything from electronic
cracking to denial of service attacks that
cause electronic commerce sites to lose
Mr. Pavan Duggal, who is the President of
www.cyberlaws.net and consultant, in a
report has clearly defined the various
categories and types of cybercrimes.
Cybercrimes can be basically divided into 3
1. Cybercrimes against persons.
2. Cybercrimes against property.
3. Cybercrimes against government.
Cybercrimes committed against persons
include various crimes like transmission of
child-pornography, harassment of any one
with the use of a computer such as e-mail.
The trafficking, distribution, posting, and
dissemination of obscene material including
pornography and indecent exposure,
constitutes one of the most important
Cybercrimes known today. The potential harm
of such a crime to humanity can hardly be
amplified. This is one Cybercrime which
threatens to undermine the growth of the
younger generation as also leave irreparable
scars and injury on the younger generation,
if not controlled.
A minor girl in Ahmedabad was lured to a
private place through cyberchat by a man,
who, along with his friends, attempted to
gangrape her. As some passersby heard her
cry, she was rescued.
Another example wherein the damage was not
done to a person but to the masses is the
case of the Melissa virus. The Melissa virus
first appeared on the internet in March of
1999. It spread rapidly throughout computer
systems in the United States and Europe. It
is estimated that the virus caused 80
million dollars in damages to computers
In the United States alone, the virus made
its way through 1.2 million computers in
one-fifth of the country's largest
businesses. David Smith pleaded guilty on
Dec. 9, 1999 to state and federal charges
associated with his creation of the Melissa
virus. There are numerous examples of such
computer viruses few of them being "Melissa"
and "love bug".
Cyberharassment is a distinct Cybercrime.
Various kinds of harassment can and do occur
in cyberspace, or through the use of
cyberspace. Harassment can be sexual,
racial, religious, or other. Persons
perpetuating such harassment are also guilty
of cybercrimes. Cyberharassment as a crime also brings us to
another related area of violation of privacy
of citizens. Violation of privacy of online
citizens is a Cybercrime of a grave nature.
No one likes any other person invading the
invaluable and extremely touchy area of his
or her own privacy which the medium of
internet grants to the citizen.
against property:The second category of Cyber-crimes is that
of Cybercrimes against all forms of
property. These crimes include computer
vandalism (destruction of others' property),
transmission of harmful programmes.
A Mumbai-based upstart engineering company
lost a say and much money in the business
when the rival company, an industry major,
stole the technical database from their
computers with the help of a corporate
against government:The third category of Cyber-crimes relate to Cybercrimes against Government.
Cyberterrorism is one distinct kind of crime
in this category. The growth of internet has
shown that the medium of Cyberspace is being
used by individuals and groups to threaten
the international governments as also to
terrorise the citizens of a country. This
crime manifests itself into terrorism when
an individual "cracks" into a government or
military maintained website.
In a report of expressindia.com, it was
said that internet was becoming a boon for
the terrorist organisations. According to
Mr. A.K. Gupta, Deputy Director
(Co-ordination), CBI, terrorist outfits are
increasingly using internet to communicate
and move funds. "Lashker-e-Toiba is
collecting contributions online from its
sympathisers all over the world. During the
investigation of the Red Fort shootout in
Dec. 2000, the accused Ashfaq Ahmed of this
terrorist group revealed that the militants
are making extensive use of the internet to
communicate with the operatives and the
sympathisers and also using the medium for
intra-bank transfer of funds".
Cracking is amongst the gravest Cyber-crimes
known till date. It is a dreadful feeling to
know that a stranger has broken into your
computer systems without your knowledge and
consent and has tampered with precious
confidential data and information.
Coupled with this the actuality
is that no computer system in the world is
cracking proof. It is unanimously agreed
that any and every system in the world can
be cracked. The recent denial of service
attacks seen over the popular commercial
sites like E-bay, Yahoo, Amazon and others
are a new category of Cyber-crimes which are
slowly emerging as being extremely
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."
Pavan Duggal,Supreme Court advocate and
cyber law expert