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Computer security, cyber security or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer systems and networks from the theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

Types of Cyber Crime in India

Cybercrime can be committed in two ways – one in which the computer is the target of a cyber-attack, and the other in which the computer is used to commit a cybercrime against any person or entity.

Cybercrimes in India are categorized into main four types which include:

Cybercrime against a person: This type of cybercrime is committed against a person using an electronic domain as a medium. Cybercrime against a person includes:

Cyber stalking: Generally, the term ‘stalking’ means, repeated acts of harassing someone. Whereas, Cyber stalking is online harassment when a person is stalked using the internet as a medium. Generally, the stalker is aware of the victim or gains knowledge about victim’s family and their activities, instead of stalking them in reality, the stalker keeps a track of a person’s online activities to stalk the victim. A Stalker can use the internet, emails, SMS, webcams, phones calls, websites or even videos to harass his target.

Hacking: Hacking means getting unauthorized access to someone’s personal information stored in a computer system without the permission of either rightful owner of the computer or person in charge of that particular system for illegal gains or misuse. Every act committed to breaking into a computer system and /or network is hacking. Hackers get access to the user’s personal and sensitive information. They can also monitor every online activity of a person like logging in, credentials added, banking transactions made, etc.

Cracking: Crack generally refers to the means of achieving software cracking. Cracking refers to digitally removing the Copyright protection code which prevents copied or pirated software from working on computers which do not have the Software vendor or owner’s authorization. The person who is involved in such activity is different from a hacker and is known as a cracker. Cracker uses his knowledge to break the cyber law and tampers with the computer.

Defamation: Online or cyber defamation involves damaging someone’s reputation in society using a computer or the internet as a medium. This is done by writing a derogatory statement about a person on social media, posting vulgar pictures or videos, sending derogatory E-mail to the victim’s friends, etc.

Online Fraud: Online fraud is one of the most common types of cybercrime. It involves stealing a person’s sensitive information like banking credentials by using phishing sites and withdrawing money from the victim’s account. Online lottery scams are also rampant these days, one such example is the Nigeria lottery scams.

Dissemination of Obscene Material: It includes the distribution of obscene materials or pornography on social media. It includes hosting of websites containing pornographic material which has a tendency to deprave or corrupt the minds of individuals.

Child pornography: Circulation of any material that has a tendency to deprave the mind of the minor children is also a cybercrime. It involves the use of electronic devices to create, distribute or access material which is obscene in nature and have a tendency to corrupt young minds.

Spoofing: Spoofing involves misrepresentation of the origin of any data. While an Email/SMS is generated from one source, it shows that it has been generated from another. Cyber criminals use this means to get personal information of the user like bank details, etc.

Phishing: It involves sending spam emails to the user while claiming to be an established enterprise in order to obtain his personal information.

Cyber Crime against property: Cybercrime against property is committed using an electronic device as a medium. Here, the property does not mean any immovable property but includes movable and intangible property like computers, Intellectual Property, etc. Different cyber-crimes against property are:

Transmitting virus: A computer virus is a malware programs that infects files, disk drives, and computer programs. Programs that multiply like viruses and spread from computer to computer are called ‘worms’. Virus, Worms, Trojan horse, Time bomb, Logic Bomb, Rabbit, and Bacterium are some examples of malicious software that infect the computer.

Cybersquatting: Cybersquatting is when two or more persons claim the same domain name. Squatting is unlawfully occupying an uninhabited place. The hacker claims that he was the first one to use the domain name before the actual owner of the domain name.

Cyber Vandalism: It involves the destruction of data on any electronic medium during the period when the network service is not available.

Intellectual Property Crimes: IPRs are intangible property rights. IPR thefts are the most common cybercrimes in India and include online piracy, software piracy, infringement of patents, designs, trademark, copyright, theft of source code, etc.

Cybercrime against Government: The government of a country may become the target of a cybercrime as well. Any cybercrime committed against a government is committed to threatening the unity, honor, and security of the target country. Cybercrime against government includes:

Cyber Warfare: Cyber warfare is an Internet-based war conflict wherein the cybercrime is politically motivated. It can disable official websites and networks, disrupt essential services such as Internet connection, steal classified data such as Sensex details and break down sensitive data like the payment gateway.

Cyber Terrorism: It is an act of creating fear in the mind of people by using the internet as a medium. Section 66-F of the Information Technology Act, 2002 deals with Cyber Terrorism.

Cybercrime against society: When a cyber-crime is committed against numerous individuals, it is known as cybercrime against society. Cybercrime against society includes:

Online Gambling: Gambling is prohibited in India under the Public Gambling Act, 1867. Online gambling is illegal all over India, except in Sikkim.

Cyber Trafficking: Trafficking involves dealing with illegal trade activities such as human trafficking, slaves.