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‘Cyber Crime and Cyber Warfare’- Cyber Forensics & Electronic Evidence

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 a wonderful way that now a person can communicate with anybody residing in 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 a connection between people and companies in a faster and much economical way. But this invention with time has posed a threat that has been having a disparaging impact on civilization. Everyone whose phone or computers are connected to internet are victims of cybercrime against different organizations.

In simple words, cybercrime is a crime that involves computers or digital devices. It’s dangerous because it can either target a crime, or can be a tool of crime or it can also carry evidence of a crime. Cybercrime defines as any criminal activity that occurs over internet, for example, fraud, malware such as viruses, identity theft, cyberstalking 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 the internet in the US, Americans became the earliest victims or villains of cybercrime.

The question is what distinguishes cybercrime from traditional criminal activity? Of course, the use of digital computers is one difference, but that doesn’t mean that offenses 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 behavior which was more novel.

Majorly cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, and governments. It’s 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 that 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, the Information and Technology Act came into existence to cater to the growing demand for legislation in cyberspace. It introduced the concept of ‘digital signature’, ‘encryption’, ‘electronic evidence’ etc. Certain changes were added in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 in order to make it more contemporary and in tune with changing time.

Abhilasha Semwal
Deputy Manager- Research & Events
Sanrachna

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