January 23, 2022

Cyber Crimes and Challenges Faced by Judicial System

cyber law


Digital technology is encompassing in all walks of life, all over the world and has brought the real meaning of globalization. At the one end cyber system provides opportunities to communicate and at the other end some individuals or community exploit its power for criminal purposes. Criminals exploit the Internet and other network communications which are international in scope.

Situation is alarming; Cybercrime is an upcoming and is talk of the town in every field of the society/system. Theoretically and practically this is a new subject for researchers and is growing exponentially. Lot of work has been done and endless has to be go because the invention or up gradation of new technology leads to the technical crime i.e. the digital or we can say the cybercrime or e-crime.

This is because every day a new technique is being developed for doing the cybercrime and many times, we are not having the proper investigating method/model/technique to tackle that newly cybercrime. Cybercrime is a criminal activity in which computers or computer networks are used as a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity and includes everything from electronic cracking to denial of service attacks. It is also used to include traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used to enable the illicit activity.

Cybercrimes other than those mentioned under the IT Act, 2000

1. Child Pornography:

It is one of the gravest offences The Internet is being highly used by its abusers to reach and abuse children sexually, worldwide. Internet explosion has made the children a viable victim to the cybercrime. The pedophiles use their false identity to trap children and even contact them in various chat rooms where they befriend them and gain personal information from the innocent preys. These pedophiles drag children to the net for the purpose of sexual assault or so as to use them as a sex object.

2. Email bombing:

refers to sending huge large numbers of mail to the victim, which may be an individual or a company or even mail servers there by ultimately resulting into crashing the system or a network. Data diddling: involves altering raw data just before a computer processes it and then changing it back after the processing is completed.

3. Salami attacks:

it is a financial crime in which the alteration is so small that it would normally go unnoticed.

4. Virus / worms attacks:

Virus is a program that attaches itself to a computer or a file and then circulates to other file and to other computers on a network. They usually affect the data on a computer, either by altering or deleting it. Worms, unlike viruses do not need the host to attach themselves to. They merely make functional copies of themselves and do this repeatedly till they eat up all the available space on a computer’s memory. The best example of this type of attacks is the case of love bug virus, which affected at least 5 % of the computers of the globe. The losses were accounted to be $ 10 million.

5. Denial of Service attack (DoS):

in this the computer of the victim is flooded with more requests than it can handle which causes its system to crash. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is also a type of denial of service attack, in which the offenders are wide in number and widespread. Some of the examples are websites such as the Amazon, Yahoo, etc.

6. Logic bombs:

This crime depends upon a happening of a particular conditional event. The best example is the Chernobyl virus case where a particular virus was lying dormant all through the year and become active only on a particular date.

7. Trojan attacks:

A Trojan is an unauthorized program which functions from inside by falsely representing to be an authorized program, thereby concealing what it is actually doing.

8. Internet time thefts:

This refers to the usage by an unauthorized person of the Internet hours paid for by another person. This kind of cybercrime was unheard until the victim reported it. This offence is usually covered under IPC and the Indian Telegraph Act.

9. Web jacking:

This term has been taken from the word hijacking. Once a website is web jacked the owner of the site loses all control over it. The person gaining such kind of an access is called a hacker who may even alter or destroy any information on the site.

10. Cyber Stalking:

Although there is no universally accepted definition of Cyber Stalking, it is generally defined as the repeated acts of harassment or threatening behavior of the cybercriminal towards the victim by using Internet services. Stalking in General terms can be referred to as the repeated acts of harassment targeting the victim such as following the victim, making harassing phone calls, killing the victim’s pet, vandalizing victims’ property, leaving written messages or objects. Stalking may be followed by serious violent acts such as physical harms to the victim. It all depends on the course of conduct of the stalker

Challenges Faced in Cyber-Crimes

Jurisdictional challenges

Aside from the germane issue of anonymity discussed before now, one other potent challenge to enforcement of cybercrime laws is jurisdiction. Taking into cognizance the time tested principles of state independence sovereignty and territorial integrity, each nation-state of the world, have the authority to make laws binding on things and all persons within its geographical entity, called a country

Extradition processes challenge

It is the process of returning somebody accused of a crime by a different legal authority for trial or punishment. A casual glance at the definition of extradition as above, would ordinarily raises the hope that, if a person is alleged to have committed a cybercrime in one jurisdiction and escapes to another country, all that needs to be done by the country where the cybercriminal is domiciled is expeditiously return the said criminal to the requesting country, to face trial, however, in practice, this is not so because of the principle of state independence and sovereignty earlier stated before now

The challenge regarding the nature of evidence

Evidence is that which tends to prove the existence of some fact. It may consist of testimony, documentary evidence, real evidence and when admissible. The law of evidence comprises all the rules governing the presentation of facts and proofs in proceedings before a court. It is settled and far beyond controversy that in criminal prosecution, it is incumbent on the prosecution to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt before a conviction of the accused can be obtained; thus the nature of fact or documentary proof adduced as evidence in the prosecution of cybercriminals goes to the root of any trial

Cost, time and efforts incurred in investigation and prosecution

Given the nature of evidence, that is, forensic, needed in the prosecution of cybercrimes, the cost of same as a scientific crime solving approach as opposed to gathering of evidence in terrestrial crimes is not particularly cheap because of the high-tech equipment, materials and expertise involved to carry out such investigations.

Madhav Mantri (Student, ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad)

Law Library LawBhoomi

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