Reconsidering Cyber Crime

(Zeeshan Khan, )

According to a recent report,we have received,data from almost all Pakistani banks has been reportedly hacked," FIA Cybercrimes Director retired Capt.Mohammad Shoaib said in November,2018.

According to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, the purpose of the legislation is “to prevent unauthorized acts with respect to information systems and provide for related offences as well as mechanisms for their investigation, prosecution, trial and international cooperation … .”

On August 11, 2016, Pakistan's lower house, the National Assembly,passed a controversial cybercrime law called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.The Senate had unanimously passed the law, with a number of amendments, in July 2016.

Although,Cyber crime refers to any criminal act dealing with computers and networks.More than 30 million of Pakistan’s 190 million people use the internet,mainly on mobile telephones,according to digital rights organization Bytes for All.

Cybercrime has increased manifold in Pakistan.According to cybercrime unit,62 cases were reported to the unit in 2010, 87 in 2011 and 75 in 2014. More than 312 cases were registered in different categories of cybercrime. It has much increased compared to 2013 and 2014. A saying goes: “nip the evil in the bud.” All stakeholders must sit together and join heads to chalk out a strategy to control the menace.

New technologies also create few new criminal opportunities.The “cyber criminal” sounds like a term to be applied to someone from a William Gibson book, and yet is all too real, and on a day to day basis wreaks havoc in our increasingly online world. In April 2001,the US Government responded to this threat by announcing a $25 million initiative involving the creation of a National High-Tech Crime Unit to counter the growing use of the Internet for criminal activity.The online world is becoming increasingly vulnerable to criminal activity with 43% of the public identifying cyber crime as a ‘problem’.

An important aspect of cybercrime is its nonlocal character:actions can occur in jurisdictions separated by vast distances.This poses severe problems for law enforcement since previously local or even national crimes now require international cooperation.For example,if a person accesses child pornography located on a computer in a country that does not ban child pornography, is that individual committing a crime in a nation where such materials are illegal?Where exactly does cybercrime take place?Cyberspace is simply a richer version of the space where a telephone conversation takes place,somewhere between the two people having the conversation.As a planet-spanning network,the Internet offers criminals multiple hiding places in the real world as well as in the network itself.However, just as individuals walking on the ground leave marks that a skilled tracker can follow,cybercriminals leave clues as to their identity and location.In order to follow such clues across national boundaries, though, international cybercrime treaties must be ratified.

On November 23, 2001, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime was signed by 30 states. The convention came into effect in 2004.Additional protocols,covering terrorist activities and racist and xenophobic cybercrimes,were proposed in 2002 and came into effect in 2006.In addition,various national laws,such as the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, have expanded law enforcement’s power to monitor and protect computer networks.

Cyberterrorism focuses upon the use of the Internet by nonstate actors to affect a nation’s social,economic and technological infrastructure.Since the September 11 attacks of 2001,public awareness of the threat of cyberterrorism has grown dramatically.

In 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released a report on identity theft;in the previous year almost 1.1 million Americans had their identities fraudulently used to open bank,credit card,or utility accounts.The report also stated that another 16.4 million Americans were victimized by account theft, such as use of stolen credit cards and automatic teller machine (ATM) cards.It is estimated that cybercrime costs businesses more than $12.7 million annually in the United States alone.

Despite these challenges, cybercrime is increasing at a geometric rate.There’s roughly 900 phishing attempts detected per financial institution, and more than 9,000 attempts detected per technology company on average.Phishing sites are mimicking all the major technology players as well.Google,Apple,Facebook,and Yahoo, are all phishing targets, as well as Dropbox,where insidious phishing sites could actually dupe users into uploading their files to cybercriminals.

On average, 85,000 malicious IPs are launched every day, bringing the average reputation score of all URLs worldwide to 65 percent.It is a worldwide endeavor, with large concentrations in the United States, Russia, and throughout Asia.The result is that in one year, users have a 30% chance of falling for a zero-day phishing attack.
Cybercrime is not restricted to the desktop alone;Mobile devices have proliferated in recent years, and with them viruses, malware, and phishing scams. Because of its open marketplace, the Android platform is home to a variety of malware in particular.

Prevention is always better than cure.It is always better to take certain precaution while operating the net.Saileshkumar Zarkar, technical advisor and network security consultant to the Mumbai Police Cyber crime Cell, advocates the 5P mantra for online security: Precaution, Prevention, Protection, Preservation and Perseverance.A citizen should keep in mind the following things
Firstly,To prevent cyber stalking avoid disclosing any information pertaining to one self.This is as good as disclosing your identity to strangers.Secondly,Never send your credit card number to any site that is not secured,to guard against frauds.Thirdly,Always keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children.Fourthly,It is better to use a security programme that gives control over the cookies and send information back to the site as leaving the cookies unguarded might prove
fatal.Fifthly,Use of firewalls may be beneficial.

Lastly,Capacity of human mind is unfathomable.It is not possible to eliminate cyber crime from the cyber space.It is quite possible to check them.History is the witness that no legislation has succeeded in totally eliminating crime from the globe.The only possible step is to make people aware of their rights and duties and further making the application of the laws more stringent to check crime.

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