• ProgIST CyberSec Division

What are cyber crimes & how to identify them?


The year 2020 has been the year of bad news as the Covid-19 has hit the world. There has been growth in technology and digitization due Work From Home and Study From Home and hence cases related to cybercrime have seen a sharp rise during this period. Cybercriminals are getting smarter with new techniques and modus-operandi to target people. So, in order to keep ourselves safe in the digital world, it is important for each and every person to know what are these threats.


WHAT IS A CYBERCRIME?


Cybercrime is criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network or a networked device. Any unlawful act where computer or communication device or computer network is used to commit or facilitate the commission of crime.


Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently advised people about such crimes and has defined them in the following categories.


TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES AND HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM


1. CHILD PORNOGRAPHY/ CHILD SEXUALLY ABUSIVE MATERIAL (CSAM)


Child sexually abusive material (CSAM) refers to a material containing sexual image in any form, of a child who is abused or sexually exploited. Section 67 (B) of IT Act states that “it is punishable for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.


2. CYBER BULLYING


Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behavior, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted.


3. CYBER STALKING


Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or

harass an individual, group, or organization.[1] It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass.


4. CYBER GROOMING


Cyber grooming is the process of ‘befriending’ a young person online “to facilitate online sexual contact and/or a physical meeting with them with the goal of committing sexual abuse.


5. ONLINE JOB FRAUD


Online Job Fraud is an attempt to defraud people who need employment by giving them a false hope/ promise of better employment with higher wages, not necessary in 2020 as the jobs are not available and fraudsters are taking advantage of this situation.


6. ONLINE SEXTORTION


Online Sextortion occurs when someone threatens to distribute private and sensitive material using an electronic medium if he/ she doesn’t provide images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, money or sometimes personal enmity or revenge.


7. VISHING


Vishing is an attempt where fraudsters try to seek personal information like Customer ID, Net Banking password, ATM PIN, OTP, Card expiry date, CVV etc. through a phone call. This technique has been exposed because of user awareness campaigns.


8. SEXTING


Sexting is an act of sending digital images, videos, text messages, or emails, usually by cell phone which are sexually explicit in nature.


9. SMISHING


A form of phishing, smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message. Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security.


10. SIM CLONING/SWAP SCAM


SIM Cloning Scam occurs when fraudsters manage to get a new SIM card issued against a registered mobile number fraudulently through the mobile service provider. With the help of this new SIM card, they get One Time Password (OTP) and alerts, required for making financial transactions through victim’s bank account. Getting a new SIM card against a registered mobile number fraudulently is known as SIM Swap.


A recent example of SIM cloning where businessman lost 2 Crores to fraudsters:

https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumbai/cover-story/hackers-clone-sim-bizman-loses-rs-2-cr/articleshow/78598056.cms


11. DEBIT/CREDIT CARD FRAUD


Credit card (or debit card) fraud involves an unauthorized person using another person’s credit or debit card information for the purpose of purchases or withdrawing funds from it.


12. IMPERSONATION AND IDENTITY THEFT


Impersonation and identity theft are an act of fraudulently or dishonestly making use of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of any other person to cause Monetary harm to the individual or the organization.


13. PHISHING


Stealing personal information such as Customer ID, IPIN, Credit/Debit Card number, Card expiry date, CVV number, etc. through emails that appear to be from a legitimate source is phishing.


14. SPAMMING


Spamming occurs when someone receives an unsolicited commercial message sent via email, SMS, and any other similar electronic messaging media. They may try to persuade recipients to buy a product or service, or visit a website where he can make purchases, or they may attempt to trick him/ her into divulging bank account or credit card details.


15. RANSOMWARE


Ransomware is a type of computer malware that encrypts the files, storage media on communication devices like desktops, Laptops, Mobile phones etc., holding data/information as a hostage. The victim is asked to pay the demanded ransom to get his/her device decrypts. So please don’t click on links that are sent by unknown people.


16. VIRUS, WORMS & TROJANS


Computer Virus is a program written to enter to your computer and damage/alter your files/data and replicate themselves. Worms are malicious programs that make copies of themselves again and again on the local drive, network shares, etc. A Trojan horse is not a virus. It is a destructive program that looks as a genuine application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves, but they can be just as destructive. Trojans open a backdoor entry to your computer which gives malicious users/programs access to your system, allowing confidential and personal information to be theft.


17. DATA BREACH


A data breach is an incident in which information is accessed without authorization. Data breaches can be far more than a temporary terror — they may change the course of your life. Businesses, governments, and individuals alike can experience huge complications from having sensitive information exposed. Whether you are offline or online, hackers can get to you through the internet, Bluetooth, text messages, or the online services that you use.


A very recent example of data breach:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/16/british-airways-fined-20-million-for-data-breach-by-ico.html


18. DENIAL OF SERVICES (DOS) / DISTRIBUTED DOS


Denial of Services (DoS) attack is an attack intended for denying access to computer resource without permission of the owner or any other person who is in-charge of a computer, computer system or computer network. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources of the legitimate users of that service are denied access to that service.


19. WEBSITE DEFACEMENT


Website Defacement is an attack intended to change visual appearance of a website and/ or make it dysfunctional. The attacker may post indecent, hostile and obscene images, messages, videos, etc. Many times, when tensions between two countries increase, they attack government websites of the opponent country.


20. CYBER-SQUATTING


Cybersquatting is the practice of registering as Internet domains identical or similar to a third party company name or trademark, with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a third party brand, or in the hope of reselling them at a profit.


21. PHARMING


Pharming, a amalgamation of the words "phishing" and "farming", is a type of cybercrime very similar to phishing, where a website's traffic is manipulated, and confidential information is stolen.


22. CRYPTOJACKING


Cryptojacking is the unauthorized use of computing resources to mine cryptocurrencies. As it is believed to replace gold as the reserve currency, Cryptocurrencies are the future.


23. ONLINE DRUG TRAFFICKING


Online Drug Trafficking is a crime of selling, transporting, or illegally importing unlawful controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, or other illegal drugs using electronic means. It is much easier online than offline and it has less probability of getting caught, so more and more drug trafficker are coming online.


24. CYBER ESPIONAGE


Cyber Espionage is the act or practice of obtaining data and information without the permission and knowledge of the owner.


STAY AWARE. STAY SAFE.


References:

  1. https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/Webform/CrimeCatDes.aspx

  2. https://cybercrime.gov.in/UploadMedia/MHA-CitizenManualReportOtherCyberCrime-v10.pdf

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