By Ansu Ealias


Any crime committed through an electronic device using the internet is called cyber-crime.

It’s a crime through computers and the internet with criminal motive to steal an individual’s reputation and identity and stocking the victims etc.Cyber-crimes are also known as computer-oriented crimes. Cyber-crimes are committed against a single individual or a group of individuals with an intention to cause mental or physical harm to the victim directly or indirectly using the computer networks. In cybercrimes, a computer is used as a tool  or targeted  for illegal activity. Crimes are classified into Cybercrimes or Cyber related crimes. Cybercrimes are broken or hackable software is exploited.  Email bombing ,data diddling, Salami attacks, Trojan attacks,etc..damaging the computer system. Identity theft, internet scams and cyberstalking etc. are the strong branches of Cyber-crime. It’s a violation of law on the internet. It’s also a breach of law on the internet. Cybercrime happens in the world of computers and the internet that is known as cyberspace. Cyberspace is a virtual world created by the man here one computer can talk to the other computer. The illegal possession ,distributing information and offering through computer networks includes cybercrime. Cybercrime was first recorded in the year 1820. Through neural networks computers have today come a long way. Now cybercrime has become a common activity in our society. Criminal activities such as forgery,defamation,fraud,theft,mischief etc. Includes in the cybercrime. There are so many new age crimes like hacking,cyber stalking, webjacking, web defacement. Cyber-crimes are usually done  or related over the internet or computer software. Cyber specific includes cyber piracy, cyber trespass, cyber vandalism. Cyber related crimes partially violate cyber security. Cyber related crimes do not directly qualify as being a cybercrime. It is also known as an assistance in doing any legal activity. Cyber exacerbated crimes are violating legal cyber laws and creating nuisance. Cyber exacerbated crimes include cyberstalking ,internet pornography and internet pedophilia. In cyber assisted crimes a computer system is assisting to perform such a crime like online fraud and physical assault.

Classification of Cyber crimes

 Depending upon the target of the crime Cybercrimes are classified into three groups. They are the following:

  1. Against individuals, their person, their property
  1.   Against organization, government, firm, company, group of individuals
  1. Against Society at large

Cybercrimes against individuals include cyberstalking ,defamation, email spoofing, cheating ,fraud, access over computer systems ,unauthorized control ,dissemination of obscene material ,harassment through email.

Cybercrimes against individual property includes transmitting virus, intellectual property crimes, Internet crime thefts, access over computer systems ,unauthorized control, Netrespass,computer vandalism.

Cybercrimes against organization includes access over computer system ,unauthorized control, possession of unauthorized information, access over computer system, distribution of pirated software, cyber terrorism against the government organizationetc.

Cybercrimes against Society at large includes trafficking, financial crimes, online gambling, forgery, sale of illegal articles, childpornography, polluting the youth through indecent exposure.

Computer related crimes are classified into three categories by David L Carter.

  • Computer as target of the crime
  • Computer as an instrument of crime
  • computer as incidental to the crime

Computer as target of the crime includes the theft of data or information, theft of marketable information’s, theft of intellectual property such as computer software, unlawful access to criminal justice and the government records, sabotage of computer and computer systems or computer networks, blackmail based on information gained from computerized files such as sexual preference, financial data, medical information personal history etc.

Computers as an instrument of crime includes credit card frauds, frauds involving electronic fund transfers, frauds relating to e-commerce, telecommunicationfrauds, frauds involving stock transfers, fraudulent use of ATM cards and accounts.

Computer as incidental to the crime divided into two. Internet crime using the internet infrastructure and web-based crimes. Internet crime using the internet infrastructure includes hacking, launch of malicious programmes, spamming,espionage.Web based crimes means website related crime, crime through email ,use net related crimes ,internet relay chat crime.

Different types of Cyber crimes

Email Spoofing

Creating and sending of email from a foreign ID and is used by an attacker.

For example,Flip Kart case (2017)

Section 66 D of IT Act provides three-year imprisonment and fine upto rupees one lakh.

Sections 417,419,465 of IPC are applicable here.Section 120 of IPC also.

Email Spamming  (Junk emails)

Email spamming is an unsolicited mass mail from a concealed identity. It is a zero-cost strategy. It may or may not be a virus. It is also known as Email Bombing . One of the disadvantages of email spamming is it reduces storage spacious attack is the denial-of-service attack. It is a kind of email spamming. Punishment for email spamming is 3 years imprisonment and fine upto one lakh rupees.

Cyber Defamation

Defame any person through a cyber media spreading a false message about a person by a digital device. Section 499 and 589 of IPC deals with the defamation. Punishment is 3 years imprisonment and 5 lakh rupees as fine.

For example, in Pinery Vijayan case 2010, the accused downloaded the photograph from the Orkut title and replaced the title as pinery Vijayan house. In India ,defamation is a tort as well as an offence punishable under section 499 to Section 509 of IPC.

SMC Pneumatics (India Pvt Ltd) Vs Jogesh pothra

An employee who sends a defamatory statement about his employer to be sent to other employees and subsidiaries. The company identified the employee with the help of private company experts and moved to the High Court and High Court held that the employee is liable under Section 499 of IPC.


Unauthorized accessing of someone’s system without his or her consent. There are five categories of hacker. Hacking is committed for multiple purposes like stealing data, fraud,destruction of data and damage to a computer system for mere pleasure or personal satisfaction. They are white hat hackers, black hat hackers,grey hat hackers, script kidding ,phreakers.

  •  White hat hackers

They use their skills for good reasons and do not harm the computer systems so they are called ethical hackers. They are generally consultants employed to examine the computer system to identify security reasons and to give advice to the owners to adopt precautionary measures.

  • Black hat hackers

They are called unethical hackers or crackers. They are unauthorized access to a computer system with a malicious intention and use their knowledge for private use.

For example,Shrita Singha Vs Union of India deals with the e-publication and violation of fundamental rights.

  • Grey hat hackers

They are skilled hackers who usually do not hack for personal gain or have no malicious intention but may or may not occasionally commit crimes during the course of their technological exploitation.

So, they are hybrids between white hat and black hat hackers. They are typically ethical but occasionally unethical. The moment they cross the boundary they become crackers or black hat hackers.

  • Script kidding

They are not professional hackers. They are tracking through internet available tutorials.

  • Phreakers

Phreaker is a person who manipulates and attacks telephone systems. The telephone systems are also computerized hence phreakers are covered by the term hackers/crackers.

Cyber Stalking

Harassing an individual or group of individuals by using the internet like false accusation, threat and harassment. It is a willful conduct. The first case in India was that  of Mrs. Ritu Kohli ,an unknown person used her name to chat with others and gave her address to persons using obscene language. Due to this Mischief, she received many phone calls usually in odd hours which  shattered her mental peace and family life. The accused Manish Kasturba was arrested and sentenced for outraging the modesty of women under Section 509 of IPC.

(Anti rape law under Domestic Violence Act, IT Act, IPC)

Cyber Squatting (Meta Tagging)

In a case playboy and Playmate are registered trademark of the plaintiff. The defendant used the term in their domain name as Playboy and Playmate The court ordered compensation worth rupees 10 crores and it is an infringement of trademark.

Salami Attack

Salami attack is when a small attack adds up to the major attack. It is mainly a financial crime in banks. It is an unauthorized crime. It is a technique involving the theft of small amounts of assets from a large number of sources without noticeably reducing the whole. The offenders steal the money a bit at a time. It amounts to slicing the data thinly.

Data Diddling

Alteration of data before or during the processing time.

Virus and Worms

Viruses are the programs that have the ability to destroy or make copies of data and easily spread it to the other programs. Worms are similar to the virus but not modify the programs but it can replicate again and again.

Cyberbullying and trolling

cybercrime involved by children


A voyeur  is a person who derives sexual pleasure from the covered observation of others as they undress or engage in sexual activities. It is called peeping tom syndrome (refer Section 354 C of IPC).

Private act includes an act of watching carried out in a place which the circumstances would reasonably be expected to provide privacy and where the victims,genital,buttox or breast are exposed or covered only in underwear, or the victim is using a toilet, or the person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public, where the victim consents to the capture of images or any act but not to their dissemination to third persons and where such image or act is disseminated. Such dissemination shall be considered as an offence. (Refer Section 354 C of IPC)

Cyber Terrorism

According to Section 66 F,cyber terrorism is a punishable offence with life imprisonment. It means use of computers ,internet to threatens the integrity, sovereignty,unity defense systems and public safety of nations. It includes the description of emergency services ,government services etc. The terrorists used the internet to formulate plans, raise funds ,create propaganda and to communicate the message among themselves to execute a plan. They encrypt emails to plan their activities by using a modern technology called steganography to hide messages in beautiful pictures and cartoons.

Cyber pornography

Pornography can be in the form of obscene emails,publications,mobile messages,pictures,videos or child pornography.

There are three kinds of tests of obscenity. They are HICKLIN test, Oath test and Contemporary Interpretation (Modern Man Thinking Style).

M.F Huzzain case ,Bandhit Kyu case are the examples of cyber pornography.


Phishing is a criminally fraudulent process in electronic communication. In phishing, fraudulently tricking people into disclosing sensitive information such as passwords ,credit card details ,username etc.

There are also some kinds of cybercrimes where the computer is a tool for an unlawful act. They are the following:

  • financial crimes

e.g.: credit card frauds

  • sale of illegal articles

e.g. : sale of narcotics, weapons

  • online gambling

e.g.: money laundering

  • Intellectual property crimes

e.g.: domain name registration , software piracy

  • Denial of service
  • Virus

e.g.: I Love You ,2000

     Creeper – 1971

  • Trojan horse
  • Internet time theft
  • Physically damaging a computer system
  • Bot and Botnets

e.g.: Internet Relay Chat (IRC)


  • Keyloggers
  • Website Defacement
  • Pharming
  • Identity Theft
  • Rootkits

e.g.: Brain Virus

  • Mobile Malwares


Now cyber-crimes are increasing day by day in our society. Many of them were the victims of cyber-crimes. Through the illegal use of computers and Internet, reputation and identity of person’s were stealed.It also includes internet fraud, identity theft,etc. Cyber-crimes are done through modern telecommunication networks like mobile phones,email,notice boards and groups. There are so many laws  and punishments regarding cybercrimes in IT Act, IPC ,Crpc ,Evidence Act etc. Violation of law on the internet is seriously punishable with fine and imprisonment.


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