For today’s vigorously growing society, people use various devices in order to make their lives easy, faster and more comfortable. Globalization has connected people in such wonderful way that now a person can communicate with anybody residing at any part of the world. This continuous use of technology has impacted people’s way of communication and conduct towards each other. Internet, one of the best inventions considered has built connection between people and companies in a faster and much economical way. But this invention with time has posed threat which has been having a disparaging impact on civilisation. Everyone whose phone or computers are connected to internet are victims of cybercrime against different organisations.

In simple words cyber crime is a crime which involves computers or digital devices. Its dangerous because it can either target a crime, or can be a tool of crime or it can also carry evidences of crime. Cybercrime defines as any criminal activity that occurs over internet, for example fraud, malware such as viruses, identity theft, cyber stalking trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, or violating privacy, hacking, spam, steganography and email hacking.

Because of the early and widespread adoption of computers and internet in US, Americans became the earliest victims or villains of cyber crime.

The question is what distinguishes cyber crime from traditional criminal activity? Of course use of digital computer is one difference, but that doesn’t mean that offences like fraud, traffic in child pornography, identity stealing or privacy violations were not happening before. All those activities existed before but what made these special was the extension of criminal behaviour which was more novel.

Majorly cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporation and governments. Its not like a physical attack but attack on sets of information attributes like personal or corporate.

An interesting thing about cybercrime is that it is nonlocal in character, means the actions can occur from vast distances also. Now this characteristic of cybercrime creates trouble when law needs to be enforced, because a crime which may have been a local crime previously may now have become a national or even an international crime. And such a situation then creates the demand of international cooperation.

For example , if a person accesses child pornography located on a computer in a country that does not ban child pornography, question or confusion arises is whether such an individual committing a crime or not? So where does the crime take place?

Cyber forensic (computer forensics) aims at investigation and analysis of such crimes by using various tools and methods. They gather information or evidences about a particular computing device which makes it reasonable enough to define against law, if required.

Criminals indulged in cyber crimes are not driven by motivated ego or expertise, rather they use it their knowledge to gain profits by deceiving or exploiting people.

In 2000, Information and Technology Act came into existence to cater the growing demand of legislation in cyber space. It introduced the concept of ‘digital signature’, ‘encryption’, ‘electronic evidences’ etc. Certain changes were added in the Indian Evidence act, 1872 in order to make it more contemporary and in tune with changing time.

‘Cyber Crime and Cyber Warfare’- Cyber Forensics & Electronic Evidence
By Abhilasha Semwal, Program & Process Manager, Sanrachana