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Cyber Crime

  • 28 Jul 2023
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: Cyber Crime, Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, Internet of Things, Crypto-Currency, Massive Open Online Courses.

For Mains: Cyber Crime, Related Challenges and Measures to Deal with it.

Source: PIB

Why in News?

The Indian government has taken significant steps to strengthen the mechanism for dealing with Cybercrimes in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

What is Cyber Crime?

  • About:
    • Cybercrime is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense.
    • It involves illegal or unauthorized activities that exploit technology to commit various forms of crimes.
    • Cybercrime covers a wide range of offenses and can affect individuals, organizations, and even governments.
  • Types:
    • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks: These are used to make an online service unavailable and take the network down by overwhelming the site with traffic from a variety of sources.
    • Botnets: Botnets are networks from compromised computers that are controlled externally by remote hackers. The remote hackers then send spam or attack other computers through these botnets.
    • Identity Theft: This cybercrime occurs when a criminal gains access to a user’s personal information or confidential information and then tries to tarnish reputation or seek a ransom.
    • Cyberstalking: This kind of cybercrime involves online harassment where the user is subjected to a plethora of online messages and emails. Typically, cyberstalks use social media, websites, and search engines to intimidate a user and instill fear.
    • Phishing: It is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.

What are the Challenges Related to Cyber Security in India?

  • Profit-Friendly Infrastructure Mindset:
    • Post liberalisation, the Information Technology (IT), electricity and telecom sector have witnessed large investments by the private sector.
    • Operators are not investing in protective infrastructure, rather they are focused on the profitable infrastructure only, because they think investment on cyber-attack preparedness may not generate good profits.
    • All operators are focused on profits, and do not want to invest in infrastructure that will not generate profits (i.e. protective infrastructure).
  • Absence of Separate Procedural Code:
    • There is no separate procedural code for the investigation of cyber or computer-related offences.
  • Trans-National Nature of Cyber Attacks:
    • Most cybercrimes are trans-national in nature. The collection of evidence from foreign territories is not only a difficult but also a tardy process.
  • Expanding Digital Ecosystem:
    • In the last couple of years, India has traversed on the path of digitalizing its various economic factors and has carved a niche for itself successfully.
    • The latest technologies like 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) will increase the coverage of the internet-connected ecosystem.
    • With the advent of digitalisation, paramount consumer and citizen data will be stored in digital format and transactions are likely to be carried out online which makes India a breeding ground for potential hackers and cyber-criminals.
  • Limited Expertise and Authority:
    • Offenses related to crypto-currency remain under-reported as the capacity to solve such crimes remains limited.
    • Although most State cyber labs are capable of analysing hard disks and mobile phones, they are yet to be recognized as 'Examiners of Electronic Evidence' (by the central government). Until then, they cannot provide expert opinions on electronic data.

What Measures Can be Taken to Tackle Cyber Crimes in India?

  • Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign:
    • The governments at various levels need to conduct massive cybersecurity awareness campaigns, regarding Cyber frauds, use strong, unique passwords, being careful using public wi-fi, etc.
  • Cyber Insurance:
    • Develop cyber insurance policies that are tailored to the specific needs of different businesses and industries. Customized policies will help ensure that organizations have coverage for the most relevant cyber risks they face.
      • Cyber insurance provides financial coverage against losses resulting from cyber incidents and by mitigating the financial impact of these incidents, organizations can recover more quickly and continue their operations.
  • Data Protection Law:
    • Data is referred to as the new currency, thus is a requirement for a stringent data protection regime in India.
  • Collaborative Trigger Mechanism:
    • For a country like India where the citizenry is more vulnerable to cybercrime, there is an urgent need for a collaborative trigger mechanism.
      • This mechanism would bind all parties and enable law enforcers to act quickly and safeguard citizens and businesses from a fast-growing menace.
      • In this context, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre will assist in centralizing cybersecurity investigations, prioritize the development of response tools and bring together private companies to contain the menace.

What are the Government Initiatives to Cope with Cyber Crimes in India?

  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): This center coordinates efforts to tackle all types of cyber-crimes across the country.
  • National Cyber Forensic Laboratory: It provides early-stage cyber forensic assistance to Investigating Officers of all State/UT Police through both online and offline modes.
  • CyTrain Portal: A Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform for capacity building of police officers, judicial officers, and prosecutors through online courses on critical aspects of cyber-crime investigation, forensics, and prosecution.
  • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal: A platform where the public can report incidents of cyber-crimes, with a special focus on crimes against women and children.
  • Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System: It is a system for immediate reporting of financial frauds and assistance in lodging online cyber complaints through a toll-free helpline.
  • Cybercrime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) Scheme: Financial assistance provided to States/UTs for developing capabilities of Law Enforcement Agencies in investigating cyber-crimes.
  • Joint Cyber Coordination Teams: Constituted to enhance coordination among Law Enforcement Agencies of States/UTs, particularly in areas with multi-jurisdictional issues related to cyber-crimes.
  • Central Assistance for Modernization of Police: Providing financial support to States/UTs for acquiring modern weaponry, advanced communication/forensic equipment, and cyber policing equipment.


  • It is of critical importance to ensure global cooperation through information sharing and strengthening joint efforts in cybersecurity research and development as most cyberattacks originate from beyond the borders.
  • It is important for the corporates or the respective government departments to find the gaps in their organisations and address those gaps and create a layered security system, wherein security threat intelligence sharing is happening between different layers.

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