Cybercrime is a crime which
involves computer as the object or tool of the crime (phishing, hacking,
identity theft). Cyber criminals use computer technology to get access to
personal information as well as business or trade secrets, or use the internet
for malicious purposes.      (Dave & Patel. 2017) Cyber
crime therefore signifies occurrence of harmful behaviour that is related to
computer. It has no specific reference in law but the concept is invented by
media (Wall,2003). Internet has impacted upon criminal or harmful activity in
three main ways. This classification has been done to distinguish cyber crime
from other crime. Firstly, internet is a vehicle of communication that assist
in sustaining existing harmful activity like drug trafficking, hate speech,
bomb talk, stalking and many more. Secondly, internet has created transnational
environment that provide new platform for harmful activity like paedophile
incident, fraud etc. Thirdly, the internet has created crime like unauthorized
access to imagery, music, video, software tools etc. It has impacted both
private individuals and business houses. Now the policy makers are to decide
which policy is suitable for each of these crimes categorised under different
level of cyber crime.(Wall,2003) Moreover, issues
of cyber ethics play a vital role in deciding policies made by policy makers.
These policies guide the future of cyberspace in any country. This research
paper is based on various newspaper reports, online media reports and scholarly

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Digital India: A brief history


mid-1990s onward government of India has taken e-government initiative to
provide better service to the citizen. The major ICT initiatives of the
government included some major projects such as railway computerization, land
record computerization etc. that focused mainly on the development of
information technology and systems. (Turka
& Singh, 2016) Later on many states started
implementing e-governance project to give electronic service to its citizen.

project could not make desired impact due to its limited features.  E-governance project was characterised by
isolated and less interactive systems, which posed as major drawback in
adoption of this e-governance in broad spectrum of governance. They clearly
pointed towards the need for a more comprehensive planning. Moreover, proper
infrastructure is to be built in order to establish a more connected programme.
As a result, government of India started the digital India programme in 2014 to
promote inclusive growth which covers electronic services, products, devices,
job opportunities as well as transfer the entire ecosystem of public services
through the use of information technology to a digital platform. (Turka & Singh, 2016)


Literature Review


In a research paper on “Latest Face of Cybercrime
and its Prevention in India” Vineet Kandpal and R.K. Singh discussed the
various trends of cyber crime faced by Indian user on and before 2012. They
also focused on existing laws to combat cybercrime during that point of time.
The time period of research was before Digital India concept was started by
government of India. Moreover, the findings and result focused on how
governmental policies can assist in formulating stronger law for protecting
cyberspace more effectively. (Kandpal & Singh,2013)

Research is done on “Cybercrime in India: A study,
2007 to 2011”  by Mohammad Ishaq Lone,
where he showed growth pattern of cybercrime in India along with cybercrime
committed against women. Findings showed the necessity to create provisions in
laws and awareness measure to be taken at community level. (Lone, 2013)

Research paper on “Review of Cyber-Crimes And Their
Impacts Over The Society” by Umesh R. Gadhave and Dr. Sandeep R. Sirsat  focused on impact of cyber crime on society
in various form like economic disruption, threat to national defence and other
social nuance as well as psychological disorder. The study showed restriction
of cyber crime is dependent on proper analysis and understanding of its
behaviour and its impact on various level of society. (Gadhave & Sirsat,

is also done on “An Overview of Corporate Cybercrime in India and US” by Tanya
Syngle, which showed comprehensive comparative analysis of cyber crime in the
corporate sector of the East with India serving as the prototype, and the West,
with United States of America (US) being the prototype. An interpretive
qualitative research design was used in this research to highlights the
difference between US and India and understand the cybercrime
scenario. Study also explored probable reason behind these differences and how
international cooperation can create policy framework to combat cybercrime.(Syngle,
2017) But no such research work can be found on “How Digital India is tackling


recent times, government’s ambitious projects of Digital India and smart city
initiatives have already earned enough attention from heads of technology
giant. But they are concerned about the security policy to be implemented by
government of India to enhance cyber security as security breaching is a
regular feature now-a-days. (Ujaley, 2017) Financial Express e-newspaper also reported that the
integrated digital footprint created by Digital India and digital cities will
bring increasing and alarming demand for resources to defend against the threat
at various level and entry point of the new system. Digital India and smart
cities will create social and economic opportunities. (Ujaley, 2017) The
increasing synchronisation of existing digital data and processes within
government departments will require maximum security. But critical data flow is
to be left uninterrupted even in this high threatening environment. (Ujaley, 2017)


study made by Assocham-PwC revealed that India has witnessed a 350per cent rise
in cyber crime from 2011 to 2014. (Digital India & the Cyber Security Threat,
n.d.) With the spread of smart phone and internet India has emerged as one of
the favourite countries to attack, among cyber criminals. The Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has also reported in a study conducted by
them under title “Protecting interconnected systems in the cyber era” that in
2015 a rise in the number of incidents of cyber attack could be noted at around
50000. (Digital India & the Cyber Security Threat, n.d.)


Statement of Problem


research paper seeks:

To investigate the current scenario of cyber crime in Digital India.

RQ2.  To investigate how India is  actually tackling cyber crime in its’ newly
transformed digitally connected economy with its laws and policies.


Research Method


 Interpretative qualitative research design is
used in this research study.  To analyse the current cyber crime scenario in
India, a brief analysis is done on six major events of cyber attack from 2010
to June 2017. The search is based on secondary sources. Data is obtained from newspaper
reports, website reports, journals, publications etc. The search of information
is based on relevance of research topic and date of publication of information.
High level general search as well as directed search is carried for this
purpose.  To investigate how India is
prepared to tackle cybercrime, analysis of various cyber laws and policies of
India are done.


Present Scenario of Cyber Crime in
Digital India


2014 Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several
transformative initiatives like Adhaar, De-monetization and Digital India to
add speed to India’s transition from an analog to a digital economy. This is
quite admirable goal and if executed properly it can jumpstart economic growth
of India and creates crores of job opportunities. This goal will remain
unattainable if India does not improve cyber security infrastructure.  (Ganeshan,2017)

two developments in cyber world in past few years made the scenario of
unpreparedness even more dangerous. The first major development was the
discovery of malicious computer worm called “Stuxnet.” A group of cyber
researcher had found it in 2010. Stuxnet was created to target industrial
computer system. Stuxnet was different from other virus in a way that it targeted
programmable logic controller (PLC) which are not connected to the internet and
previously thought to be safe from hacking. 
Stuxnet showed that many elements of any country’s infrastructure such
as water treatment facilities, hospital systems, dams, electric grids, factory
assembly lines, power plant that uses PLC system and supervisory control and
data acquisition system are also under cyber threat even though they are not
connected to internet. It is high time for India to fortify its critical infrastructure.

development in cyber space was the advent of another sophisticated malware
named Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) in 2013. These malware perform in a
different way compared to any virus. Through this malware hacker aimed at data
theft and espionage. After infecting the target the malware use sophisticated
root kit technique to disguise them. They connect to control servers and
command on the internet. They can export data as well as take new instuction.
This malware can remain undetected for months or even years while slowly
collecting valuable data from victim’s network. All the recent data theft
incidents like Anthem, Target, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Sony were
victims of this malware attack. In this context, Government of India should
think seriously regarding cyber security policy of the country.  (Ganeshan,2017)


news sites have recently reported in September 2016 on data breach of India’s
top secret file due to cyber attack. The top secret “Scorpene” submarine
program was published online and this data breach has brought the issue of
cyber security of India into newspaper headlines.  The cyber security firm Symantec have
mentioned in its blog post on 2016 that it had traced cyber security breaches of
several Indian organisations by cyber espionage group called Suckfly.  (Kambampati, 2016) According to Symantec this
cyber espionage group has targeted government organisations, financial
institutions, large vendors to stock exchange, e-commerce companies etc. Based
on the targets that the group penetrated Symantec has speculated that the
espionage was targeted at disrupting the country’s economic infrastructure. (Kambampati,
2016) The government authority has neither denied nor accepted of being victim of
such data breach. (Kambampati, 2016)

in May, 2017 world was send to edge even without losing much money as intended
from the victims by a ransomware named WannaCry. Impact was heavily felt in UK
where National Health Service was hard hit by stalling surgeries, calling back
ambulances etc. This led the cyber experts throughout the world to think about
the real time impact like this. All of us live in a digital world where
destructive effect is hard to stop. (Rajan, 2017) Researchers have observed
that WannaCry is a program mainly targeting Microsoft Windows operating
systems. The hacker uses this ransomware to take control of victim’s computer
and lock the data until the victim pay in return. The hacker demanded payment
of $300 to $600 using Bitcoins. 
Microsoft has released cyber security to overcome this vulnerability but
that will not be applicable for any pirated software. Cyber security experts
were of opinion that outspread of attack would be high in India as majority of
the computers are working on pirated software. (Shekhar, 2017) Some newspapers
reported that Ministry of Home Affairs source had informed that Government of
India had ordered to shut down the service of some ATM outlets all over the
country as preventive measures against the cyber attack.(WannaCry: Hundreds of
ATMs shut down across India to escape ransomware attack RBI denies, 2017)  As far as the effects are concerned IT
minister of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India was not affected much by
ransomware WannaCry. (WannaCry: Hundreds of ATMs shut down across India to
escape ransomware attack RBI denies, 2017) He added that ransomware WannaCry
had partially affected Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.(WannaCry: Hundreds of ATMs
shut down across India to escape ransomware attack RBI denies, 2017)

Bank of India (RBI) had directed the banks to update the software in their ATM
machines to avoid ransomware attack. (Shekhar, 2017) The attack has crippled
more than 200000 computers throughout the world and affected hospital, banks,
government agencies in several countries. 
(Shekhar, 2017)

 Researchers have come up with new term “cyber
terrorism.” Cyber terrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyber space. It
is the use of internet to shut down critical infrastructure (electricity,bank,organisation,
transport) with the purpose of coercing the people or intimidate a government.
A hostile nation can exploit using these tools to penetrate poorly secured
computer network and disrupt critical functions. (Wikipedia, n.d.)


touches every part of our daily life through wireless signals, broadband
networks, local networks and even the massive grid that power our country. To
create a strong defence system against cyber attack would require combined
effort from both public and private sectors. Combined effort is required to
develop new technologies and new approaches for maintaining real-time
protection of their individual networks. 
(Periera, 2016)


Cyber security and policies in
Digital India


laws in India:


Information and Technology Act, 2000 – 
The Information and Technology Act seeks to protect the technology and
cyber space by defining crimes, laying down procedures for investigation,
prescribing punishments as well as forming regulatory authority. Many cyber crimes
have been brought within the definition of traditional crimes too by means of
amendment to the Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Evidence Act, 1872 and Banker’s
Book Evidence Act, 1891 was amended to facilitate collection of evidence in
fighting cyber crimes.  The IT act itself
was amended in 2008 to adapt with changing cyber space. (InsightsIAS, n.d.)

National Cyber security Policy 2013 – The Act was formulate to provide cyber
security to growing IT industry in India but its implementation is not successfully
done yet. Important features of this Act are as follows:

build secure and resilient cyber space.
ii. Creating a secure cyber ecosystem, generate trust in IT transactions.
iii. 24 x 7 National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center
iv.  Indigenous technological solutions
is to be set up,
v.  Testing of ICT products and
certifying them, Validated products,
vi.  Creating workforce of 500,000
professionals in the field,
vii.  Fiscal Benefits for businessman who
accepts standard IT practices, etc. (InsightsIAS, n.d.)


is Cyber Ethics?


Technology plays a pivotal role in every sphere like in business, industry,
government, medicine, entertainment, education and in society at large. The
economic and social benefit gained from it hardly needs any explanation.
Information technology too has negative implication in our society. This poses
some problems related to ethics and generally contains three main types of
ethical issues: personal privacy, access right and harmful actions. (Gunarto,


increase in business transaction on intangible assets like Intellectual
Property made cyber space an important commercial sphere. Therefore in order to
extend this business, a secure cyber sphere is required. To protect intellectual
property rights in online platform a strong regulatory agenda would be set and
it will produce many technical methods of enforcement. Internet has turn out to
become the media of the people as the internet has spread fast which initiated
a change in press environment that is centred on mass media. Unlike established
press there are no editors in internet; People produce content themselves and
circulate it. This direct way of communication over internet created many
social debates. Hence, cyberspace content demands in future a reconciliation of
two views – freedom of expression and concern for community standards. (InsightsIAS,


Future Of Cyber Security In Digital


The government takes initiative to conducted several
awareness and training programmes on cyber crimes for law enforcement
body.  Training is also given on the use
of cyber forensic software packages and other associated procedures to collect
electronic evidence from crime scene. (InsightsIAS, n.d.) The initiative to
provide cyber security and related projects are quite less in numbers. Even if
there are some proposal for projects but that remained in papers only. India
has launched e-surveillance projects like National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID),
Central Monitoring System (CMS), Internet Spy System Network and Traffic
Analysis System (NETRA) of India etc. But none of them are governed by any
legal framework neither they were under Parliamentary Scrutiny. Thus, these
projects are violation of civil liberties protection in cyberspace. Government
has formed National Informatics Centre (NIC) to provide network backbone to
manage IT services, E-GOV initiatives to state and central government.  To counter cyber crime a coordination is
required from different agencies working under Ministry of Home Affairs
and  under Ministry of Communications and
Information Technology. Apart from Central
Bureau of Investigation, The Intelligence Bureau, state police organizations
and other specialised organizations such as the National Police Academy, there are few agencies
of government which also work for tackling cyber crime. To name few of them are
: National Information Board (NIB) , National Crisis Management Committee
(NCMC), National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Department of Information
Technology (DIT), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), National Cyber
Response Centre – Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIn), National
Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NIIPC), National Disaster
Management of Authority (NDMA), Standardization, Testing and Quality
Certification (STQC) Directorate, The Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal. (InsightsIAS,

Intergovernmental organisation and initiatives:

Various intergovernmental organisations have taken
initiatives to address the issue of cyber crime at policy level.

Council Of Europe – Council of Europe aimed at
protecting societies throughout the world from the threat of cyber crime
through Convention on Cybercrime  held at
Budapest in November,  2001. It was the
first international treaty to address the problem of cyber crimes that is done
using internet and computers. Budapest Convention entered into force from July
2004.  (Convention on cybercrime, n.d.)

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – It was established
in 2006 by the World Summit on the Information Society to bring people together
from different stakeholders groups for discussion on public issues related to
internet. United Nation played a vital role in establishment of IGF. (Internet
governance forum, n.d.)

Nation – The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the specialized
wings of UN deals with information and communication of the world. They also
deal with adoption of international standards to ensure uninterrupted global
communications and flexibility for next generation networks. They also work for
building confidence and ensure secure ICT usage.  (InsightsIAS, n.d.)


Process –  The Meridian Process has set
its goal in providing Governments throughout the world a platform or means to
discuss on how to work together at the policy level on matters of Critical  Information Infrastructure Protection
(CIIP).  By holding annual conference the
organisation tries to build trust and establish international relations within
the member countries as well as provide opportunity for sharing best practices
from the world. (Meridian Connecting and Protecting, n.d.)

Conference –  Brazil had hosted NETmundial – Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of
Internet Governance in 2014. The meeting was held in collaboration of Brazilian
Internet Steering Committee and /1Net. It is a forum that gathers international
entities of various stakeholders involved with e-governance. This meeting
mainly focused on elaboration of principles of Internet governance and  they proposed a roadmap for future
development of this network ecosystem. (NETmundial: the beginning of a process,
n.d. )




increase in the number of internet users around the world makes data security
as well as its proper management very important for future growth and
prosperity.  The main concern is with the
unauthorized people who are trying to access remote services and disrupt the
system.  It has become our responsibility
for our own cyber security. Simple steps are to be followed to stay in secured
cyber space like installing antivirus software, personal firewall and update it
time to time. Also it is advisory to archive all security logs. Moreover access
should be restricted to sensitive data and has to be password secured. Above
all more cyber literacy related to cyber security has to be enhanced.
Government can also utilise specializations of private sectors to tackle
problems of cyber security and promote more PPP projects for having secured
Digital India. 

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