Introduction to Cyber Crime

The first recorded cyber crime took place in the year 1820! That is not surprising considering the fact that the abacus, which is thought to be the earliest form of a computer, has been around since 3500 !"! in #ndia, $apan and "hina! The era of modern computers, howe%er, began with the analytical engine of "harles abbage! #n 1820, $oseph&'arie $ac(uard, a te)tile manufacturer in *rance, produced the loom! This de%ice allowed the repetition of a series of steps in the wea%ing of special fabrics! This resulted in a fear amongst $ac(uard+s employees that their traditional employment and li%elihood were being threatened! They committed acts of sabotage to discourage $ac(uard from further use of the new technology! This is the first recorded cyber crime! Today computers ha%e come a long way, with neural networks and nano&computing promising to turn e%ery atom in a glass of water into a computer capable of performing a illion operations per second! "yber crime is an e%il ha%ing its origin in the growing dependence on computers in modern life! #n a day and age when e%erything from microwa%e o%ens and refrigerators to nuclear power plants is being run on computers, cyber crime has assumed rather sinister implications! 'a,or cyber crimes in the recent past include the "itibank rip off! -. / 10 million were fraudulently transferred out of the bank and into a bank account in .wit0erland! 1 2ussian hacker group led by 3ladimir 4e%in, a renowned hacker, perpetrated the attack! The group compromised the bank+s security systems! 3ladimir was allegedly using his office computer at 15 .aturn, a computer firm in .t! 6etersburg, 2ussia, to break into "itibank computers! 7e was finally arrested on 7eathrow airport on his way to .wit0erland

Defining Cyber Crime
1t the onset, let us satisfactorily define 8cyber crime8 and differentiate it from 8con%entional "rime8! 199 "omputer crime can in%ol%e criminal acti%ities that are traditional in nature, such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are sub,ect to the #ndian 6enal "ode! The abuse of computers has also gi%en birth to a gamut of new age crimes that are addressed by the #nformation Technology 1ct, 2000! :efining cyber crimes, as 8acts that are punishable by the #nformation Technology 1ct8 would be unsuitable as the #ndian 6enal "ode also co%ers many cyber crimes, such as email spoofing and cyber defamation, sending threatening emails etc! 1 simple yet sturdy definition of cyber crime would be 8unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or a target or both8! ;et us e)amine the acts wherein the computer is a tool for an unlawful act! This kind of acti%ity usually in%ol%es a modification of a con%entional crime by using computers! .ome e)amples are<

Financial crimes

This would include cheating. %ery few people responded to or supplied the website with their credit card numbers! These people were actually sent the 1lphonso mangoes! The word about this website now spread like wildfire! Thousands of people from all o%er the country responded and ordered mangoes by pro%iding their credit card numbers! The owners of what was later pro%en to be a bogus website then fled taking the numerous credit card numbers and proceeded to spend huge amounts of money much to the chagrin of the card owners! Cyber pornography This would include pornographic websites= pornographic maga0ines produced using computers >to publish and print the material? and the #nternet >to download and transmit pornographic pictures.wiss couple would gather slum children and then would force them to appear for obscene photographs! They would then upload these photographs to websites specially designed for paedophiles! The 'umbai police arrested the couple for pornography! Sale of illegal articles This would include sale of narcotics. credit card frauds. trademarks %iolations. weapons and wildlife etc!. by posting information on websites. it is belie%ed that many of these websites are actually fronts for money laundering! Intellectual Property crimes These include software piracy. photos. auction websites. and bulletin boards or 19@ simply by using email communication! A!g! many of the auction sites e%en in #ndia are belie%ed to be selling cocaine in the name of +honey+! Online gambling There are millions of websites= all hosted on ser%ers abroad. copyright infringement. :elhi. theft of computer source code etc! Email spoofing . a website offered to sell 1lphonso mangoes at a throwaway price! :istrusting such a transaction.okes. in 'umbai a . that offer online gambling! #n fact. was teased by all his classmates for ha%ing a pockmarked face! Tired of the cruel . money laundering etc! To cite a recent case. he decided to get back at his tormentors! 7e scanned photographs of his classmates and teachers. morphed them with nude photographs and put them up on a website that he uploaded on to a free web hosting ser%ice! #t was only after the father of one of the class girls featured on the website ob.ected and lodged a complaint with the police that any action was taken! #n another incident.chool case! 1 student of the 1ir *orce albharati .chool. writings etc?! 2ecent #ndian incidents re%ol%ing around cyber pornography include the 1ir *orce albharati .

he looked worried and e%en a little upset! 7e was not really interested in talking to her! Dhen asked he told her that. mark sheets etc can be forged using sophisticated computers. members of his family had been recei%ing e&mails that contained malicious things about .urekha >names of people ha%e been changed?.ura. a teenager made millions of dollars by spreading false information about certain companies whose shares he had short sold! This misinformation was spread by sending spoofed emails.1 spoofed email is one that appears to originate from one source but actually has been sent from another source! A!g! 6oo. this has becoming a booming business in%ol%ing thousands of 2upees being gi%en to student gangs in e)change for these bogus but authentic looking certificates! Cyber Defamation This occurs when defamation takes place with the help of computers and C or the #nternet! A!g! someone publishes defamatory matter about someone on a website or sends e&mails containing defamatory information to all of that person+s friends! #n a recent occurrence.ustifiably %ery upset and were also considering breaking off the engagement! *ortunately. postage and re%enue stamps. .urekha+s character! . his parents were .urekha+s stepfather! 7e had sent these e&mails so as to break up the marriage! The girl+s marriage would ha%e caused him to lose control of her property of which he was the guardian till she got married! 1nother famous case of cyber defamation occurred in 1merica! 1ll friends and relati%es of a lady were beset with obscene e&mail messages appearing to originate from her account! These mails were gi%ing the lady in (uestion a bad name among her friends! The lady was an acti%ist against pornography! #n reality. she had liked the boy! 7e had seemed to be open&minded and pleasant! Then. . and high (uality scanners and printers! #n fact.! .ince the e&mails appear to ha%e originated from 6oo. printers and scanners! 5utside many colleges across #ndia. to share brokers and in%estors who were informed that the companies were doing %ery badly! A%en after the truth came out the %alues of the shares did not go back to the earlier le%els and thousands of in%estors lost a lot of money! Forgery "ounterfeit currency notes. it was re%ealed that the person sending those e&mails was none other than . a young girl was about to be married to .ameer spoofs her e&mail and sends obscene messages to all her ac(uaintances! .a has an e&mail address poo.. purportedly from news agencies like 2euters.ura. .aBasianlaws!org! 7er enemy.a.ome of them spoke of affairs. her friends could take offence and relationships could be spoiled for life! Amail spoofing can also cause monetary damage! #n an 1merican case. one finds touts soliciting the sale of fake mark sheets or e%en certificates! These are made using computers. one day when she met . a group of people displeased with her %iews and angry with her for opposing them had decided . was able to pre%ail upon his parents and the other elders of his house to approach the police instead of blindly belie%ing what was contained in the mails! :uring in%estigation. which she had had in the past! 7e told her 198 that.ura.he was really pleased because despite it being an arranged marriage.

entering the chat&rooms fre(uented by the %ictim.imla 7ousing oard to buy land at lower rates! Dhen he made an application it was re.imla 7ousing oard and repeatedly kept sending e&mails till their ser%ers crashed! Data diddling This kind of an attack in%ol%es altering raw data . constantly bombarding the %ictim with emails etc! Frequently Used Cyber Crimes Unauthori ed access to computer systems or net!orks This acti%ity is commonly referred to as hacking! The #ndian law has howe%er gi%en a different connotation to the term hacking. a foreigner who had been residing in . so we will not use the term 8unauthori0ed access8 interchangeably with the term 8hacking8! "heft of information contained in electronic form This includes information stored in computer hard disks. that basically maligned her character and sent e&mails to her family and friends containing matter defaming her! Cyber stalking The 5)ford dictionary defines stalking as 8pursuing stealthily8! "yber stalking in%ol%es following a person+s mo%ements across the #nternet by posting messages >sometimes threatening? on the bulletin boards fre(uented by the %ictim.ected on the grounds that the 19E schemes was a%ailable only for citi0ens of #ndia! 7e decided to take his re%enge! "onse(uently he sent thousands of mails to the . #ndia for almost thirty years wanted to a%ail of a scheme introduced by the .ust before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after the processing is completed! Alectricity oards in #ndia ha%e been %ictims to data diddling programs inserted when pri%ate parties were computeri0ing their systems! Salami attacks . remo%able storage media etc! Email bombing Amail bombing refers to sending a large number of emails to the %ictim resulting in the %ictim+s email account >in case of an indi%idual? or mail ser%ers >in case of a company or an email ser%ice pro%ider? crashing! #n one get back at her by using such underhanded methods! #n addition to sending spoofed obscene e&mails they also put up websites about her.

this deadly %irus beat the 'elissa %irus hollow & it became the world+s most pre%alent %irus! #t struck one in e%ery fi%e personal computers in the world! Dhen the %irus was brought under check the true magnitude of the losses was incomprehensible! .I.53AH5.These attacks are used for the commission of financial crimes! The key here is to make the alteration so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely unnoticed! A!g! a bank employee inserts a program. brought down websites like 1ma0on.ob! :isgruntled at ha%ing been supposedly mistreated by his employers the man first introduced a logic bomb into the bank+s systems! . e)ceeding the limit that the %ictim+s ser%ers can support and making the ser%ers crash! :enial&of&ser%ice attacks ha%e had an impressi%e history ha%ing.aturday! Denial of Ser#ice attack This in%ol%es flooding a computer resource with more re(uests than it can handle! This causes the resource >e!g! a web ser%er? to crash thereby denying authori0ed users the ser%ice offered by the resource! 1nother %ariation to a typical denial of ser%ice attack is known as a :istributed :enial of . unlike %iruses do not need the host to attach themsel%es to! They merely make functional copies of themsel%es and do this repeatedly till they eat up all the a%ailable space on a computer+s memory! 1@0 The 3 . Hahoo and e ay! $irus % !orm attacks 3iruses are programs that attach themsel%es to a computer or a file and then circulate themsel%es to other files and to other computers on a network! They usually affect the data on a computer. "FF. in the past.? attack wherein the perpetrators are many and are geographically widespread! #t is %ery difficult to control such attacks! The attack is initiated by sending e)cessi%e demands to the %ictim+s computer>s?.o%e ug or the #. which are acti%ated on the occurrence of a particular predefined e%ent! The logic bomb was programmed to take ten cents from all the accounts in the bank and put them into the account of the person whose name was alphabetically the last in the bank+s rosters! Then he went and opened an account in the name of Giegler! The amount being withdrawn from each of the accounts in the bank was so insignificant that neither any of the account holders nor the bank officials noticed the fault! #t was brought to their notice when a person by the name of Gygler opened his account in that bank! 7e was surprised to find a si0able amount of money being transferred into his account e%ery .er%ice >::o.%irus? was reportedly written by a *ilipino undergraduate! #n 'ay 2000.ogic bombs are programmes.53A. into the bank+s ser%ers.1 was dismissed from his . / 10 billion! .osses incurred during this %irus attack were pegged at -. either by altering or deleting it! Dorms. an employee of a bank in -. but the bank employee will make a si0able amount of money e%ery month! To cite an e)ample.ATTA2 %irus >better known as the . that deducts a small amount of money >say 2s! 5 a month? from the account of e%ery customer! Fo account holder will probably notice this unauthori0ed debit.

which was sent out.ATTA2 first selects certain files and then inserts its own code in lieu of the original data contained in the file! This way it creates e%er&increasing %ersions of itself! 6robably the world+s most famous worm was the #nternet worm let loose on the #nternet by 2obert 'orris sometime in 1E88! The #nternet was. a resident of Few :elhi. 2000 "olonel a.ince the initial outbreak o%er thirty %ariants of the %irus ha%e been de%eloped many of them following the original by .ATTA2 utili0ed the addresses in 'icrosoft 5utlook and emailed itself to those addresses! The e&mail.53A.53AH5-8 in its as this program is aptly called. had a heated argument o%er one girl. still in its de%eloping years and this worm.The original 3 . which affected thousands of computers. is an unauthori0ed program which functions from inside what seems to be an authori0ed program. 2ahul decided to get e%en! 5n the 1Kth of *ebruary. the net cafL .53A. 2adha >name changed? whom they both liked! Dhen the girl. thereby concealing what it is actually doing! There are many simple ways of installing a Tro. the .o%e ug also uses the #nternet 2elay "hat >#2"? for its propagation! #t e&mails itself to users in the same channel as the infected user! -nlike the 'elissa %irus this %irus does ha%e a destructi%e effect! Dhereas the 'elissa.wa. did not notice the tiny !%bs e)tension and belie%ed the file to be a te)t file con(uered people wary of opening e&mail attachments! The message in the e&mail was 8kindly check the attached . asked to choose.ATTA2&*52H5-! TJT!%bs8! The! 1s soon as 'ukesh opened the card.ust a few weeks! #n addition.ATTA2 coming from me8! .I. merely inserts some te)t into the affected documents at a particular instant during the day.ect line! The attachment file was named 8. asked a nearby net cafL owner to come and set up his #nternet connection! *or this purpose. which appeared to ha%e come from 2adha+s mail account! The e&card actually contained a Tro. the in someone+s computer! To cite and e)ample.ect line and those who had some knowledge of %iruses. 3 .53A&. once installed. had 8#. he sent 'ukesh a spoofed e&card. then. chose 'ukesh o%er 2ahul. two friends 2ahul and 'ukesh >names changed? was installed on his computer! 2ahul now had complete control o%er 'ukesh+s computer and proceeded to harass him thoroughly! Internet time thefts This connotes the usage by an unauthori0ed person of the #nternet hours paid for by another person! #n a case reported before the enactment of the #nformation Technology 1ct.I. almost brought its de%elopment to a complete halt! #t took a team of e)perts almost three days to get rid of the worm and in the meantime many of the computers had to be disconnected from the network! &ogic bombs These are e%ent dependent programs! This implies that these programs are created to do something only when a certain e%ent >known as a trigger e%ent? occurs! A!g! e%en some %iruses may be termed logic bombs because they lie dormant all through the year and become acti%e only on a particular date >like the "hernobyl %irus?! "ro'an attacks 1 Tro.

ured! "heft of computer system This type of offence in%ol%es the theft of a computer.owner needed to know his username and password! 1fter ha%ing set up the connection he went away with knowing the present username and password! 7e then sold this information to another net cafL! 5ne week later "olonel a. following many telephone calls from all o%er the country. some part>s? of a computer or a peripheral attached to the computer! Physically damaging a computer system This crime is committed by physically damaging a computer or its peripherals . :elhi then took the case into his own hands and the police under his directions raided and arrested the net cafL owner under the charge of theft as defined by the #ndian 6enal "ode! The net cafL owner spent se%eral weeks locked up in Tihar . they had altered a portion of the website which was entitled +7ow to ha%e fun with goldfish+! #n all the places where it had been mentioned. in turn carried a report about the inade(uacy of the Few :elhi 6olice in handling cyber crimes! The "ommissioner of 6olice.ected! 7e decided to approach The Times of #ndia. EK hours had been used up within the span of that week! .ail before being granted bail! (eb 'acking This occurs when someone forcefully takes control of a website >by cracking the password and later changing it?! The actual owner of the website does not ha%e any more control o%er what appears on that website #n a recent incident reported in the -. Few :elhi! They.he felt that it was . did not take the threat seriously! .ubse(uently. which they bought from pet shops. they had replaced the word +goldfish+ with the word +piranhas+! 6iranhas are tiny but e)tremely dangerous flesh&eating fish! 'any children had %isited the popular website and had belie%ed what the contents of the website suggested! These unfortunate children followed the instructions.1 the owner of a hobby website for children recei%ed an e&mail informing her that a group of hackers had gained control o%er her website! They demanded a ransom of 1 million dollars from her! The owner.wa found that his #nternet hours were almost o%er! 5ut of the 100 hours that he had bought.wa+s report was re. tried to play with piranhas. he reported the incident to the :elhi police! The police could not belie%e that time could be stolen! They were not aware of the concept of time&theft at all! "olonel a. that the hackers had web .acked her website! .urprised.ust a scare tactic and ignored the e&mail! #t was three days later that she came to know. a schoolteacher. and were %ery seriously in.

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