Cyber Crime – What is Cyber Crime? Definition & Types

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Cyber Crime is a crime that involves a network and computer, and it is also known as a computer crime. Even though rapid digitalization has helped us immensely, at the same time, it opens the gate to a wide range of threats and makes it easier to perform Cyber Crime. These threats can result in financial loss or reputation damage. Ever-changing operations coupled with emerging technologies have increased the frequency of Cyber Crime activities on an industrial level.

Cyber Crime is a part of the GS-III section of the UPSC exam. That’s why to help the candidates; we have covered Cyber Crime UPSC notes in this article. Here we will discuss definitions, laws, and other important information related to this topic.

Table of content

  • 1. What is Cyber Crime? (more)
  • 2. Why Cyber Crime is an Offense? (more)
  • 3. Types of Cyber Crime (more)
  • 4. National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (more)
  • 5. Laws Against Cyber Crime in India (more)
  • 6. Cyber Crime in India (more)
  • 7. Cyber Crime UPSC (more)

What is Cyber Crime?

Cyber Crime or computer crime is a criminal activity that involves the use of a computer or the internet to practice illegal, profit-driven activities such as trafficking, identity or email fraud, ransomware attacks, or even stealing of intellectual property, credit card, or other account details.

Cybercrooks may target an individual’s personal account information or even corporate data to either use it for resale or infect it with a computer virus. In the past 2 years, the dependence on technology has increased significantly due to covid-19 pandemic, and with it, the rate of Cyber Crime has also increased.

Why Cyber Crime is an Offense?

There are privacy concerns related to Cyber Crime when sensitive information leak to the public. The information may include internal government communications, military deployment, or private data of individuals. Cyber Crime is not only confined to the individual alone. It has become a matter of big concern for governments and big organizations globally. Cyberwarfare is Cyber Crime crossing international borders and involves the action of at least one nation-state. Nearly one per cent or close to $600 billion is lost to Cyber Crime each year, as per a study by CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies ) in 2018.

Types of Cyber Crime

There are various forms of Cyber Crime, namely- phishing, malware, cyberbullying, crypto-jacking, Cyber espionage etc, and we have discussed these below in brief.

Phishing– Phishing attacks take place when spam or fraudulent emails or other forms of communication are sent to people through a source that seems reputable.

Malware– It is a type of Cyber Attack where malicious software, programs, or codes are used to corrupt data and damage or disable computers or other devices such as mobiles, tablets, networks, etc.

Cyberbullying– It is also a Cyber Crime where computers, tablets, or mobile phones are used to send, post, or share private, negative, or false information about someone without their consent to cause embarrassment or humiliation.

Cryptojacking– Here, the attacker breaks into a person’s computing device to extract money from the target in the form of cryptocurrency without their consent or knowledge.

Cyber Espionage– Cyber espionage occurs when an attacker illicitly steals or gains access to a company’s or government’s classified, sensitive data or intellectual property to gain an advantage over the entity.

National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal

To cater to the concerns and reports of victims of Cyber Crime, the Government of India has launched National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. Through this portal, victims can report anonymous complaints concerning child pornography, child sexual abuse material, or incidents of rape/gang rape in addition to other online, mobile, or social media crimes of hacking, financial fraud, cryptocurrency, etc. The complaints reported on the portal are handled by the police authorities of the concerned State/UT (union territory). False complaints are liable to penal action as per the Indian Penal Code.

Laws Against Cyber Crime in India

The Information Technology Act or IT Act 2000 covers various Cyber Crimes under the cyber law of India. The IT Act went through amendments under the Indian Penal Code in 2008. They were implemented at the beginning of 2009 to strengthen Cybersecurity laws. The types of Cyber Crimes covered under the IT Act 2000 include- Identity theft, hacking, cyberterrorism, trade secrets, freedom of speech, defamation, harassment and stalking.

Cyber Crime in India

  • According to a survey, Indian customers have lost more than 18 billion dollars to Cyber Crime.
  • In the year 2018, the nation registered over 27,000 occurrences of Cyber Crime. It was more than 121% rise than the previous 2 years.
  • The banking and financial industries are most targeted.
  • Apart from financial losses, Cyber Crime has a negative influence on public safety.

Cyber Crime UPSC

Cyber Crime is a part of GS Paper 3 under the Science and Technology section of the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates preparing for the upcoming UPSC Exam must have adequate knowledge of this topic to answer its related questions. Here we have covered the complete Cyber Crime UPSC notes that would help the aspirants in their preparation. Apart from the notes, aspirants can check out the Science and Technology Book for UPSC and other UPSC study materials.

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