In today’s world mobile phone is the most important and useful device. Every person is using at least one phone for their personal or business purpose. The main cause of increase in use of mobile phones is enhancement of technology taking place. Earlier, somethings which could be done on computer or laptops could not be done on mobile phones, but now as the technology has improved, every work that you can do on computer or laptop can now easily be done on a mobile phone (also called smartphones), whether it be a work like sending mails, online payment, bank statement, fund transfers and what not, everything can be done by using a smartphone.
According to the section 2(1)(i) of the Information Technology Act 2000, “computer” means any electronic, magnetic, optical or other high-speed data processing device or system which performs logical, arithmetic and memory functions by manipulations of electronic, magnetic or optical impulses, and includes all input, output, processing, storage, computer software or communication facilities which are connected or related to the computer in a computer system or computer network. Thus, smartphones and tablets also falls within the definition of computer as they are capable of performing all the functions of computer whether it be logical, memory functions or of processing, storage or communication.
What is Mobile Phone Crimes?
As the technology increases, crime also increases. We all have heard of Cyber Crime and different ways by which it is happening. Mobile phone crimes is a part of Cyber Crime and is increasing day by day.
Crimes which are done on mobiles phones are of different ways. One can hack the whole mobile phone and can do anything with it like access the phone book, go through all the data and details whether it be of someone’s personal details or of their work related. In this age of digitization, the modern applications of all the banks and other digital modes of payment by which one can access their bank accounts and transfer funds using one’s phone only is no doubt a new and easy way to access things and do work, but on the other hand is vulnerable to mobile phone crimes.
In the past, hackers have breached into Nokia’s Symbian, Apple’s IOS and Google’s Android operating system. Cell phones contain call history, contacts, text messages, web browser history, email, a Global Positioning System (GPS), and other location information which can be misused by the hackers and persons trying to commit crime. Crimes committed through mobile phone can be done by using phone’s Bluetooth, calling a person and asking for personal details falsely, sending fake SMS, link using which can end up putting virus into ones device.
Some of the crimes which can be committed through mobile phones are as follows:
1.Blue jacking and Blue snarfing:
Blue jacking means sending of messages from a Bluetooth device to another Bluetooth enabled device. This technique is usually adopted by manufacturers of products or companies to promote their product by sending messages, texts, or images.
Whereas, in Blue snarfing the Hacker tries to steal the data and other information from the victim’s phone via Bluetooth.
While, both the activities are harmless but one cannot enter into one’s phone’s privacy and look into the data.
2. Blue Bugging:
In this type of crime, the Hacker completely controls the victims phone and can do anything with it like accessing the phone book, contact list, sending messages, calling and can also listen to the conversation. In short blue Bugging means getting full control over the victims phone.
This type of crime is very common now a days. In this the Hacker calls the victim and pretends that he is calling from a trusted source and ask for bank’s confidential details from the victim like card no., PIN or OTP. If the victim provides such details to the hacker it can lead to financial loss to the victim. Vishing is also called a new way of theft using technology.
4. Smishing (SMS Phishing)
In this a fake message is sent on the victims mobile phone to get the information such as credit card details, emails, passwords etc.
Example:- Victim gets an SMS saying that your account will get blocked, to inquire into this victim calls on the given contact no. and provide the details to the Hacker and end up losing all his money from his/her account.
It a professionally designed software which enters into one’s phone while surfing on internet or going unintentionally on many fake sites, which ends upto losing all the data from the victims phone and other losses which is done by the hacker by using the victims information.
6. Mobile phone as bomb trigger:
Terrorist can use mobile phone as a remote control, to send the signal via radio airwaves. The signal from a mobile phone can be sent to the receiver which can be used for bomb blast.
In this the Hacker disables the online banking security and steals password, username and account information. All these information is misused.
It is a software which tracks all the activities taking place on the infected computer and screenshots it and sends to the Hacker.
Landmark Mobile Cyber Crime cases
State of Tamil Nadu V. Suhas Katti
In this the accused posted absence, defamatory and annoying messages to the divorcee woman in the yahoo message group created by false email account. The accused forced her to marry him. The woman filed a case of harassment through internet.
Cyber Stalking Case
This case is also known as Ritu Kohli case. In this the victim was stalked by the accused named Munish Kathuria. Victim received around fourty obsence calls on odd hours for consecutive three days. Woman lodged an FIR to Delhi Police and police traced the IP address of Kathuria and arrested him.
Mobile Crimes Laws
Cyber law contains some sections which deals with mobile crimes:
This section states that, “whoever sends offensive message through communication services will get imprisonment of three years”.
In this section its is given that, “whoever publishes or transmit obscene material in electronic form will get rigorous imprisonment for five years and fine of ten lakh rupees”. This section was used in landmark judgment in the case of State of Tamil Nandu Vs Suhas Katti.
This section deals with publishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form.
No doubt improvement of technology and digitization of things have helped and made life easy for the public. But along with the enhancement of technology has also led to increase of crime, which needs to be prevented by strict laws. People should be aware and attentive about such crimes. Public should also prevent such fake calls by not going through unsecured websites. One should install strong antivirus and prevent ones phone and laptops from unwanted data which can harm them. People should keep themselves updated and must be aware by different and new ways of Cyber Crime taking place.