Listed below are some common cyber-crime scenarios which can attract prosecution as per the penalties and offences prescribed in the IT Act 2000 (amended via 2008) Act.
1) Harassment via fake public profile on social networking site: A fake profile of a person is created on a social networking site with the correct address, residential information or contact details but they are labelled as a ‘prostitute’ or a person of ‘loose character’. This leads to harassment of the victim.
Provisions applicable: Sections 66A, 67 of IT Act and Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code.
2) Online hate community: Online hate community is created inciting a religious group to act or pass objectionable remarks against a country, national figures etc.
Provisions applicable: Section 66A of IT Act and 153A & 153B of the Indian Penal Code.
3) Email account hacking: If victim’s email account is hacked and obscene emails are sent to people in victim’s address book.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66A, 66C, 67, 67A and 67B of IT Act.
4) Credit card fraud: Unsuspecting victims would use infected computers to make online transactions.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66C, 66D of IT Act and section 420 of the IPC.
5) Web defacement: The homepage of a website is replaced with a pornographic or defamatory page. Government sites generally face the wrath of hackers on symbolic days.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43 and 66 of IT Act and Sections 66F, 67 and 70 of IT Act also apply in some cases.
6) Introducing viruses, worms, backdoors, rootkits, trojans, bugs: All of the above are some sort of malicious programs which are used to destroy or gain access to some electronic information.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66A of IT Act and Section 426 of Indian Penal Code.
7) Cyber terrorism: Many terrorists are using virtual (G-Drive, FTP sites) and physical storage media (USB’s, hard drives) for hiding information and records of their illicit business.
Provisions applicable: Conventional terrorism laws may apply along with Section 69 of IT Act.
8) Online sale of illegal articles: Applicable when the sale of narcotics, drugs weapons and wildlife is facilitated by the internet.
Provisions applicable: Generally conventional laws apply in these cases.
9) Cyber pornography: This is among the largest businesses on the internet. Pornography may not be illegal in many countries, but child pornography is.
Provisions applicable: Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act.
10) Phishing and email scams: Phishing involves fraudulently acquiring sensitive information through masquerading as a trusted entity. (E.g. Passwords, credit card information)
Provisions Applicable: Section 66, 66A and 66D of IT Act and Section 420 of IPC
11) Theft of confidential information: Many business organisations store their confidential information in computer systems. This information is targeted by rivals, criminals and disgruntled employees.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66B of IT Act and Section 426 of Indian Penal Code.
12) Source code theft: A source code generally is the most coveted and important “crown jewel” asset of a company.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66B of IT Act and Section 63 of Copyright Act.
13) Tax evasion and money laundering: Money launderers and people doing illegal business activities hide their information in virtual as well as physical activities.
Provisions applicable: Income Tax Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act. IT Act may apply case-wise.
14) Online share trading fraud: It has become mandatory for investors to have their demat accounts linked with their online banking accounts which are generally accessed unauthorized, thereby leading to share trading frauds.
Provisions applicable: Sections 43, 66, 66C, 66D of IT Act and Section 420 of IPC.