With the increase in sophisticated digital crimes and cyber attacks, one thing is for sure is, that the computer forensic market is going to skyrocket in coming times in economically developing countries like India. Cybercrimes are not new in our country. Addressing the issues of cyber fraud started long back and different law enforcement agencies and government bodies have come forward in this regard. Computer forensics has come into play to perform structures investigation to find out the hidden facts and resolve with accurate investigation results and find out means to stop it. Many unique and innovative techniques are used by investigators to inspect and look for hidden, encrypted or deleted folders and files.
The dangers of living is a world of connectivity
For everyone’s understanding, cybercrime can be simply defined by any unlawful act, where computers are used as targets or tools, or maybe both. These unlawful activities are in plenty in India like phishing, hacking, bank frauds, credit card frauds, and child abuse through pornography, crimes committed through chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, creating and distributing viruses and so on.
We can say that the word ‘cybercrime’ is a broader term that simply defines any crime in which the use of computers and computer networks acts as tools to target and attack criminal intentions.
We live in an age where computers and the internet are a regular part of our life and play a major role in all aspects of our lives from social to economic and personal. Just as everything has its pros and cons, so do the usage and embracing technology. Stopping cyber crimes has become a real challenge in our country today. Cybercriminals use the vulnerabilities in the system and commit crimes.
Let’s look at some of the most common cyber frauds in India and what can be done:
- Hacking or Unauthorized Access
Hacking, also known as cracking is one of the most common and biggest cyber crime cases in India. It simply means getting access to one’s computer or computer system or computer network without granting permissions through some weaknesses or loopholes in the operating system. The intentions behind it are either theft of data or destroying valuable data. It is generally done with the aid of some backdoor program that is installed in a system.
Hackers watch all your computer activities very closely and even install numerous programs with your knowledge in your system. These unauthorized programs running in your computer steals your valuable data like credit card and bank details, confidential official and personal files and alike.
Usually the computer or the system starts showing fake messages or activities like virus infection messages, browsing toolbars, redirecting to strange and unknown sites and random pop-ups and such. If you are getting such messages or activities, make sure that you are being targeted.
Immediately get reputed anti-hacking software installed in your computer, and make sure of the followings:
- Never click any random or fictitious email and its attachment.
- Download stuff only from trusted sources.
- Before running any hardware, always scan it.
- Never keep easy and simple passwords and refrain from storing them in your system.
- Always keep your entire login in credential secret and never share it with anyone.
Yet another most common cyber menace, with the biggest number of cybercrime complains. Anonymous e-mails are sent to users claiming as legitimate organizations or enterprises with numerous offers, prizes, lures and alike to get the personal details of the users. Such emails have links that direct users to visit them and surrender or update information/s like bank passwords, ATM pins, credit card details and many more and steals them to conduct fraudulent transactions without the knowledge of the user.
We know that e-mail phishing is a common threat. As a thumb rule, never click on such e-mails and especially the ones that have arrived from unknown sources. Always check the URLs of the sites you visit and navigate to them by using a saved bookmark. Using and anti-phishing software is a great way to go that uses a two-way system of authentication before allowing access.
Piracy has now entered the internet world too. Software piracy refers to the copying of genuine original programs and distributing them or selling them for use. Such cybercrimes are known and done in various modes like trademark violations, copyright infringement, patent violation and lot more. The squatters register names that are identical to popular names or brands or products so that they can easily attract users and derive benefit from them.
Software piracy affects everyone. It for sure hurts the economy and your computer as well. It is a personal measure that we all need to stop by committing towards it by:
- Always but CD software from reputed and trusted sellers.
- Read the End User License Agreement for each software you purchase.
- If purchasing online, down directly from the manufacturer’s website.
- Always register yr software to prevent others from using it anymore.
- Report immediately if you find that it is a pirated or duplicate software.
Cyberstalking is just like a normal stalking activity, where the prime motive is to harass someone and take control over him or her. In normal stalking, the target is continuously harassed by acts of phone calls, messages, threats, and even physical harms. In the case of cyberstalking, the victim is repeatedly bombarded with such threats using computer internet services. Stalking – online or offline, has serious impacts on the victims and is a heinous crime as per cybercrime India punishment law.
The best way forward with cyberstalking is immediately reporting the matter to the authorities in the first instance. In India stalking mainly happens against women, and they should not wait and immediately register their complaints with the National Commission for Women and the Commission takes the matter up with the police.
- Pornography and Child Pornography
The internet is being widely used in India to see pornographic contents and use them against children for sexual abuse. Children are the easiest targets for such criminals. With easy access to the internet and pornographic contents, such peoples also termed as pedophiles attract and lure children by sending them pornographic contents either for their own sexual needs or take nude and obscene images and videos of these children with nullified motives.
The process starts with these kinds of people entering chat rooms and getting friendly with children. Once they become friends, they start interacting and sending pornographic content and invite them to meet in person. The pedophiles then sexually exploit children and sell the over the internet to make money o extract money. Cybercrime India punishment bureau is very strict and serious about such natures of crime on children and young adults.
Prevention: Child pornography is a serious issue these days in India. The best way to save your child from it is by monitoring his or her activities online and offline. Take the following measures:
- Install parental lock in the home system, so that you know when he or she is on the system.
- Block illicit websites by installing reputed software protection.
- Speak to your child often and be friendly with them. They should be like your buddies and share with you everything.
- Keep an eye on their activities in school and at home or elsewhere.
- If anything you notice fictitious with their behavior or attitude, consult them immediately and if something has already happened unnoticed, immediately report the matter to the cybercrime cell.
- Virus Attacks
Viruses could be dangerous like its synonyms cause in the human body. They are highly capable of infecting other programs and multiply by making copies of themselves and spreading into other programs. These are fictitious software that attached themselves to other software on the computer. They are very much capable of altering and even deleting data from the affected computer and network.
Similarly, along with viruses, there are Trojan horses, worms, Logic bombs, time bombs and rabbits that are harmful too. They are serviced intentionally often at times in computers to cause harm and disrupt normal functioning for the user.
Prevention: Follow these steps:
- Install virus protection or anti-virus software and keep updating it regularly.
- Always keep strong passwords.
- Verify every fictitious email and their links.
- Always select a firewall to ensure added browser privacy settings.
- Adjust your user control account and use a pop-up blocker.
- Small Salami Attacks
Mainly been done by cybercriminals for banking frauds, and alterations are done is a very minute scale so that they go completely unnoticed. E.g. if you can take out a petty sum of Rs. 5 from the accounts of millions of customers through software installed in the bank network, users won’t even notice or complain, but you can make millions is a moth with a small amount from each user.
Prevention: Such attacks are designed to go undetected. However, performing these few steps can ensure that you are safe from such attacks:
- Conduct random audits of any financial data.
- Take note of any discrepancies found and do a proper study.
- The track even the smallest errors.
- Educate yourself and others too.
- Take note of the smallest deduction and question the authorities on the same.
These are some of the most common cybercrimes practiced in India. There are many others like email bombing, sale of illegal substances over the internet, internet time theft, data dandling, forgery and alike that happens over the internet in our country and the list is somewhat endless.
The Government of India has taken a strong initiative against all forms of cybercrimes by launching its online portal https://cybercrime.gov.in/.
It is a strong and serious initiative by our Government to facilitate any victim and complainants to report any cybercrime complaints online. The portal caters to all and any complaints about cybercrimes with special consideration and eye on cyber crimes against women and children. All complaints reported on this portal are dealt with by the law enforcement agencies and police based on the information submitted by the complainants. It is thereby imperative that complainants provide correct and accurate details while filing they’re complaining about prompt and immediate actions.
Infact ethical hacking and cyber security experts are expected to be the most sought after jobs in the next decade. Do click on the link for more updates. Thank you