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EMERGING CYBERCRIME IN INDIA CYBER THEFT: INVESTIGATION AND AUTHORITIES OF CYBER SECURITY

INTRODUCTION

It has recently come to light that an oil trader in Nashik was cheated of Rs 29 lakh by cyber scammers through an online dating app,[1] while online shopping cost a government doctor in Osmanabad a lot. He was asked for his bank account number and CVV to make an online payment of Rs 400. The doctor also said it. Then he got a message that about Rs.1.5 Lakh was deducted from his account and realized that he was cheated. While in Aurangabad, a person has been charged Rs. 5 Lakh. Although the graph of traditional crime is on the decline, cybercrime is on the rise. Due to the increasing online transactions in the background of Corona, it seems like a golden age has come for cybercriminals. 

WHAT IS CYBERCRIME?

Cybercrime is defined as any illegal activity involving a computer, computer network, or connected device. Most, if not all, cybercrime is perpetrated by commercial cybercriminals or hackers.[2] Some cybercrimes target computers and devices directly to damage or disable them, while others target computers and networks to distribute malware, illegal information, images, etc. Some cybercriminals target computers to infect them with computer viruses, which then spread to other computers and even entire networks.[3]

CYBERCRIME INVESTIGATIONS

For some years, the number of people being cheated has increased due to the lure of sending gifts from foreign countries, the lure of investment, the lure of winning a lottery, the lure of selling mobile sets, furniture, two-wheelers, and cars from the website. Although awareness is being given from time to time by the cyber department, common citizens especially women are seen turning a blind eye to this. It is often said by the bank itself that no bank asks for your password, account number or other confidential information.  Banks are also sending such messages to their customers. Still, there is sure to be a fraudulent phone call from someone and the customer is fooled. The public awareness campaign was implemented by police, banks and other organizations to prevent cybercrimes. Lectures by experts are being organized in colleges and various institutes.  Do not fall for the lures shown by strangers.

The police are appealing to you to submit a certificate while doing online transactions.  According to cybercrime statistics, 70 per cent of the cybercrimes committed across the country are committed through mobile phones[4]. Mobile phones can easily be replaced or thrown away.  It takes tireless efforts to track them down. If the investigating officer is persistent, he will track down any criminal from anywhere, but if there is a slight laxity, he will fall on the trail of the criminal. Mobile crimes include financial fraud, hacking, fake calls, defamation, sharing obscene messages, photos, and videos through WhatsApp, Facebook, creating a fake account using Photoshop tricks, etc. Crimes like blackmailing, demanding money, and physical pleasure are committed by showing fear of making private messages public. It is important to have open communication with your family and friends. After the deterioration of India-China relations, there is a fear of cyberattacks from China on an important part of India, which will affect the daily life of the citizens, and appeals are being made repeatedly to take security in this regard.[5]

INVESTIGATING AUTHORITIES

It mentioned the setting up of the National Cyber Security Centre, Testing Centre, Malware Monitoring Centre, and National Critical Information Security Centre. The Government of India has now announced a new Cyber Security Policy for 2020.[6] Of course, we must admit that we lack infrastructure when it comes to cyber security. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, sophisticated machinery, internet-enabled devices and massive information have made the field of cyberattacks very complex. Various organizations in the country are now empowered to face these challenges. Mohsin Fakhrizadeh, the chief scientist of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, was assassinated using artificial intelligence technology last week. This murder was done using very dangerous sophisticated technology.[7] Mohsin Fakhrizadeh was shot with a satellite-controlled machine gun. This is the most sophisticated attack in cybercrime. Nowadays, dealing with such modern technological crimes along with petty cybercrimes is becoming a global challenge. India is also among the top 10 countries in the world facing cyber-attacks.[8]  Even though this is a common issue, even during the Corona lockdown, the challenge in front of the security systems has increased due to the significant increase in the number of cyberattacks. Phishing, spamming and stealing important information through scanning of IT systems have increased threefold. There has also been a huge increase in the number of cyberattacks using hacking, the introduction of malware through spam mail and other such vulnerable methods. 

CONCLUSION

During the lockdown period and the rise of the ‘work from home’ culture, suspicious internet surfing has also increased. India’s computer emergency team and the media have repeatedly warned of the possibility of a cyberattack from China.  Looking at the crime rate across the country, it is easy to see that the age of the criminals is decreasing, while the severity, brutality and maximum use of the latest technology are beyond the reach of the investigative system.  The political events of the past few months have revealed that the privacy of Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp is not reliable.  Due to online education, cybercriminals have now turned their march towards the ‘soft target’ of course the students.  It has been reported that there has been a 500-fold increase in cybercrimes against students in 4 months.[9] There is a need to be more alert to prevent cybercrime.  Given the prevalence of cybercrime, this topic is not limited to just passing a message, or comments, passing malware, or stealing information. So often a video or a message that comes to us can also put us in trouble.  It is often said to avoid using common Wi-Fi while backing up the net.  Also, beware of those asking you to insist on a ‘one-time OTP’ while doing mobile banking, don’t share your ‘OTP’ or tell me my OTP is wrong on your mobile.  While cybercriminals are one step ahead of technology, consumers must be four steps ahead in terms of security and vigilance to protect their money and personal privacy!

Author(s) Name: Vaishnavi Parate (Shri. Nathmal Goenka Law College, Akola)

Reference(s):

[1] ‘Trader Cheated Of 29.9 Lakh | Nashik News – Times of India’ <https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/trader-cheated-of-29-9-lakh/articleshow/91569846.cms> accessed 3 June 2023.

[2] ‘What Is Cybercrime? Definition from SearchSecurity’ <https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/cybercrime> accessed 6 May 2023.

[3] ibid

[4] Panda Security, ‘Types of Cybercrime’ (Panda Security Mediacenter, 22 March 2023) <https://www.pandasecurity.com/en/mediacenter/panda-security/types-of-cybercrime/> accessed 6 May 2023.

[5] ‘National_cyber_security_policy-2013(1).Pdf’ <https://www.meity.gov.in/writereaddata/files/downloads/National_cyber_security_policy-2013%281%29.pdf> accessed 3 June 2023.

[6] ibid

[7] ‘Mohsen Fakhrizadeh: “Machine-Gun with AI” Used to Kill Iran Scientist’ BBC News (7 December 2020) <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-55214359> accessed 3 June 2023.

[8] ibid.

[9] ‘1521181215E-Text-CyberPolicing.Pdf’ <https://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/epgpdata/uploads/epgp_content/S001608/P001742/M027908/ET/1521181215E-Text-CyberPolicing.pdf> accessed 6 May 2023.