- Cyber space is such a term which has no formal definition and also has no geographical limitation. It is a term used to associate application of internet worldwide. It is a virtual space and hence it becomes difficult to track and manage information.
- In cyber space data moves in the form of zeros and ones, which do not inherently carry any separate information along with them for authentication. For authentication purpose, additional information needs to be carried with cyber space tractions for identity purposes.
- But this additional information can be theft because in cyber space nothing prevents the transmission of false identity information, or the duplication of another’s identity information.
- Thus cyber space needs a system that can control the transmission of false identity information and allows the individuals to verify their identity to others without revealing the pattern of digital information.
- Cyber-crime is an unlawful act which happens in cyber space where computer is used as a tool or target or both. Now a day, with technological advancement, man is becoming more dependent on internet for their needs as it gives easy access to shopping, gaming, online studying, social networking etc.
- Cyber-crime can be done by Phishing, web hijacking, distribution of viruses and salami attacks etc.
- Over the last ten years cyber-crime rose 19 times and cyber-crime arrests as 9 times in India. After USA and China, India ranked 3rd in malicious activities. Also internet subscribers in India crossed 400 million marks.
Reasons behind increase in Cyber-crime
- In cyber space, data and information are floating continuously and it is easy to access those information through phishing, DoS attack, web hijacking etc.
- In today’s digital age, some groups of people do want to make money promptly. These groups of people are generally hackers and they have very sound knowledge of cracking the system without revealing their identity.
- When the risk is low and rate of return is quite high, people always take the advantage of this type of situation and due to this cyber-crime takes shape. To access information, data and use it for good returns is easy, but to catch criminals is difficult. Hence cyber-crime is increasing all over the world.
Types of cyber-crime
- Web hijacking –
Web hijacking is a kind of hacking in which attacker takes the control of someone’s website. In web hijacking, attackers take control over someone’s website and use its content and data for their own benefits.
- Cyber warfare –
Cyber warfare is an internet-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks on governmental databases, websites and information. Any country can wage cyber war on any country. For example, during Iranian nuclear program, USA started cyber war on Iran using Stuxnet virus developed by CIA coding geeks to just destroy their nuclear programme.
- Phishing –
Phishing is an act of sending an email falsely to gather information as an identity theft and ask to give their credentials like password, credit card information etc.
- Email spoofing –
Email spoofing is a kind of cyber-attack in which it appears that an email is sent from an original source but it has been sent from another source to cause monetary damage.
Apart from above discussed tools, there are other kinds of attacks which are also considered as cyber-crime. Those are online gambling, child pornography, salami attacks, cyber terrorism and illegal downloading of movies and software etc.
- We need to work fast on building a security infrastructure to protect people and enterprises from cyber-attacks.
- A national level program is required from government side. There should be budget allocation to develop infrastructure, standards and guidelines and build capacity for laws and enforcement.
- Public and private institution must identify what their information assets are and which need protection.
- Government should employ cyber security experts to identify the threats and take risk – based approach to identify the impact.
- Users need to educate themselves about cyber-crimes and how can they protect themselves from unknown links, email and weak passwords.
In India cyber-crime is growing day by day and India is the 3rd largest victims of cyber-crime. But it is now time to identify the challenges and requires proactive measures to control the further damages due to cyber-attacks. Users of internet should use unique password, run anti-virus software, watch suspicious emails and do not open such type of emails coming from unknown sources.