What is Cybercrime? The Top 10 Types of Cybercrime in India Today

What is Cybercrime? The Top 10 Types of Cybercrime in India Today | Cybersecurity | Emeritus

Understanding what is cybercrime has become increasingly relevant in recent years, with the digital landscape witnessing an unprecedented surge in cyber threats and malicious activities. As a matter of fact, India, too, saw a significant jump in cybercrimes in 2021 from the previous year. During that year, over 52 thousand cybercrime incidents were registered.  Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest share of such crimes, according to a 2023 report by Statista. So, why is cybercrime becoming increasingly prevalent? Let’s delve into the same below.

In this blog, you will learn:

  • What are the Most Common Types of Cybercrime? Network Security Firewall
  • How Do Cybercriminals Gain Unauthorized Access to Systems and Networks? 
  • What are Some Real-World Examples of High-Profile Cybercrime Incidents? 
  • What are the Key Challenges Faced by Cybersecurity Professionals in Preventing Cybercrime? 
  • What are the Best Practices for Detecting and Preventing Cybercrime?
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Cybercrime

What are the Most Common Types of Cybercrime? 

1. Unauthorized Access

When pondering the question, “What is cybercrime?” unauthorized access immediately comes to mind. As the name suggests, this cybercrime involves individuals gaining access to systems or networks without the necessary permissions. In essence, it’s like breaking into a house, but digitally. Such actions can lead to data theft, system disruptions, or even the introduction of malware.

2. Phishing

Among the other prevalent types of cybercrime is phishing. Cybercriminals craftily impersonate legitimate entities in these deceptive attacks, often through emails or fake websites. Their primary goal? To trick unsuspecting individuals into revealing sensitive data, such as passwords or credit card numbers.  In the list of cybercrime examples, phishing stands out due to its widespread nature and the simplicity of its execution.

3. Malware

Delving deeper into the cybercrime meaning, we encounter malware. This term encompasses various malicious software types, including viruses, worms, and ransomware. In essence, these are designed with one primary purpose: to harm or exploit any device, network, service, or program.

4. DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is  another type of cybercrime that is becoming increasingly common. In these attacks, cybercriminals flood systems, servers, or networks with overwhelming traffic. The result? A complete exhaustion of resources and bandwidth that renders the target system inoperable.

5. Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking, a more personal form of cybercrime, involves the online harassment of individuals. Victims often experience emotional distress as stalkers use digital means to intimidate, threaten, or harass them.

6. Identity Theft

When discussing what is cybercrime, identity theft inevitably emerges as a significant concern. Cybercriminals illicitly obtain and use another person’s data in such scenarios, typically for financial gain. This can lead to unauthorized purchases, loans, or even fraudulent activities under someone else’s name.

7. Online Fraud

Online fraud is another alarming type of cybercrime that comes up while analyzing what is cybercrime. It encompasses various deceptive practices. These can range from auction frauds to credit card scams, aiming to defraud victims of their money or assets.

8. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying, a particularly concerning issue among younger internet users, involves using electronic communication to intimidate, threaten, or harm others. This form of cybercrime can lead to severe emotional trauma for victims.

9. E-commerce Fraud

E-commerce fraud is a type of cybercrime that targets online shoppers and sellers. It involves fraudulent buying or selling activities, often leading to financial losses for the unsuspecting victim.

10. Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property theft is a sophisticated form of cybercrime. In a nutshell, it involves stealing someone’s ideas, inventions, or creative expressions—music, designs, or even patented inventions—without permission or proper licensing.

ALSO READ: Pursuing a Certification in Cybersecurity: A Step-by-Step Guide

How Do Cybercriminals Gain Unauthorized Access to Systems and Networks? 

Understanding cybercrime meaning and how cybercriminals operate is crucial in the fight against cybercrime. We’ve summed up their standard practices in the following five steps. 

  • First, they often exploit software vulnerabilities, seeking out weak points in systems to breach
  • Then, they craft phishing emails, aiming to deceive users into revealing their credentials 
  • Next, they capitalize on weak passwords, which, surprisingly, many individuals still use
  • Outdated software can present security gaps, which cybercriminals are quick to exploit 
  • Lastly, through social engineering tactics, they can manipulate individuals into unknowingly granting them access

ALSO READ: 7 Worst Types of Cyberattacks and Threats in 2023 (Solutions Included)

What are Some Real-World Examples of High-Profile Cybercrime Incidents? 

Case Study 1: Pune Citibank MphasiS Call Center Fraud

Reflecting on some high-profile cybercrime examples, the case of ex-employees of MPhasiS Ltd’s BPO arm, MsourcE, stands out. These individuals defrauded U.S. customers of Citibank, amounting to a staggering ₹1.5 crores in 2005. This crime, a prime example of unauthorized access, and it targeted the ‘Electronic Account Space’ of the customers’ source.

Case Study 2: Sony.sambandh.com Case

India’s first cybercrime conviction in 2013 offers a stark reminder of why one should be well-versed in the cybercrime meaning. Sony India Private Ltd, which operates the website www.sony-sambandh.com, became a victim when an individual fraudulently ordered products using a stolen credit card. This act led to the perpetrator’s arrest and subsequent conviction.

Case Study 3: The Bank NSP Case

In another alarming instance, a bank’s management trainee exploited the bank’s computer system to dispatch fraudulent emails. This act tarnished the bank’s reputation, leading to significant reputational damage.

Case Study 4: Andhra Pradesh Tax Case

The Andhra Pradesh tax case helps highlight the diverse nature of cybercrime examples. A businessman from Andhra Pradesh manipulated computers to produce fake vouchers, aiming to evade taxes. This cunning use of technology not only led to financial discrepancies but also resulted in his arrest, showcasing the tangible consequences of such cybercrimes.

Case Study 5: SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. Jogesh Kwatra

Diving deeper into the realm of cyber defamation, India witnessed a landmark case where the Delhi High Court granted an injunction against an employee. This individual had sent defamatory emails about his employer, tarnishing the company’s reputation. To provide more context, the Delhi High Court’s decision was based on the malicious intent of the employee, Jogesh Kwatra. He systematically sent emails that defamed his employer, SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd., causing significant harm to the company’s image and business relations.

You can visit here for more detailed examples and case studies on cybercrime.

ALSO READ: What are the Phishing Types and How to Prevent Phishing Attacks

What are the Key Challenges Faced by Cybersecurity Professionals in Preventing Cybercrime? 

  • Rapidly Evolving Threat Landscape

As the digital world expands, so does the complexity of threats. The dynamic nature of cyber threatsmakes it exceedingly challenging for professionals to stay ahead. This ever-changing landscape means that what was secure yesterday might not be today, emphasizing the need for continuous vigilance.

  • Lack of Skilled Professionals

Diving deeper into the types of cybercrime as we continue to discuss what is cybercrime, one realizes the dire need for intricate knowledge to combat them. Unfortunately, there’s a pressing shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the industry. This makes it hard for organizations to defend against sophisticated cyberattacks.

  • Increasingly Sophisticated Attack Techniques

When examining various cybercrime examples, it’s evident that cybercriminals don’t follow the same modus operandi. They’re continually refining their techniques, using more advanced and covert methods to breach defenses. Consequently, this escalation in tactics requires an equivalent evolution in defense strategies.

  • Insider Threats

While external threats are a significant concern, sometimes the danger lurks closer to home. Insider threats, where employees or affiliates misuse their access, can be especially damaging. Given their intimate knowledge of the organization, these individuals can cause extensive financial and reputation harm.

  • Integration of New Technologies

When companies eagerly integrate new technologies to stay competitive, they might inadvertently introduce vulnerabilities. Thus, if not properly vetted and secured, each new tool or software can become a potential entry point for cybercriminals.

ALSO READ: Safeguarding Homes from Cyber Threats

What are the Best Practices for Detecting and Preventing Cybercrime?

  • Regular Security Audits

One of the most effective ways to ensure system integrity is by conducting regular security audits. These assessments can identify vulnerabilities, ensuring potential weak points are addressed before they can be exploited.

  • Employee Training

Given the myriad types of cybercrime, having a well-informed team is essential. Moreover, training employees on cybersecurity best practices equips them with the knowledge to recognize and thwart potential threats, thus making them an organization’s first line of defense.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication

In today’s digital age, simple password protection is often insufficient. Hence, implementing multi-factor authentication can provide an added layer of security. It ensures that even if one defense layer is breached, the others remain intact.

  • Keeping Software Updated

Understanding what is cybercrime is essential in today’s digital age, and one of the fundamental aspects of preventing it lies in software updates. Software updates aren’t just about adding new features. They often contain critical security patches addressing known vulnerabilities. Therefore, regularly updating software is akin to reinforcing a fortress, ensuring it remains impervious to external threats.

  • Incident Response Plan

Despite the best preventive measures, breaches can and do occur. Hence, having a robust understanding of what is cybercrime, along with an incident response plan, ensures swift action, minimizing damage and facilitating recovery. It outlines the steps to take when faced with a breach, guaranteeing the organization can navigate the aftermath effectively.

ALSO READ: How Secure Coding Practices Help Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Prevention of Cybercrime?

Prevention of cybercrime is the holistic implementation of technical solutions to combine technology and human awareness. On the technical front, measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and secure network configurations play a pivotal role in safeguarding systems. However, equally important are behavioral measures. As a result, individuals must exercise caution when interacting online. Scrutinizing email attachments before opening them or being careful about the personal information they share on digital platforms should not be an afterthought.

Therefore, merging technical defenses with informed behaviors can create a robust shield against cyber threats. Understanding what is cybercrime is fundamental, as it equips individuals and organizations with the knowledge to defend against digital threats.  This will ensure a secure online environment.

2. What are 5 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks?

  • Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Ensuring that each password is a complex combination of letters, numbers, and symbols is essential. This makes it harder for cybercriminals to crack them. Additionally, avoid using the same password across multiple platforms.
  • Regularly Update All Software: Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. By keeping all software, including operating systems and applications up-to-date, you’re patching potential security holes.
  • Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Links: Whether in emails, text messages, or social media, malicious links can lead to phishing sites or download malware. Always verify the source before clicking.
  • Backup Data Regularly: In the event of a ransomware attack or data breach, having a  backup of your essential data is a lifesaver. This will ensure that you don’t lose vital information.
  • Educate Yourself and Others About the Latest Threats: Knowledge is power.  Stay informed about the latest cyber threats and share this knowledge with peers, family, and colleagues.  You will end up creating a more informed and secure community.

3.  What are Examples of Cybercrime?

Cybercrime encompasses a vast array of malicious activities conducted online. Some prevalent examples include:

  • Phishing: This involves cybercriminals impersonating legitimate entities, often through emails, to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information
  • Malware Attacks: These are software-based attacks where  viruses, worms, or ransomware, are  used to harm devices or steal data
  • Identity Theft: Cybercriminals steal personal information like Social Security numbers or bank details to commit  crimes in the victim’s name
  • Online Fraud: This can range from credit card scams to auction frauds. Here, individuals are deceived into paying for goods or services that don’t exist or aren’t as described
  • Cyberbullying: This involves using digital platforms to harass, threaten, or harm individuals, often leading to emotional trauma

ALSO READ: What are the Best Cyber Security Online Courses in Emeritus?

In conclusion, understanding what is cybercrime and its various facets is crucial for cybersecurity professionals. We can better protect ourselves and our organizations from such threats by staying informed and vigilant. Further, for those interested in diving deeper into this field, consider checking out Emeritus’ cybersecurity course.  You will gain a competitive edge and take the next step forward in your career.

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

About the Author


SEO Content Contributor, Emeritus

Promita is a content contributor to the Emeritus Blog with a background in both marketing and language. With over 5 years of experience in writing for digital media, she specializes in SEO content that is both discoverable and usable. Apart from writing high-quality content, Promita also has a penchant for sketching and dabbling in the culinary arts. A cat parent and avid reader, she leaves a dash of personality and purpose in every piece of content she writes.
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