This Research Paper is written by Mashish Saxena, a Third Year B.A LL.B (Hons.) Student at PES Modern Law College, Pune.
The COVID-19 has changed human life drastically in many aspects. Now globally it’s leading to what has become commonly mentioned because of the new normal in terms of societal norms and therefore the ways we live and work. As effecting in some ways on society and business as an entire, the pandemic generated a set of unique cyber-crime in the technology sector. The explosion within the cases of the cyber attack, which is claimed to be increased by 86% within the latest survey during this pandemic.
This article will describe the COVID-19 pandemic from a cyber-crime perspective and highlight the range of cybercrimes experienced globally during the pandemic. This analysis shows the various aspects on which the cyberattack is happening and the way hackers are taking advantage of it and also the rules which are provided by the government for citizens and what measures are often taken to guard yourself against getting into the Hell of cybercrime.
The rush to remote working has outpaced cyber-security.
With the widespread of the coronavirus, in march 2020, the government worldwide imposed the lockdown and stopped people from entering offices to stem the spread of coronavirus. Wherever possible, employers allowed their employees to figure from home, where, more and more, private IT devices are getting used for official business. which results in increases within the cases of cybercrime. Uniken, a cybersecurity firm said that cybercrime has increased by 2-3% in lockdown.
Also, there are more and more reports about cyberattacks on health-care organizations on whose proper functioning governments and societies are more dependent now than ever. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, cybercrime is defined as ‘a crime that takes place through the utilization of computers, technology or the Internet’
INCREASE OF INTERNET USE: WORK FROM HOME REGIME
With the rise of COVID-19 explosion in certain social media, digital information channels, streaming and cloud services, email, conference calls, and video conferencing tools are getting used quite frequently. It increased work from the home regime for office employees. However, it also increased cybercrimes during this field. In mid-march, it had been reported by the Frankfurt-based internet exchange DE-CIX than 9,1 Terabit per second. This recorded level is the biggest jump in data traffic from the previous peak of 8,3 TBit that the corporation ever recorded.
It is said that the IT sectors use the foremost security systems and antivirus systems for his or her file protections however it’s impossible for each firm to use the simplest and powerful protection from cybercrimes because it sectors may or might not includes the same level of firewall and security as within the office setup. This makes it harder for the IT experts of those organizations or institutions to spot unauthorized network connections and this offers hackers an opportunity to realize access to internal networks. By an equivalent token, work computers that will contain sensitive data are sometimes used for personal purposes when performing from home, which may also open the door to hackers. All this drives up the number of security risks.
HEALTH SECTOR AT THE RISK!
At present things are getting worse for the medical field. Cybersecurity is a rising alarm on the rise of cyber attacks on hospitals, criminals are primarily curious about obtaining demographic and financial information, to form money with digital identity data. During this process, hospital IT systems are often deliberately or inadvertently compromised. The cyber securities are reasoning, that the health care is getting the new and most targeted place for hackers is because Criminals use such malware to encrypt the stored data of their victims to blackmail them afterward: the info is going to be decrypted reciprocally for a ransom payment. Hackers somehow are ready to manage to attack this field successfully. that the government warned the hospitals and health care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned about by stealing money and sensitive information
from the general public. However, consistent with new reports, hacking attempts against WHO’s computer systems and its partners have increased during the coronavirus outbreak.
CYBER CRIMES IN OTHER SECTORS AND KINDS
In this the victim is being harassed, threatened by the stalkers. Victims are often anyone, an individual, group, or organization. It can involve false accusations, vandalism, fraud, etc.
Unauthorized Access And Hacking
This type of activity is completed without the permission of the rightful owner in-charge of it. Hackers access to the pc system or network illegally.
Viruses are those infectious programs that are capable of creating a replica of itself and spread into other programs capable of harming it. They often affect the info on the PC. They either alter the info present within the system or delete it. It is often sent via an email, once the person opens the mail the device is attacked by the virus.
It is a cybercrime during which a target or target is contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data like personally identifiable information, banking, and MasterCard details and passwords.
In this case, the criminal sets a fake set and lists merchandise or services for the sale of the auction. After the acquisition has been made by the victim, the item isn’t delivered.
Fake Applications on Android/iOS
Project spy is an ongoing cyber-espionage that was discovered by cybersecurity. Through this spy, hackers are infecting Android and iOS devices through apps titled coronavirus updates. These apps can perform a spread of functions including transferring data from Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook messages.
Furthermore, hackers take out the information after collecting voice notes, call logs, and contact information and from SIM information of the victims. It’s also possible for them to take out the IP address and WIFI speed and information through these. other data from the mobile like fingerprint, date, time, display, and updated at and created information.
Cyber Crime against Women
Cybercrime against women has been increasing thanks to the lockdown. consistent with the National Commission for ladies (NCW) cybercrime complaints received in 2020:
February- 21, March- 37, and April- 54.
Cyber experts, however, said the numbers are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
Moreover, consistent with the founding father of a public care NGO, Akancha Foundation, 20-25 complaints were received by them on a day today. The complaints are mainly about
Abuse and threats; Indecent exposure and unsolicited obscene pictures; Malicious emails claiming their account is hacked; Ransom demands and blackmail; Sextortion, that is, extorting money or sexual favors with the threat of showing evidence of their sexual intercourse.
PM CARES Fund Fraud
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation ( PM Care) Fund is receiving tons of donations from the people. The Fund’s UPI ID is pmcares@sbi. However, it’s come under the notice of the authorities that scammers have made similar UPI IDs like pmcares@icici, pmcares@yesbank, pmcares@ybi, and so on, to defraud people. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) alongside banks, ministries, and police departments issued warnings to curb fraudulent activities.
Zoom video calls
Zoom, a video conferencing app, enables professionals and students to possess online meetings and attend online classes, respectively. it’s an undesirable, problematic interruption, for the most part by Web trolls and programmers, into a video call. during an ordinary Zoombombing episode, a video chatting meeting is captured by the inclusion of texture that is salacious, vulgar, supremacist, or xenophobic, normally coming about the closure of the meeting. Public specialists overall cautioned of potential accuses against individuals connecting with of Zoombombing. On April 8, 2020, a youngster, was captured for PC wrongdoing, trick, and upsetting the harmony following a Zoombombing occurrence including on the web classes; police likewise recognized another adolescent required inside the episode. an individual was captured in the wake of being followed to explicit recordings that were gushed on Zoom. As of May 2020, the FBI has gotten 195 occurrences of Zoombombing including abuse, while the UK’s Public Wrongdoing Organization has announced very 120 such cases.
Attack On The WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has noticed a drastic increase within the number of cyberattacks within the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.According to WHO in the current pandemic there are reports related to email hacks increased, about 450 active emails and passwords of WHO have been leaked online. However, the leaked information didn’t put the WHO system in danger because the data was old but the attack did affect the older extranet system which is employed by the present and retired staff alongside the partners. the amount of cyberattacks against the organization is five times quite an equivalent period in 2019.
LAWS AGAINST CYBERCRIME
With a rise within the dependency on the utilization of technology, the necessity for cyberlaw was necessary. Very similar to how every coin has two sides, therefore, the dependency on technology has its pros and cons. The increase of the 21st century marked the evolution of cyberlaw in India with the knowledge Technology Act, 2000 (popularly referred to as the IT Act). The first-ever cybercrime was recorded within the year 1820.
Listed below are some cyber crimes as per the penalties and offenses prescribed within the IT act 2009 amended via 2008) act :
illegal access (Article 2), Illegal interception (Article 3), Data interference (Article 4), System interference (Article 5), Misuse of devices (Article 6), Computer-related forgery (Article 7), Computer-related fraud (Article 8), Offences related to child pornography (Article 9), Offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights (Article 10), Attempt and aiding or abetting (Article 11).
CASE IN POINT
To date the cyber crimes that are reported for fraud are 8,546 which is a quite last year that’s 7,700 consistent with Pune police for cheating frauds. which incorporates money transfer, just one occasion password, online dating, job, lottery, and loan. There are many messages, links, and websites that are forwarding in social media and WhatsApp like: Employees will get a category certificate alongside Rs 3,500 per month in lockdown for age 18-40. Coronavirus insurances. Subscription and extra discount thereon for Netflix and Amazon pay. Free additional internet.
Websites Under Fraud:
coronavirusstatus[.]space, coronavirus-map[.]com, canalcero[.]digital, coronavirus[.]zone,coronavirus-realtime[.]com, and so on.
However, these links are used against the victims for asking money afterward. Thanks to the Corona pandemic the shortage of food materials, sanitizer, mask, these sites are made by hackers. These criminals are preying on the fear of the people for the COVID-19. However, things never get delivered and therefore the website is packed up after a while.
GUIDELINES BY DELHI POLICE AND WHO
Delhi Police issued an advisory regarding cybercrimes within the wake of coronavirus, warning people against fraudulent schemes.
Listing the do’s and don’ts for people, the advisory read, “Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on unverified coronavirus related links circulated on social messaging apps, emails, etc.”
It likewise read, “Utilize solid passwords and staggered verification alternatives for online media and banking exercises; and others need to check the accreditations of good cause assets before giving cash.” They additionally exhorted, you turned into a survivor of digital wrongdoing then you should need to advise Delhi police right away.
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION:
Never welcome your username or secret phrase to get to wellbeing data. Never email connections you didn’t welcome, They will never charge an amount for the conference, for hotel reservation, or use for employment, Never give lotteries or prizes money. And also didn’t grant any kind of certificates or asks for funding through the mail.
Be on alert once you receive an email with any link or attachments containing any regard to WHO. it’d be a cyberattack.
WHO only issued funds which are COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. And if anyone gets another funding call then it is a scam.
Practice Zero Trust:
Finally, because the Zero Trust model recommends, practice the principle of “trust nobody” and confirm that no user has access to data that they don’t depend upon for his or her day-to-day functions. Limit access the most extreme sum as could reasonably be expected, ensure that you have permeability into the entirety of your clients, traffic, information, and outstanding burdens, which you have uniform security arrangements applied over all areas to frame sure no security escape clauses exist. Just like the straightforward task of wearing a mask can help protect yourself at all. Against the Coronavirus, taking the basic, presence of mind safety efforts can help ensure all of us against the digital lawbreakers misusing the disarray.
Since the start of the pandemic of the coronavirus, a big increase in the number of cybercrime cases has been noticed. the very fact makes things in pandemic more worsen as already people can’t go outside because they’re not safe outside, same as, thanks to the cybercrime they’re not safe inside the house as well while working. That’s why to guard one’s data is a harder task in the current situation. Because the aim of hackers and malware isn’t clear.
However, various efforts are being made by the cybersecurity firms to unravel the matter and supply security to the people. Various organizations like WHO or the Interpol, alongside Delhi Police, have issued guidelines for the people to safeguard themselves.
 THELAW.COM, CYBERTHEFT (THELAW.COM LAW DICTIONARY & BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 2ND ED.) https://dictionary.thelaw.com/cybertheft/
Tip of the Iceberg’: Sextortion, Hacking Abound as Cybercrime Against Women Increases Amid Lockdown, NEWS18 INDIA, ( MAY 1, 2020, 2:48 PM IST) https://www.news18.com/news/india/tip-of-the-iceberg-sextortion-hacking-abound-as-cybercrime-against-women-increases-amid-lockdown-2601039.html
WHO reports fivefold increase in cyber attacks, urges vigilance(23 April 2020 ) https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/23-04-2020-who-reports-fivefold-increase-in-cyber-attacks-urges-vigilance