Terrorism and Cyber Crimes in India


The aim of this article is to analyze the increasing terrorism and cyber crimes in India. Defining ‘terrorism’ is made all the more complicated by the fact that unknown signs of cybercrimes, whether they pertain to information theft, , Trojan attacks, e-mail bombing, salami attacks, DOS attacks, or the most common offense of hacking, etc. are witnessed by Indians, nowadays. Our legislative framework and enforcement machinery that is in place, and how India is taking the positive initiative to overcome the lacune with a view of strengthening its modus operandi to curb cybercrimes. We do need a stronger legal and enforcement regime in India to fight the increasing cybercrimes. This article is an effort of the researcher to make people aware of the origin and development of cybercrime, to understand the basic concept of the cyber world, the jurisdiction of cyber offense and remedial measures for the prevention of control of cybercrimes in India and to point out the possible defects and loopholes in the existing laws relating to cybercrime. This research work does not cover the cyber crimes committed outside India.

Key-words: Trojan attack, Salami attack, Cyber Crime


The internet creates new opportunities for countries across the world, it also creates numerous challenges in the cyber world. The popularity offered by the internet, and its disregard for national boundaries, a seditious trait, is now becoming a military challenge. Pakistan must implement a forward-looking strategy to ensure the long-term security of its military and civilian infrastructure and to deal with these cyber threats. After the Stuxnet attack in January 2009, on Iran, the scale and damage caused by cyber-attacks have grown tremendously. China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, the United States, and Israel all have robust and local cyberwarfare abilities. India has also started work on developing its own cyber capabilities under the Narendra Modi government. Cyber terrorism constitutes a short term and an immediate threat to the country’s national security. This could consist of cyber attacks and the use of the internet by terrorists to plan, communicate, and recruit with other terrorists inside as well as outside the country. For the purpose of targeting critical infrastructure, terrorists do not have the sophisticated skills they have used the dark corners of the internet to communicate, plan, and to plan terrorist attacks. After the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, plans to carry out quick military strikes against Pakistan were developed. Future terrorist attacks, like Mumbai, could lead to a quick military response from India and punish Pakistan for its closed involvement in terrorist strikes on Indian soil. In response, Pakistan started developing tactical nuclear weapons at a rapid pace.

Terrorism and Cyber Crimes in India

An e-crime or computer crime can be simply defined as a crime where a computer is the target of a crime or it is the means adopted to commit a crime. While some of the crimes may be new, the others are simply different ways to commit conventional crimes such as frauds, blackmailing, theft, forgery, and embezzlement using the online medium often involving the use of the internet. Cybercrimes can be broadly categorized into three categories namely-        

(i) Crime against the government (Cyber terrorism)        
(ii) Crime against persons (Cyber pornography, Cyber Stalking, Cyber defamation)
(iii) Crime against property (Online gambling, Intellectual property infringement, phishing, credit card frauds)[1]    

In the present day world, India has witnessed an unknown index of Cybercrimes whether they contain Trojan attacks, salami attacks, DOS attacks, e-mail bombing, information theft, or the most common offense of hacking.     

How India is taking the positive initiative to overcome the drawbacks with a view to strengthening its modus operandi to restrain Cybercrimes?

The Information Technology Act, 2000 came into force in India on 17th of October 2000. It extends to the whole of India and also applies to any offense or contraventions committed outside India by any person (Section 1 (2), IT Act, 2000). According to Section 75 of the Act, the Act applies to any offense or contravention committed outside India by any person irrespective of his nationality, if such act involves a computer, computer system, or network located in India.[2]

There are different forms of cybercrimes. A few years back, there was a lack of awareness about the crimes that could be committed through the internet. Terrorism means the unlawful use of violence (or the threat of violence) intended to create terror for achieving a religious, economic, ideological, or political goal, in deliberate disregard of the safety of victims. According to a report issued by the Global Terrorism Index 2014, India was ranked among the top ten countries greatly affected by terrorism activities.[3]


Cybercrimes can be defined as the unlawful acts where the computer is used either as a target or a tool or both?  The term is a general term that covers crimes like phishing, credit card frauds, illegal downloading, bank robbery, industrial espionage, kidnapping children via chat rooms, child pornography, scams, cyber terrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, Spam and so on.

Cybercrime is a broad term that is used to define criminal activity in which computers or computer networks are a tool, a target, or a place of criminal activity and include everything from electronic cracking to refusal of service attacks. It also covers the traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used to enable illicit activity.[4]

Terrorism and Cyber Crimes in India


Cybercrime can be categorized in two ways:

1. A computer is the main target of committing a crime. Examples of such crimes are hacking, virus attacks, DOS attacks, etc.

2. The crime in which the main weapon to commit a crime is a computer. These types of crimes include cyber terrorism, IPR violations, credit card frauds, EFT frauds, pornography, etc.[5]

Cyber Terrorism in India is in focus but for the wrong reasons. It appears that the media and law enforcement in India is too much fascinated with the term “Cyber Terrorism” that they have not even done their homework properly. Recently, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS), investigating the “terror email” has decided not to book the accused of cyber-terrorism as there was no intention to carry out an act of terror.


Over the last fifty years, numerous solutions are enforced at the national and regional levels. One of the explanations why the subject remains difficult is that the constant technical development, still because of the ever-changing strategies and methods of committing offence.


In the 1960s, the introduction of transistor-based computer systems, which were smaller and less expensive than vacuum-tube based machines, led to an increase in the use of computer technology. At this early stage, offenses concentrated on physical injury to the computer system and knowledge. An example, in Canada, wherein 1969 a student riot caused a fire that destroyed computer data hosted at the university.

In the mid-Sixties, the United States started a discussion on the creation of a central data-storage authority for all ministries.

B. The Scenario of 1970s

In the 1970s, the use of computer systems and computer data increased more distant. At the end of the decade, in the United States, an estimated number of 100,000 mainframe computers were operating. Due to falling prices, computer technology was more widely used within business and administration, and by the public. In the 1970s there was a shift from the traditional property crimes against computer systems that had dominated the 1960s, to new forms of crime. While physical damage continued to be an appropriate form of criminal abuse against computer systems, new forms of computer crime were recognized. The real challenge was a Computer-related fraud, and more and more cases were investigated by law enforcement agencies.

C. The 1980s 
Personal computers became more and more popular in the 1980s. With this development, the number of computer systems, as well as the number of potential targets for criminals, again increased.

Terrorism and Cyber Crimes in India

D. The 1990s
The new challenges were led due to the introduction of the graphical interface (“WWW”) in the 1990s that was followed by rapid growth in the number of Internet users. Information legally made available in one country was available globally even in countries where the publication of such information was criminalized. Finally, the distribution of child pornography moved from the physical exchange of books and tapes to online distribution through websites and Internet services. While computer crimes were in general local crimes, the Internet turned electronic crimes into transnational crime.

 E. The 21st Century

New trends in computer crime and cybercrime continued to be discovered in the 21st century. The first decade of the new millennium was dominated by new, highly sophisticated methods of committing crimes, such as “phishing”, and “botnet attacks”, and the emerging use of technology such as “voice-over-IP (VoIP) communication, “and “cloud computing” that is more difficult for law enforcement to handle and investigate. It is not only the methods that changed but also the impact also changed.

India subdivides terrorism into four major groups: Ethno-nationalist terrorism – This form of terror focuses mainly either (a) on a separate State within India or independent of India or in a neighboring country, or (b) on indicating the views or response of one ethnic group against another.

a. Religious terrorism

This form of terror focuses mainly on religious issues, a presumed duty, or in unity for a specific religious group, against one or more religious groups. Mumbai 26/11 terror attack in 2008 from an Islamic group in Pakistan is an example of religious terrorism in India.

b. Left-wing terrorism

This form of terror focuses principally on economic ideology, where all the present socio-political structure square measure seen to be economically consumptive in character and a revolutionary modification through violent means that is important. The ideology of Marx Engel Mao Lenin’s thoughts is considered as the sole valid economic path. Maoist violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh square measures samples of the left terrorist acts in the Republic of India.

c. Narcoterrorism

This form of terror focuses on creating illegal narcotics traffic zones. Drug violence in northwest India is an example of narco-terrorism in India.

Terrorism and Cyber Crimes in India


There are several causes of terrorism in India: political, economic, and religious.

Tripura and Assam are the examples of the political cause of terrorism where the political factors resulted in terrorism after the respective state governments failed to control and manage the large-scale illegal Muslim immigration from Bangladesh. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh are prime examples of economic causes of terrorism in India.

Factors such as rural unemployment, exploitation of landless laborers, and lack of land reforms created perceptions of gross social injustice. All this led to the rise of ideological groups such as the several Marxist/Maoist groups waging a war against the State.


The problem of cyber terrorism is multilateral having varied facets and dimensions. Its solution requires rigorous application of energy and resources. It must be noted that law is always seven steps behind the technology. This is so because we can’t change the law with the same rate as technology changes. Now with the introduction of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 explicit provisions are made to punish those who are indulged in Cybercrimes.       

I would like to conclude with a message that with increasing awareness and provision of training on the subject of cybercrime enhanced technological and legislative steps are being taken to further strengthen our IT laws and enforcement framework, India will effectively succeed in combating the problem of cybercrimes.

[1] Available at,https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/cyberterrorism.
[2] Available at,https://www.toppr.com/guides/business-laws-cs/cyber-laws/information-technology-act-2000.
[3] Available at,http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2016.2.pdf.
[4] Available at,https://www.avast.com/c-cybercrime.
[5] Available at, http://www.legalserviceindia.com.