Curbing Cyber Crimes by Indian Law

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  Curbing Cyber Crimes by Indian Law Tej Narain Prasad Varma 1 , Dr. DA Khan 2 Department of Computer Applications, NIT, Jamshedpur , India 1 tpverm@yahoo.com  ABSTRACT The exponential growth of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in last decade has significantly changed the paper based communication to e- communication, which is emerging as a serious threat of cyber crime through computer facilitation or computer as a target. In year 2000 India did enact Information Technology (IT) Act and made first attempt at trying to define use and misuse of digital medium in the country. Understanding of cyber crimes and its curbing through India Laws is the basic theme of this paper. Key Words:   Cyber Crime, Indian Law Corresponding Author: Tej Narain Prasad Varma INTRODUCTION Internet increases the richness of communications through greater interactivity between the firm and the customer (Watson et al., 1998), providing information availability and visibility (Simchi-Levi et al.,2003), inadequate enterprise without IT systems (Davenport and Brooks, 2004),e-commerce applications (Chou et al., 2004) etc .With the development of this new technology that also generate a risk of cyber crime, which is define as “Crimina l activity directly related to the use of computers, specifically illegal trespass into the computer system or database of another, manipulation or theft of stored or on-line data, or sabotage of equipment and data( Wow Essay 2009), Cyber-crime or computer crime is considered to be any crime that uses a computer and a computer network (Matthews, 2010) etc. Furnell (2001) classified cyber crime as “computer  - assisted” such as hacking, phishing and “computer  - focused” as hate crimes, telemarketing/internet fraud crimes. Widely used terms for crime involving computers are computer crime, computer related crime, computer misuse, cyber crime, digital crime, e-crime, internet crime, online crime etc. India Information Technology Act, 2000(hereinafter “IT ACT”)  articulates cyber contraventions (violation of law or rule of  procedure, which may be may not be punishable) and cyber offences (an act prohibited and made punishable) as collective term of Cyber Crime which is an illegal act that involves a computer, computer system or computer network. In a digital age, where internet has become the necessity of life, which is generating E- risks of cyber attacks by criminal though data interception, data interference, system interference or illegal access  by e-mail spoofing or forgery, phishing, email spam, Denial of service attacks, unauthorized access physically or virtually to computer/computer system/computer  networks, web jacking physically damaging the computer system etc. which are exponentially growing the addition cost to the organization/ Government to manage the E-risk. The IT Act, 2000 was formed to govern ,regulate, transactions in cyberspace and legalise e-commerce . The provision of the IT Act, 2000, as amended 2008 in which various cyber crimes have been declared as penal offences punishable with imprisonment and fine may help the curbing the Cyber crime. The IT Act was amended in year 2008, which leads to combating cyber crime by adding of changing of provision as liability of Corporate body towards Sensitive Personal Data, introduction of virus, manipulating accounts, denial of services etc. made punishable, sense of Phishing and Spam, Stolen Computer resource or communication device Misuse of Digital Signature, Cheating, Cyber terrorism, Child Pornography, In termediary’s liability, Surveillance, Interception and Monitoring, Sexually explicit content etc. Further, the Indian Penal Code 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act , 1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 were amended to make them compatible with the IT ACT.  This paper describes various cyber crime risk and their curbing through Indian Laws specially IT amended Act, 2008. CYBER CRIME AND INDIAN LAW 2.1 Illegal Access (Hacking, Cracking) Hacking means unauthorized or illegal access by means of physical or / and virtual intrusion to a computer or computer system or computer network. By hacking computer or computer system criminals may commit illegal access of confidential data, theft of data, manipulation in data, denial of access of system by authorized person etc. In the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 the term hacking has been substituted with computer related offences which are all articulated under section 43 (a) of the act  primarily deals with contravention resulting due to unauthorized access to computer or computer system or network or resources and then section 66 introduced with the concept of mens rea  (criminal intent) in the form of dishonesty (define in section 24 of Indian Penal Code 1860) or fraudulently (define in section 25 of Indian Penal Code 1860) and if crime is proved under section 66 , accused shall be punished for imprisonment, which may extend to three years or with fine, which may extend to five lakh rupees or both and under section 65 (tempering with computer source documents) accused should be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both. Section 379 (Theft) & section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of Indian Penal Code, 1860 also are applicable. This offence is cognizable, bailable and compoundable. 2.2   Illegal data acquisition (Data Theft or Alteration ) Data theft under Section 43 (b) of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 is dealt as - If any person without permission of the owner or any other person, who is in charge of a Computer, its system or network - downloads, copies or extracts any data, computer data base or information from such computer, its system or network including  information or data held or stored in any removable storage medium, then it is data theft. It protects data, computer database from unauthorized downloads, copies or extracts. The aforesaid clause of this act is an attempt to introduce the elements of copyright protection or Protection from Data or Intellectual Property Theft. The owner has an exclusive ‘digital content rights’ of reproduction.  Whoever dishonestly receives or retains any stolen computer resource or communication device knowing or having reason to believe the same to be stolen computer resource or communication device, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to rupees one lakh or with both dealt under Section 66 B of IT Act 2008.Section 23(Wrongful gain), Section 379(theft), 406(criminal breach of trust) & 420(Cheating and dishonestly) of Indian Penal Code,1860 are also applicable. Data Theft offence is cognizable, bailable, compoundable. 2.2.1   Salami Attack These attacks are used for the commission of financial crimes. The key here is to make the alternation so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely 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. 2.3 Spreading or Dissemination of Malicious Software (Malware) Section 43( c ) of IT amendment Act, 2008 takes into account where attempts made to introduce or successful introduction of any contaminant or computer virus and 43 (e) dealt with disruption which leads to malfunctioning into any computer or computer system or computer network without permission of the owner or any other person, who is in charge of such. This virus means any computer instruction, information, data or  program that destroys damages, degrades or adversely affects the performance of computer resource or attaches itself to other computer resources. Criminal can ruin/mess up the system and render it unusable without a re-installation of the operating system. Most have not done this much damage in the past, but could easily do this in the future. Usually the virus will install files on the system and then will change the system so that virus program is run every time at start of system. Such offences also dealt under Section 66 of IT Act and Section 268(public nuisance) of Indian Penal Code, 1860 which is cognizable, bailable & compoundable. 2.4   Physical or Virtual Damage Section 43 (d) of IT act 2008 deals with   damages or causes to be damaged any computer, computer system or computer network, data, computer data base or any other programs residing in such computer, computer system or computer network. It includes damage to  both hardware and / or software either done physically or virtually. Physical damage means changing the srcinal/ earlier hardware or software configuration of any computer or systems by destroying, altering, deleting, adding, modifying or rearranging the binary files manually. If such activities be performed by remotely connected system like satellite, microwave or other communication media, is called virtual damage. Any person  who damages or causes to be damage shall be liable to damages by way of compensation to the person so affected. It may cover instances related to computer/ online fraud or forgery, privacy violation,etc.  2.4.1   Data Diddling Data diddling is the performing unauthorized modifications to data prior or during input into a computer or computer system by means of . It data entry, a virus that changes data, the programmer of the database or application, exchanging valid disks and tapes with modified replacements. 2.5 Denial of Service Attack The Internet Security Glossary (Shirley,2000)   defines Denial of Service ( commonly named DOS attack) as “The prevention of authorised access to a system resource or the delaying of system operations and functions.” It is a technology driven cyber intrusion, where the cyber criminal floods the networks  bandwidth or blocks the user’s mails with spam   mails depriving the user, access to the Internet and the services provided there from. There are three basic types of attack; consumption of computational resources, such as bandwidth, disk space, or central processing unit (CPU) time, disruption of configuration information, such as routing information and disruption of physical network components. The provision for this was made in section 43(f ) of IT amendment Act, 2008, which stated that denies or causes the denial of access to any person authorised to access any computer, computer system or computer network by any means. Any person who damages or causes to damage shall be liable to damages by way of compensation to the person so affected. Section 368 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines Web-Jacking. It may also cover instances related to spamming, etc;. 2.5.1 E-Mail Bombing An e-mail bomb is a form of net abuse consisting of sending huge volumes of e-mail to an address in an attempt to overflow the mailbox or overwhelm the server where the email address is hosted in a denial-of-service attack. Mass mailing consists of sending numerous duplicate mails to the same email address. 2.6 Theft of Internet Hours / Identity Theft Section 43 (h) of of IT amendment Act, 2008 is safeguarding the rights of an account holder of an Internet Service provider (ISP). The idea behind this is to prevent theft, misappropriation, fraud or forgery of access code/ user id / password etc; by the person to the account of another person by tempering with or manipulating any computer, computer system or network. Identity theft is form of fraud or dishonest used to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data or  password or other unique identification feature  in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for financial gain. Even the offence of identity theft specifically by way
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