Computer Crime Research Center

India: Cyber Crimes “an unlawful act where in the computer is either a tool or a target or both” – In Indian Legal Perspective

Date: September 27, 2004
Source: mondaq
By: Rajkumar Dubey


The glares of radiant brains have overshadowed the artificial bodily shines. An un-ending pursuit for excellence has stretched the dimensions of research to the limits in either direction. The modern world has witnessed successful amalgamation of bright minds and brighter machines making destinations unseen henceforth closer than ever before.

Research is not restricted to working on a fixed path. Science being a sympathetic mother do not deny those who attempted research in the reverse direction. The corollary was emergence of an era of crimes better known as "Cyber Crimes". The challenges before the inventors in the present century changed likewise to finding means to restrict such crimes.

It is worthwhile to note here that the first cyber crime took place as early as in the year 1820. The crimes have however gained momentum in India only in the recent past. As an upshot, the Indian Parliament gave effect to a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations for adoption of a Model Law on Electronic Commerce. The consequence was the passing of Information Technology Act 2000. The Act aims to regulate and legalize E-Commerce and take cognizance of offences arising there from.


The Cambridge dictionary defines Cyber Crimes as Crimes committed with the use of computers or relating to computers, especially through the Internet. Universally, Cyber Crime is understood as "an unlawful act where in the computer is either a tool or a target or both".

Cyber Crimes are different from conventional crimes as in cyber crimes; the crime is committed in an electronic medium and here mens rea is not a requirement but is rather a general rule under the penal provisions of the Information Technology Act. The element of mens rea in Internet crimes is that the offender must have been aware at the time of causing the computer to perform the function that the access thus intended to be secured was unauthorized.

Classification of Cyber Crimes:

The Information Technology Act deals with the following cyber crimes along with others:

Tampering with computer source documents:

A person who knowingly or intentionally, conceals (hides or keeps secret), destroys (demolishes or reduces), alters (change in characteristics) or causes another to conceal, destroy, and alter any computer source code used for a computer, computer program, computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is required to be kept or maintained by law is punishable.

For instance, hiding the C.D.ROM in which the source code files are stored, making a C File into a CPP File or removing the read only attributes of a file.


Hacking is usually understood to be the unauthorized access of a computer system and networks. Originally, the term "hacker" describes any amateur computer programmer who discovered ways to make software run more efficiently. Hackers usually "hack" on a problem until they find a solution, and keep trying to make their equipment work in new and more efficient ways. A hacker can be a Code Hacker, Cracker or a Cyber Punk.

Whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by means is said to commit hacking.

Publishing of information, which is obscene in electronic form:

A person who publishes or transmits or causes to be published in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious, or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, is liable to punishment. The important ingredients of such an offence are publishing (make generally known or issue copies for sale to public), or transmitting (transfer or be a medium for), or causing to be published (to produced the effect of publishing), pornographic material in the electronic form.

Child Pornography:

Child Pornography is a part of cyber pornography but it is such a grave offence that it is individually also recognized as a cyber crime. The Internet is being highly used by its abusers to reach and abuse children sexually, worldwide. The Internet is very fast becoming a household commodity in India. Its explosion has made the children a viable victim to the cyber crime. As more homes have access to Internet, more children would be using the Internet and more are the chances of falling victim to the aggression of pedophiles. The pedophiles use their false identity to trap children and even contact them in various chat rooms where they befriend them and gain personal information from the innocent preys. They even start contacting children on their e-mail addresses. These pedophiles drag children to the net for the purpose of sexual assault or so as to use them as a sex object.

Accessing protected system:

Any unauthorized person who secures access or attempts to secure access to a protected system is liable to be punished with imprisonment and may also be liable to fine.

Breach of confidentiality and privacy :

Any person who, secures access to any electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material without the consent of the person concerned or discloses such electronic record, book, register, correspondence, information, document or other material to any other person shall be liable to be punished under the Information Technology Act.

Cyber crimes other than those mentioned under the IT Act


Although there is no universally accepted definition of cyberStalking, it is generally defined as the repeated acts of harassment or threatening behavior of the cyber criminal towards the victim by using Internet services. Stalking in General terms can be referred to as the repeated acts of harassment targeting the victim such as following the victim, making harassing phone calls, killing the victims pet, vandalizing victims property, leaving written messages or objects. Stalking may be followed by serious violent acts such as physical harms to the victim. It all depends on the course of conduct of the stalker.


Cybersquatting is the obtaining of a domain name in order to seek payment from the owner of the trademark, (including business name, trade name, or brand name), and may include typosquatting (where one letter is different).

A trademark owner can prevail in a cybersquatting action by showing that the defendant, in bad faith and with intent to profit, registered a domain name consisting of the plaintiff's distinctive trademark. Factors to determine whether bad faith exists are the extent to which the domain name contains the registrant's legal name, prior use of the domain name in connection with the sale of goods and services, intent to divert customers from one site to another and use of false registration information and the registrant's offer to sell the domain name back to the trademark owner for more than out-of -pocket expenses.

Data Diddling

This kind of an attack involves altering the raw data just before a computer processes it and then changing it back after the processing is completed.

The NDMC Electricity Billing Fraud Case that took place in 1996 is a typical example. The computer network was used for receipt and accounting of electricity bills by the NDMC, Delhi. Collection of money, computerized accounting, record maintenance and remittance in the bank were exclusively left to a private contractor who was a computer professional. He misappropriated huge amount of funds by manipulating data files to show less receipts and bank remittances.

Cyber Defamation

Any derogatory statement, which is designed to injure a person's business or reputation, constitutes cyber defamation. Defamation can be accomplished as libel or slander. Cyber defamation occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and / or the Internet. E.g. someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e-mails containing defamatory information to all of that person’s friends.

Trojan Attack

A Trojan, the program is aptly called an unauthorized program which functions from inside what seems to be an authorized program, thereby concealing what it is actually doing.


Counterfeit currency notes, postage and revenue stamps, mark sheets etc can be forged using sophisticated computers, printers and scanners. It is very difficult to control such attacks. For e.g. across the country students buy forged mark sheets for heavy sums to deposit in college.

Financial crimes

This would include cheating, credit card frauds, money laundering etc. such crimes are punishable under both IPC and IT Act. A leading Bank in India was cheated to the extent of 1.39 crores due to misappropriation of funds by manipulation of computer records regarding debit and credit accounts.

Internet time theft

This con notes the usage by an unauthorized person of the Internet hours paid for by another person. This kind of cyber crime was unheard until the victim reported it. This offence is usually covered under IPC and the Indian Telegraph Act.
Page 1 2 3 Next

Original article

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2007-05-10 15:06:07 - yura yura
2007-03-10 05:50:53 - gsyf kmhvjyd nbamqsr nejdcz rpmswo... qubjmpc bzqmicek
2007-03-10 05:48:28 - beux enwdshyi cngve mnwjekv pbhzofk... jtyika raesj
2007-03-01 21:12:59 - hello world zalupa
2007-03-01 18:54:28 - hello world zalupa
2007-02-27 05:58:02 - Good catalogue of the Gucci leather... Anne
2007-02-19 15:15:37 - Hi, nice site!... dse7dbo
2007-02-17 18:17:02 - Welcome to the... elcoo
2007-02-17 11:01:03 - Welcome to the... glngto
2007-02-15 12:22:01 - Thank you... Jacob
Total 59 comments
Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo