Cyber Crime: Hacking

Introduction

Positives and negatives go simultaneously, similarly the growth of internet and its power prove to be a very positive and helpful tool for the welfare of mankind but with this positive growth grew the possibilities of mishaps as negative and mischievous minds are also in existence. And cyber crime is the overt acts which are committed by these mischievous minds with the intention of causing damages to a person or the public at large.  In Simple way we can say that cyber crime is unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both. Cyber crime consists of overt activities that are traditional but criminal in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, most disturbing is the offence wherein an email Id or a social websites account gets hacked, be it an email account or a social networking account all of which are subject to the Indian Penal Code. The abuse of computers has also given origin to a scope of new age crimes that are addressed by the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Reasons behind hacking of accounts and its prevention

The first and the obvious would be, when one divulges his or her password to another person, this usually is one of the weapons people use for revenge. Forgetting to log out from public computers is another big factor. The more technologically based processes of hacking are that of Phishing, Cookie Hijacking and Key logging. In India we have Information technologies act, 2000 which is the law to overcome and restrict such cyber crime or offence which can be both civil and criminal in nature as it can pose serious threat to an individual or people at large and also a nation as whole. Section 75 of Information Technology Act, 2000 takes care of jurisdictional aspect of cyber crimes, and one would be punished irrespective of his nationality and place of commission of offence. Power of investigation is been given to police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of police or any officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorized by Central Government. He may enter any public place, conduct a search and arrest without warrant person who is reasonably expected to have committed an offence or about to commit computer related crime. Accused has to be produced before magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. Provisions of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 regulate the procedure of entry, search and arrest of the accused.

How to file a complaint about hacking

To tackle the issue of cybercrimes, CIDs (Criminal Investigation Departments) of various cities has opened up Cyber Crime Cells in different cities. The Information Technology Act of India states clearly that when a cybercrime has been committed, it has global jurisdiction. And hence a complaint can be filed at any cyber cell globally. There are various cyber crime cells in India; a complaint can be filled at any of these by following the procedure mentioned as under;

Firstly, write an application to the head of the cyber cell department in which one may need to provide or the complaint should contain the name, address, mailing address & telephone number along with an application letter addressing the head of a cyber crime investigation cell when filing a complaint

Secondly, one must provide or submit the following documents in order to register a complaint with the cell;

  • Server logs
  • Hardcopy and soft copy of the defected material- all the material that has been tempered with by the hacker needs to be submitted with the cyber cell as evidence.
  • A hard copy as well as soft copy of the original web pages and the defaced ones- copies of both the original and defaced material should be submitted so that it makes the work easy to locate the defaced or tampered material.
  • Details of the control mechanism where the complainant needs to tell the details of those who had the access to the email, password and the computer.
  • If there is any suspicion on any person, a list of the suspects should also be given for further reference that could help the cyber cell in investigation.
  • All the relevant information leading to the answers to following questions; what is comprised? Who might have comprised the system? When was the system comprised? Why might have been the system comprised? Where is the attack-identifying the target system from the network? How many systems have been compromised by the attack?
  • In case of e-mail abuse, vulgar e-mail, etc. the following information should be provided:
  • The extended headers of offending e-mail and
  • The offending e-mail from.

Now days there are even provisions for the complainant to get the access of the complaint filed and to check the status online without going anywhere. And also contact information about various cyber cells is easily available online for the easy access of the aggrieved victim.

Preventive Measures an individual can take for the curbing of Cyber Crimes:

Prevention is always better than cure. A netizen should take certain precautions while operating the internet and should follow certain preventive measures for cyber crimes which can be defined as:

  • One should avoid disclosing any personal information to strangers via e-mail or while chatting.
  • One must avoid sending any photograph to strangers by online as misusing of photograph incidents increasing day by day.
  • An updated Anti-virus software to guard against virus attacks should be used by all the netizens and should also keep back up volumes so that one may not suffer data loss in case of virus contamination.
  • A person should never send his credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds.
  • Strict statutory laws need to be passed by the Legislatures keeping in mind the interest of netizens.
  • IT department should pass certain guidelines and notifications for the protection of computer system and should also bring out with some more strict laws to breakdown the criminal activities relating to cyberspace.
  • As Cyber Crime is the major threat to all the countries worldwide, certain steps should be taken at the international level for preventing the cybercrime.
  • A complete justice must be provided to the victims of cyber crimes by way of compensatory remedy and offenders to be punished with highest type of punishment so that it will anticipate the criminals of cyber crime.
  • Never fix a meeting with strangers because you never know that person can be a criminal.
  • Try not to respond to the emails from unknown person. Avoid it.
  • Don’t reveal on social sites or anywhere that you are anonymous for the internet. You can be used as a puppet for the cyber crime.
  • Try not to download any software or file from unknown links. Those links can be proved harmful for you and your system.
  • If a stranger is talking to you about your personal details try not to communicate and block him or her if he or she is bothering.
  • Try not to post inappropriate things or contents on internet because these things will highlight you in the eyes of a criminal. So avoid it.
  • If someone bullies you online then try to avoid it. Sometimes people intentionally abuse you or say bad words to you just to check if you will respond or not. These kinds of people find a chance to harm other if someone replies to their mails or messages.
  • Before sending anything to anyone just tries to understand that this will be on internet for forever. So be cautioned before sending an email or a picture or a blog or a journal.

Offences and Penalty For Damage under Information technology Act, 2000

Section 65 to 72 mentions about various cyber crimes and punishment for it. According to the Section: 43 of ‘Information Technology Act, 2000’ whoever does any act of destroys, deletes, alters and disrupts or causes disruption of any computer with the intention of damaging of the whole data of the computer system without the permission of the owner of the computer, shall be liable to pay fine up to 1crore to the person so affected by way of remedy. According to the Section:43A which is inserted by ‘Information Technology(Amendment) Act, 2008’ where a body corporate is maintaining and protecting the data of the persons as provided by the central government, if there is any negligent act or failure in protecting the data/ information then a body corporate shall be liable to pay compensation to person so affected.

Conclusion

Not many people in the country are aware of this theft by hacking. There needs to be more awareness in the country regarding hacking and cracking. The laws made by the government are stringent but lack a bit of enforceability and awareness in the society. Most of the minor cases of hacking go unnoticed because people abstain from filing cases for petty crimes even when there is harsh punishment for it. Also, it is very difficult to track a virtual hacker due to lack equipment. Since hacking can happen anywhere in the world, it gets tough for the police to trace him and punish him in another country. The punishment can also be a bit harsher to prevent people from indulging in such acts. And victims must expose such offences by filing complaints.