Cybercrime and Cyber Security


In general cybercrime may be defined as “Any unlawful act where computer or communication device or computer network is used to commit or facilitate the commission of crime”.

Incidents of data misuse or cyber threats

Both by state and non-state actors

  1. Recently Dr. Reddy’s had to shut units due to cyberattack
  2. Data breach of employees of NASA
  3. USA accused China of hacking medical institutes working on Coronavirus
  4. Agent Smith- mobile malware
    • It has infected approximately 25 million smartphones across the world out of which 15 million devices are estimated to be from India.
    • It accesses the smartphone's resources to show fraudulent ads for financial gains
  5. JOKER: A new spyware has been making the rounds in Android apps on Google Play, infecting victims post-download to steal their SMS messages, contact lists and device information. In addition to stealing victims’ information, the malware also stealthily signs them up for premium service subscriptions that could quietly drain their wallets.


  • Involvement of state actors in cyber crimes
  • Lack of coherent regulations across different countries
  • Internet governance
  • Cyber espionage
  • Digital privacy
  • Deep fakes


  • Adopting stringent data protection legislation
  • India should consider signing Cybercrime Convention (Budapest Convention)
  • Engagement in multi stakeholder orientations such as the Paris Call (for trust and security in cyberspace)

Steps taken

  • India joined the Christchurch Call which brought together countries and companies in an effort to stop the use of social media for promoting terrorism and violent extremism
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT­-In) (MeITy)
  • India voted in favour of a cybercrime resolution led by Russia in a committee of the UNGA

Way forward:

  • “cyber norms” that can balance the competing demands of national sovereignty and transnational connectivity

Council of Europe’s (CoE) Cybercrime Convention (Budapest Convention):

  • It is a sole legally binding international multilateral treaty on cybercrime.
  • It coordinates cybercrime investigations between nation-states and criminalizes certain cybercrime conduct.
  • It serves as
  • a guideline for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and
  • as a framework for international cooperation between state parties to this treaty.
  • It is supplemented by a Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism committed through computer systems.

India didn't Sign Budapest convention, reasons-

  • According to the Intelligence Bureau (IB), data sharing with foreign law enforcement agencies infringes on national sovereignty of India.
  • Budapest treaty was drafted without India's participation.

Different Cyber Threats:


  • Shortened form of malicious software.
  • Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software including Ransom wares, Computer Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, Spyware, Adware, Scareware etc.
  • This is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user.
  • Malware can be deployed even remotely, and tracking the source of malware is hard.
  • It can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software.
  • It can perform a variety of functions, including stealing, encrypting or deleting sensitive data, altering or hijacking core computing functions and monitoring users’ computer activity without their permission.

Adware: The least dangerous and most lucrative Malware. Adware displays ads on your computer

Spyware: Software that spies on you, tracking your internet activities in order to send advertising (Adware) back to your system.

Virus: A virus is a contagious program or code that attaches itself to another piece of software, and then reproduces itself when that software is run. Most often this is spread by sharing software or files between computers.

Spam: Spamming is a method of flooding the Internet with copies of the same message.

Worm: A program that replicates itself and destroys data and files on the computer. Worms work to “eat” the system operating files and data files until the drive is empty.

Trojan: A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software. Trojans are written with the purpose of discovering your financial information, taking over your computer’s system resources, and in larger systems creating a “denial-of-service attack” which is making a machine or network resource unavailable to those attempting to reach it.

Backdoors: Backdoors are much the same as Trojans or worms, except that they open a “backdoor” on a computer, providing a network connection for hackers or other Malware to enter or for viruses or SPAM to be sent.

Rootkit: This one is likened to the burglar hiding in the attic, waiting to take from you while you are not home. It is the hardest of all Malware to detect and therefore to remove;

Keyloggers: Records everything you type on your PC in order to glean your log-in names, passwords, and other sensitive information, and send it on to the source of the keylogging program.

Rogue security software: This one deceives or misleads users.

Ransomware: If you see this screen that warns you that you have been locked out of your computer until you pay for your cybercrimes. Your system is severely infected with a form of Malware called Ransomware.

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