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 people almost never describe themselves as terrorists and the use of the label by others often has political over note. An unknown signs of cyber crimes, whether they pertain to information theft, Trojan attacks, e-mail bombing, salami attacks, DOS attacks, or the most common offence of hacking etc. are witnessed by Indians, nowadays. For the last few decades India has become the victim of terrorism and it has plagued our country since early 1980.Our legislative framework and enforcement machinery that is in place, and how India is taking positive initiative to overcome the lacunas with a view of strengthening its modus operandi to curb cyber crimes. It possesses a great threat to people all over India .Many people do not understand what the term cyber terrorism means. We do need a stronger legal and enforcement regime in India to fight the increasing cyber crimes. Need of the hour is to measure and increase understanding of the impact of cybercrime on business and government. 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 cyber world, jurisdiction of cyber offence and remedial measures for the prevention of control of cyber crimes 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. The objective of this research is to touch all the important facet of the cyber crimes in a comprehensive way and to achieve new insights into it.


Today over three billion users access the internet, if compared to 2000 mealy 400 million users were using internet. As the internet creates new opportunities for countries across the world, it also creates a 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 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 has grown tremendously. China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, the United States and Israel all have robust and local cyber warfare abilities. India has also started work on developing its own cyber capabilities under the Narendra Modi government. Pakistan has been falling behind and has so far failed to implement and to develop any strong policy framework directed at emerging cyber challenges. Cyber terrorism constitutes 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. As ongoing operations of counterterrorism quashed the physical space for militants in Pakistan, they will increasingly withdraw deep into the internet to communicate and plan with each other. Not able to carry out large terrorist attacks in public, they could also start to learn new and more dangerous cyber warfare capabilities, more serious and long-term threat emerges from cyber warfare implemented by other nation states, in particular India. 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. These weapons have reduced the nuclear threshold and act as a deterrent against such measures.

The establishment of offensive cyber capabilities, however, would defeat this strategic balance. Armed with offensive cyber weapons, and confident that Pakistan does not have similar capabilities, India could destruct Pakistan’s critical military infrastructure. Then it could conduct quick offensive strikes against Pakistan, or be satisfied with the damaging effect of cyber attacks. The development of such weapons would decrease the balance of power in the region and allow India to conduct easily the punitive strikes against Pakistan.

While we have gained manifolds in terms of efficiency and management with the invention of computers, its increasing use and human dependency over Internet and it has also brought to the front many disadvantages and negative effects. An e-crime or the 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 internet. What increase the growth of such crimes are typical characteristics of cyber space interalia anonymity, dependency, speed, access, borderless space and lack of awareness of laws. Cyber crimes can be broadly categorized into three categories namely-

(i) Crime against 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 Cyber crimes whether they contains Trojan attacks, salami attacks, DOS attacks, e-mail bombing, information theft, or the most common offence of hacking. In spite of technological measures being adopted by corporate organizations and individuals, we have seen over the last decade that the frequency of cyber crimes has increased.

Having described the current trend of Cyber crime offences committed in India, I would now briefly comment on our legislative frame work and enforcement machinery that is in place and how India is taking positive initiative to overcome the drawbacks with a view to strengthening its modus operandi to restrain Cyber crimes. The Information Technology Act, 2000 came into force in India on 17th of October 2000. It extends to whole of India and also applies to any offence 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 offence 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 commitment of cyber crimes. A few years back, there was lack of awareness about the crimes that could be committed through internet. In the matters of cyber crimes, India is also not far behind the other countries where the rate of incidence of cybercrimes is also increasing day by day.

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]


Cyber crimes 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, Spa and so on. Cyber crime 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 the illicit activity.[4]

As per the report published by the National Crime Records Bureau report (NCRB 2011), the cases of cyber crimes in the year 2011 under the IT Act has increased by 85.4% as compared to 2010 in India, whereas as compared to the year 2010 the increase in incidence of the crime under IPC is by 18.5%. Visakhapatnam records the maximum number of incidence of cases. Whereas Maharashtra has became the center of cyber crime with maximum number of incidence of registered cases under cyber crimes. Obscene publication and Hacking with computer systems were the main cases under IT Act for cyber crimes. Maximum offenders arrested for cyber crimes were in the age group 18-30 years. 563 people in the age group 18-30 years.[5]


Cybercrime can be categorized in two ways:

1. Computer is the main target in committing crime. Examples of such crimes are hacking, virus attacks, DOS attack, etc.

2. The crime in which the main weapon to commit crime is computer. These types of crimes include cyber terrorism, IPR violations, credit card frauds, EFT frauds, pornography etc.[6]

Terrorism means the unlawful use of violence intended to create terror for achieving a religious, ideological, economic, 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.

Cyber Terrorism in India is in focus but for the wrong reasons. It appears that the media and law enforcement in India are 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 for cyber terrorism as there was no intention to carry out any act of terror. Further, the news report also claims that according to an amendment in the Information Technology Act, anyone involving in cyber terrorism could be sentenced to life imprisonment. Prior to this, even the sending of threat emails was considered “hacking”.


The criminal abuse of knowledge technology and therefore the necessary legal response are problems that are mentioned ever since the technology was introduced.

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 the ever-changing strategies and ways that during which the offences are committed.

The 1960s

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, offences concentrated on physical injury to computer system and hold on knowledge. Such incidents were according, as an example, in Canada, where in 1969 a student riot caused a fire that destroyed computer data hosted at the university.

In the middle Sixties, the United States started a discussion on the creation of a central data-storage authority for all ministries. Within this context, possible criminal abuse of databases and the related risks to privacy were discussed.         T

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 appropriated form of criminal abuse against computer systems, new forms of computer crime were recognized. They included the manipulation of electronic data and illegal use of computer systems. The leap from manual to computer-operated transactions led to another new form of crime that is computer-related fraud. Already at this time, multimillion dollar losses were caused because of computer-related fraud. The real challenge was a Computer-related fraud, and more and more cases were investigating by law-enforcement agencies.  The application of existing legislation in computer-crime cases led to difficulties and a debate about legal solutions started in different parts of the world. The United States discussed a draft bill designed particularly to address cybercrime. Interpol discussed the occurrence and possibilities for legal response.

The 1980s

The personal computers became more and more popular in 1980s. With this development, the number of computer systems as well as the number of potential targets for criminals again increased. The targets for the first time included a broad range of critical infrastructure; one of the side effects of the spread of computer systems was an increasing interest in software, resulting in the emergence of the first forms of software piracy and patent related crimes. The interconnection of computer systems emerged new types of offence. Networks authorized offenders to enter a computer system without being present at the crime scene. In addition to this the probability of distributing software through networks enabled offenders to spread malicious software, and more and more computer viruses were discovered. To meet the requirements of a changing criminal environment the countries started the process of updating their legislation. And the International organizations also got involved in the process.

The 1990s

The new challenges were led due to the introduction of the graphical interface (“WWW”) in the 1990s that was followed by a 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. The speed of information exchange was another concern related with online services that turned out to be specially challenging in the investigation of transnational crime. Finally, the distribution of child pornography moved from 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. As a result, the international community tackled the issue more intensively. UN General Assembly Resolution 45/121 adopted in 1990[7] and the manual for the prevention and control of computer-related crimes issued in 1994 are just two examples.

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. The number of offences increased as the offenders became able to automate attacks. Many countries and regional as well as international organizations have responded to the growing challenges and given response to cybercrime high priority.

The Indian government uses the following working definition of terrorism, same as one widely used by Western nations as well as the United Nations, proposed by Schmid and Jongman in 1988.[8] Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by secret individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly as they are targets of opportunity or selectively as representative or symbolic targets from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat and violence-based communication processes between terrorist organization, victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target and audiences, turning it into a target of terror, a target of attention, a target of demands, or, depending on whether intimidation, propaganda or coercion, is primarily sought.

India subdivides terrorism in 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 thoughts are consider as the solely valid economic path. Maoist violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh square measures samples of left terrorist act in 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.


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

Tripura and Assam are the example of 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. The terrorist outfits capitalized upon the alienation of the daughters and sons of the soil who did not wish to share the opportunities of employment with the refugees. 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.

Causes of Terrorism in India

There are several causes of terrorism in India. To begin with, there are political reasons for the growth of terrorism in India. This is mainly seen in The North-East region. The state governments there have failed to control and manage large-scale illegal Muslim immigration from Bangladesh. Economic causes are also reasons for growth of terrorism in India. These include rural unemployment, exploitation of landless laborers by those who own land and lack of land reforms. The major states affected by such causes include Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh. The absence of land reforms, rural unemployment, exploitation of landless laborers by land owners, economic grievances and perceptions of gross social injustice in these states have given rise to ideological terrorist groups such as the various Marxist/Maoist groups waging a war against the respective state government. Thirdly, religious causes too lead to terrorism in India. Punjab witnessed the growth of terrorism when certain organizations of Sikhs led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale raised the demand for Khalistan, an independent state for Sikhs. Some elements belonging to different organizations shifted to terrorism for the creation of a separate state known as Khalistan for the Sikhs.[9] Similarly, Jammu & Kashmir has been reeling under religious extremism which seeks all rights for Muslim majority.

TERRORISM – A Threat to Peace of the World.

The terrorist threat is growing sort of an illness and inflicting dangerous effects throughout the planet. Not only continent, but nation also is secured from the threat. Terrorists area unit the enemy of humanity, it doesn’t matter what area unit their intentions however the innocent civilians suffer the final word consequence of this violent acts. In the past few years, political theory has been overwhelming and making several devastating issues in those countries that face this evil challenge. It’s greatly touching the economy of the countries and heavy the lives of the voters. particularly youth area unit the foremost prone to the political theory as a result of they’re the longer term of the planet and that they have to be compelled to face the aftermath of this example in terms of monetary crisis and peace. Peace is that the essential a part of our lives, while not it this world seems like a hell. However, the war on terror has fully destroyed the peace of the affected countries thus, when the increasing rate of act of terrorism, several countries thus, when the increasing rate of act of terrorism, several countries have changed their policies to repair security problems and increase their budget of defence to enhance their weaponry. To make sure world peace, all the nations area unit operating onerous by taking effective initiatives however to eliminate it for good the total world should facilitate one another so this growing menace will be countered simply and quickly.

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


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 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 Cyber crimes.

[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,https://data.gov.in/ministrydepartment/national-crime-records-bureau-ncrb.

[6] Available at, http://www.legalserviceindia.com.

[7] Available at,https://www.un.org/en/ga/64/resolutions.shtml.

[8] Available at,http://www.scirp.org/(S(351jmbntvnsjt1aadkposzje))/reference/ReferencesPapers.

[9] Available at, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/khalistani-terror-module-busted-in-punjab/article.

This article is authored by Nehal Pharande, student of Master of Law (LL.M) at DES Law College, Pune

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