The rapid growth of the internet and computer technology over the past few years has led to the growth in new forms of crime — dubbed cyber crime — throughout the world. The term “cyber crime” has nowhere been defined in any statute or Act passed or enacted by the Indian Parliament. Today, the world is moving towards a point where everything from banking to stock exchanges and traffic control, telephones to electric power, health care, welfare and education depends on software. This exponential growth, and the increase in the capacity and accessibility of computers coupled with the decrease in cost, has brought about revolutionary changes in every aspect of human civilization, including crime. It is rapidly evolving from simple e-mail mischief where offenders send obscene e-mail, to more serious offences like theft of information, e-mail bombing to crashing servers, etc. It is sure all of us have encountered unwanted product advertisements. Piracy is also a serious threat that involves illegal reproduction and distribution of software applications, games, movies and audio CDs which is causing a huge monetary loss to entertainment industry worldwide.
Hacking is also a serious crime by a hacker who is simply a talented computer user who misuses his vast knowledge. Virus attacks that say “I love you” enter our computer and destroy all the computer information are also a serious threat. Computer frauds, thefts and harassment through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are also risking our lives.
Undoubtedly we cannot single out only one crime that is posing maximum threat but all forms of crimes are equally posing a serious threat to both business and individuals. Cyber Crime in the Act is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. Cases of spam, hacking, stalking and e-mail fraud are rampant although cyber crimes cells have been set-up in major Indian cities. The problem is that most cases remain unreported due to lack of awareness. Capacity of human mind is unfathomable. It is not possible to eliminate cyber crime from the cyber space. However, it is quite possible to check them.
The home user segment is the largest recipient of cyber attacks as they are less likely to have established security measures in place and therefore it is necessary that people should be made aware of their rights and duties. The fight against cyber crime starts in our very own home. We should not reply any e-mail from unknown persons; learn to report spam mails to the e-mail servers. We should not upload our personal information on social networking sites or our account details on other such sites.
Also the use of antivirus software can be a great help to fight against viruses and worms. Users must try and save any electronic information trail on their computers, firewalls, use of intrusion detection system, etc. and further making the application of the laws more stringent to check crime. Potentially, everything from generic word processing software to customized computer programs designed for a specific company could work on a cloud computing system.
It is a good idea to rely on another computer system to run programs and store data as it would enable clients to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time. They could access the cloud computing system using any computer linked to the Internet. Data would not be confined to a hard drive on one user’s computer or even a corporation’s internal network.
Also, it could bring hardware costs down as the client would not need to buy the fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system would take care of the rest. Often, scientists and researchers work with calculations so complex that it would take years for individual computers to complete them. The cloud system would tap into the processing power of all available computers on the back end, significantly speeding up the calculation.
There will always be new and unexpected challenges to stay ahead of cyber criminals and cyber terrorists but we can win only through partnership and collaboration of both individuals and government. There is much we can do to ensure a safe, secure and trustworthy computing environment. It is crucial not only to our national sense of well-being, but also to our national security and economy.