Recent Case Study On Cybercrime


9/16/2016 Selected Case Studies on Cyber Crime 1/21

Cyber Crime in India: Case Studies

While I have a huge collection of international cyber crimes I thought it may be more relevant if we discuss Indian Cyber crime casestudies. However if any of you is interested in international case studies please do reach me. I have not arranged the followingsection in an order to create flow of thought for the reader. And it is possible there is a drift from the taxonomy which we havedefined in the beginning.

Insulting Images of Warrior Shivaji on Google ‐ Orkut


An Indian posts ‘insulting images’ of respected warrior‐saint Shivaji on Google’s Orkut. Indian police come knocking at Google’sgilded door demanding the IP address (IP uniquely identifies every computer in the world) which is the source of this negative image. Google, India hands over the IP address.No such incident in India would be complete without a few administrative slip‐ups. The computer with that IP address is usingAirtel, India as the ISP to connect to the internet and Orkut. Airtel gives police the name of an innocent person using a different IPaddress. How two IP addresses could be mixed‐up in a sensitive police case is anyone’s guess.An innocent Indian, Lakshmana Kailash K, is arrested in Bangalore and thrown in jail for 3 weeks. Eventually, his innocence is provedand he is released in Oct, 2007.A number of news media report this incident. American citizen and India lover Christopher Soghoian (home page studies Informatics at Indiana University and researches/writes about security, privacy and computercrime. Christopher does an excellent article on this topic for the blogs at respected tech media group CNET. Like all good writers, Christopher Soghoian, gives Google, India a list of questions so that he can give a balanced perspective to themillions of CNET readers.

How does Google, India respond?

The only comment was: "Google has very high standards for user privacy and a clear privacy policy, and authorities are required tofollow legal process to get information. In compliance with Indian legal process, we provided Indian law enforcement authoritieswith IP address information of an Orkut user."

Selected Case Studies on Cyber Crime


When we are talking about a subject as broad as case studies on cyber crime it's helpful to have a clear structure. Since this paper is being presented to the delegates of Southern Regional Workshop On Cyber LAW with an emphasis on "Issues and Challenges in Enforcement". I am focusing on the issue more from a national level although an international perspective for the subject is observed and adopted where relevant. The way I have approached and classified the subject, in better words the taxonomy of this paper can be observed as (1) Crimes that focus on tangible networks and hardware, (2) Fraud & Deceptive Crimes and (3) Online Crimes.

Now let me give you an overview of certain terms which are regularly used in the Cyber Crime world before I start talking about the examples. I am sure many of you would know this and there are a lot of new terms being introduced every day I am sure this could be a starting point.

Threat Name

What is means?


Infection to the systems by viruses, worms, Trojans or spy-ware


Impersonation of the organisation by email or any other electronic means


Unsolicited email messages


Attempt to overwhelm or overload the organizations website, network by which it becomes unavailable to the outside world

Unauthorised Access

Unauthorised access of systems resources by outsiders

Vandalism/ Sabotage

Destruction or damage to organizations systems


Demands for money or other concessions based on threats

Fraudulent Transactions

Transaction that result loss to the organisation or its customers

Physical Loss

Loss or theft of computers or physical storage media

Unauthorised by Insiders

Successful access by insiders to unauthorised data

Insider Misuse

Unauthorised usage by insider by violating the security polices of the organisation

As you can see from the classification Cyber crime can evolve from various areas. When we consider elements that support cyber crime from 'insider', it can be viewed as portable storage misuse, unnecessary software download, illegal p2p file sharing, misuse of remote access programs, rogue wifi-access points, rogue modems, media downloading, personal devices, unauthorised blogging, personal instant messaging accounts, message board posting, personal email accounts, non-network web browsing and business email misuse.

While I have covered almost all types of Cyber crime examples I have not included examples of cyber war, espionage and terrorism since I feel it is out of scope for this paper. However I would be happy to discuss these topics if any of you readers are interested


Today Cyber crime is no longer the domain of high school hackers but is populated by organized criminals, unfriendly nation states and terrorists. The problems we face are far more severe than compromised personal data. Our physical security is threatened by vulnerabilities in our electronic information systems.


Now I am quoting here a news article from a very popular internet site, which has a statement from David DeWalt CEO of McAfee as it clearly depicts one of the real challenges in the enforcement of Cyber Law. It reads as "Citing recent highly publicized corporate data breaches that have beset major companies like Ameritrade, Citigroup, and Bank of America, McAfee CEO David DeWalt, said that cyber-crime has become a US$105 billion business that now surpasses the value of the illegal drug trade worldwide. 

Despite the increase in government compliance requirements and the proliferation of security tools, companies continue to underestimate the threat from phishing, data loss, and other cyber vulnerabilities, DeWalt said. 'Worldwide data losses now represent US$40 billion in losses to affected companies and individuals each year, DeWalt says. But law enforcement's ability to find, prosecute, and punish criminals in cyberspace has not kept up: "If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online," DeWalt remarked. "The cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting cyber-criminals is just not there."'" 1

Well DeWalt's comment is not just a representation of what is happening in the West or Far East it is a global issue. The challenges in enforcing the cyber law even after Indian IT Act 2000 got amended is still prevailing and is a great threat to our nation as whole and economy in particular. Since this paper is not focused on economical impacts, enforcement and how it can be effectively done I will be going less deeper on those aspects. But in some case studies you will definitely find how it was effectively imposed. I have also included a section on Cyber crime conviction and judgements in the end of this documents which covers some specific case studies on judgments.


The astonishing fact is that security as a service is estimated as $5.71 Billion in 2008 and is estimated to grow to US$ 16.98 Billion by year 2013 as quoted by an industry leading research firm IDC2.  Which means it may not be foolish for us to say that "if a venture capitalist invests in cyber crime he will make more money than he would do in any other technology business".


These facts may make your ears sharper, more so when you hear about increase in cyber criminality. Approximately 70 % of the threats on Internet are done by organised cyber criminals. 80 % of the 50 principal malicious codes could be used to reach confidential information. And as we wake up every day new vulnerabilities appear, each one having its own environment and its own consequences. 

As per estimates only about 200 thousand people in the entire planet may be well qualified and certified to act against Hacking, Identity threat and Vulnerability or Cyber Criminality in general. This estimate is even far below compared to the required 2.1 Million experts required by the Information Security Industry itself as per an earlier study conducted by (ISC)2 International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium along with IDC3.

Now if you think your computer system is not being hacked and why the entire world is talking about hacking and making a big noise about this. May be you think this is a mere marketing technique by security vendors. The fact is that these professional intelligent criminals know where the money lies and if they have not hacked your system it is merely because they know there is nothing in it.

If you really want to experience the experience of being "hacked" start doing activities like net banking, money transfer, buy air tickets or start stock trading in your system without proper protection and antivirus software. Within weeks you can see the changes in your machine. You might think you have loaded extra applications to your system or the hard drive has become full. You might then download some anti-viruses and registry tweak with the help of of your computer support engineer. But even after he does everything and leaves your computer to yourself you will still feel your are driving a re-painted dented car, which just met with a fatal accident. The reason is very simple the bad guys have e-mapped your system and there is nothing that they have left unnoticed including the serial number of your hard drive to the mac address of your network card, well you may be now thinking that you are reading a horror movie story and if I have scared you that is what they do.

Some of you might have heard about 'Titan Rain'. If you have not it is the new type of world wide rampant hacking methodology. These are not about one poor hacker sitting in one secret basement and doing some malicious activity and doing it for a meal, just for fun or revenge sake. Titan Rain attacks are so flawless that they gain control of your system and compromise it and within 20 minutes after stealing everything of value and erase their entire tracks by the end, leaving no traces. This might again sound like science fiction where the aliens are trying to take control of the universe by attacking the central computer systems and some heroes are trying to protect the universe. But here these are anti-heroes and they are not trying to protect the universe and they are also with the aliens.

While talks about these types of hacking is going on, one distinction is that they are focused on sensitive information pertaining to government, military and supported relevant technologies. 

While you may think, "What if they access some business data? How can it be a threat to our country?" I want to clarify here that they look for companies that supply food to the military, oil companies which makes special fuels to the government defense equipments and companies which has personal information about defense employees. The data collected is then traded to terrorist operations to exploit undercover military and government operations.

This is a real issue as you may see oil companies know where potentially valuable oil reserves might be. Telecommunications companies will have details about satellite communications and new technologies for improving communications reliability and bandwidth. Any organization with intellectual property worth protecting is a potential victim of these attackers and that is why they don't hack our home computers. 


Let's now spend some time understanding the various methods that are frequently used by criminals before we get on to the detailed discussions of Cyber crime examples. Most of this terms can be interpreted in different ways when it comes to practical usage and by the media. And my intention for putting this as a table here is to create a clear path for all categories of readers by familiarizing the terms so that their understanding gets enhanced.

Crimes focusing networks and hardware

Theft Of Services

Computer Intrusions

Computer Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, Spy-ware and Other Mal-ware

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

Fraud and Deceptive Crimes

Internet Auction Fraud

Pay-Per Click Fraud

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud

Reshipping Fraud

High Yield Investment Programs

Diploma Scam

Free Product and Service offers

Bogus Diet Patches

Phishing, Carding, and Money Laundering

Pumping and Dump Stock Fraud

Online Crimes



Scheduled Controlled Substances Sold Online without prescription


Child Exploitation/ Child Pornography and illegal Obscenity




Online Sale of Replica Counterfeit Trademarked Product


Untaxed Cigarettes Sold over the Internet


Online Gambling

Theft Of Services

Theft of services is, in many ways, the first "cyber" or "network-oriented" crime (albeit one which was originally committed against a phone network or a cable TV network rather than a modern packet-switched computer network). Phone phreaking involved things such as toll fraud, the "creative routing" of calls in non-optimal ways (e.g., call next door, but do so over long distance circuits nailed up literally around the world), and other things that folks weren't supposed to be doing. Cable TV theft of service typically involved unauthorized reception of basic or premium channel traffic, or the interception of microwave TV signals, w/o payment to the TV company. Some of these crimes, or their Internet analogs, continue today, although the world is a vastly different place today, and most theft-of-service crimes have evolved over the years.4

Computer Intrusions

There are various definitions you an find about computer intrusion and let me tell you there is no one "real" definition available. Following are some excerpts form the federal rules.

Any person commits computer crime who knowingly accesses, attempts to access or uses, or attempts to use, any computer, computer system, computer network or any part thereof for the purpose of:

  • Devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud;

  • Obtaining money, property or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises; or

  • Committing theft, including, but not limited to, theft of proprietary information.

Any person who knowingly and without authorization uses, accesses or attempts to access any computer, computer system, computer network, or any computer software, program, documentation or data contained in such computer, computer system or computer network, commits computer crime.

Computer Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, Spy-ware and Other Mal-ware

Mal-ware is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. It is a portmanteau of the words "malicious" and "software." The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The more specific term "computer virus" is however used in common parlance, and often in the media, to describe all kinds of Mal-ware.

Software is considered mal-ware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features. It includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spy-ware, dishonest ad-ware, and other malicious and unwanted software. In law, mal-ware may also be referred to as a "computer contaminant."[2]

Many early infectious programs, including the Internet worm and a number of MS-DOS viruses, were written as experiments or pranks generally intended to be harmless or merely annoying rather than to cause serious damage. Since the rise of widespread broadband Internet access, more malicious software has been designed for a profit motive. For instance, since 2003, the majority of widespread viruses and worms have been designed to take control of users' computers for black market exploitation. Infected "zombie computers" are used to send e-mail spam, to host contraband data such as child pornography, or to engage in distributed denial-of-service attacks as a form of extortion.[3]

Another strictly for-profit category of mal-ware has emerged in spy-ware—programs designed to monitor users' web browsing, display unsolicited advertisements, or redirect affiliate marketing revenues to the spy-ware creator. Spy-ware programs do not spread like viruses; they are generally installed by exploiting security holes or are packaged with user-installed software.5 

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks

A denial-of-service attack or Distributed Denial or Service (DoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally comprises the concerted, malevolent efforts of a person or persons to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically—but not exclusively—target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers. Denial of service attacks are one form of computer sabotage whereby people can effectively ruin their target's operations for what could be a lengthy period of time.6 

Internet Auction Fraud

Online auctions have transpired into a very lucrative business. Many are making a living at buying/selling through online auction houses. Millions of online auction items are up for bid daily and include items from all around the world. This phenomenon keeps growing daily as more buyers and sellers flock to these online auction houses. This activity is offering great opportunities for buyers and sellers. Sellers are able to have their posted item viewed by millions of people and buyers are able to purchase hard to find items and/or items at discounted prices. However, these online auctions are also giving perpetrators another avenue to perpetrate fraud.

Internet auction fraud is currently the number one fraud committed over the Internet. The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) lists auction fraud entailing 64% of more than 30,000 complaints received.7 

Pay-Per Click Fraud

Click fraud (sometimes called pay-per-click fraud) is the practice of artificially inflating traffic statistics to defraud advertisers or Web sites that provide venues for advertisers. In the common pay-per-click advertising model, advertisers pay a fee for each click on their link. According to a CNET News article some industry segments have costs-per-click of several dollars. By using automated clicking programs (called hit bots) or employing low-cost workers to click the links, the perpetrators create the illusion that a large number of potential customers are clicking the advertiser's links, when in fact there is no likelihood that any of the clicks will lead to profit for the advertiser.

Click fraud scammers often take advantage of the affiliate programs offered by some Web sites, such as Google and Yahoo! Search Marketing. The scammers sign up for the affiliate programs, agreeing to provide further exposure to the advertising in question and receiving a portion of the pay-per-click fees in return. The perpetrators place the ads on Web sites created solely for this purpose that, naturally, don't have any real traffic. Once the ads are in place, the hitbots or workers generate large volumes of fraudulent clicks, often in a very short time period, for which the scammer bills the owner of the affiliate program. Both Google and Yahoo! Search Marketing have had to reimburse advertisers for pay-per-click fees that were discovered to have been the result of click fraud.8

Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud

Nick named as the 419 fraud  it is very familiar fraud to most us who are avid Internet users. Here the fraudster starts his operations with a letter something like below.  It is estimated that more than 15 business men have been been kidnapped and killed as a part of AFF scam in Nigeria. In fact I have received a similar mail even on 23rd June 2009.

From: "Mr. Don Peter"

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Subject: Dear Friend

Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 08:39:10 -0400


Dear Friend


It has been long we communicate last, am so sorry for the delay, I want to Inform you that your cheque of ($850.000.00) Which my boss asked me to mail to you as soon as you requested it, is still with me.


But due to some minute issue you fails to respond at the Appropriate time, and presently the cheque is with me here in LAGOS-NIGERIA Though i had a new contact from a friend of mine who works with one security company here in NIGERIA that will deliver you your cheque at your door step with a cheaper rate, which the company said that it will cost you the sum of $198.00 usd, So you have to Contact them and register with them now.


After a victim responds positively to an AFF letter by sending the required documentation (for example, signed company letterheads, bank account number, etc.) the hook is in. The  primary reason for the documentation is not to rob the victim’s bank account, but to perpetuate the illusion that the deal is legitimate and moving forward. The blank signed letterheads are altered and used by the criminals as props in other frauds, letters of reference to obtain visas, or sold to other AFF criminals. 

For the next week to 10 days, the perpetrators establish a level of trust with the victim. This is accomplished by sending the victim more “official” documentation verifying the bonafides of the deal and the people involved. The criminals will correspond with the victim via fax machines and courier mail because it is difficult to trace. In the past, these criminals made extensive use of business centers in Lagos to place phone calls and send faxes, but the Nigerian Government reports—and evidence seems to confirm—that business centers were closed in an effort to thwart AFF scams.9

Reshipping Fraud

This scam is everywhere. Some advertisements are placed in newspapers, and you can even find listings on as well as other job placement websites. When you answer the ad, the reshipping "employer" will ask that you send your personal information such as your social security number and date of birth. After the employer receives your information, packages will start arriving at your house with instructions on how to repackage and then ship the goods to addresses abroad.

When your payment for services performed arrives, it will be in the form of a third party cashier's check. This should raise red flags on your part since the accepted way of doing business is with a paycheck. These cashier's checks will usually be greater than the initially agreed amount. Then the employer will ask that you send back electronically what was overpaid to you. The moment you have completed this transaction, another problem arises. The bank will discover that the cashier's check was fake and hold you responsible for the full amount of the check. In addition, your "employer" has your personal information which will be used to defraud more unsuspecting people who become "employees" of this illegal money making scheme. You, the re-shipper, can get into big trouble because all the goods that you shipped overseas was bought with stolen credit cards. 10

High Yield investment programs

HYIP stands for High Yield Investment Program. They are the sites out there that promise you a 1% daily return on your money or some such nonsense. Most of them claim that they are brilliant with stocks or futures or foreign currencies and all you need to do is send your money to them and they will pay you back at the rate of 1% a day or double your money in 3 months or something along those lines.

HYIP’s are not investments and while they may be high yield for some people for a short time eventually they become zero yield when your money disappears.

There is no way to know how much money is taken from people every day through these types of programs, but judging by the number of them and how quickly they spring up and go away I wouldn’t be surprised no matter how high the number is. The reason they spring up so quickly is that you can actually purchase programs that run a HYIP on your website. Or you can simply buy a website that’s already been set up as a HYIP and is ready to start taking money. Programmers can put these together from templates very quickly. Once the website is up and running it is so simple to put any kind of information on there you wish. If you’re planning on stealing people’s money do you care if it’s the truth? Of course you don’t, you’re just like any other con man and you’re gonna tell your victim whatever you need to so you can part them from their money.

So you tell the world that you are one of the top stock brokers or commodity brokers or FOREX traders and you have a “NEW” system that will put money in their pockets even while they sleep. Will people believe you? Yep, some will because now you have the attention of their greed. Of course you want it to look like your program is already successful because that will make your lies even more believable. So, when you set up the website you also put counters on there with large numbers to show how many people are already making money with you. Yes it’s another lie, but what do you care you’re getting rich. Now you have even more people buying into the program, but you can make it look even better. What if you had testimonials from ‘real’ people who made money with your program. Easy! Set up a forum and pay some people to put a few dozen posts in there about how wonderful your HYIP is and how rich they’re becoming. The costs for the forum posts is minimal compared to the amount of money that will soon be flowing your way. Now with everything in place you start advertising your new HYIP. In the beginning everything is going to look great to your “investors” because you’ll pay out to everyone on time. And you’ll set up an affiliate program as well for others to promote your great HYIP. And you’ll pay them on time as well. If you do this then you’ll be able to get hundreds of new “investors” in just a short period of time. Your “investors” will be ecstatic as they receive their payments and as greed takes over they will “re-invest”, send every penny right back to you to make as much money as possible. Eventually the owners of the HYIP will have several hundred thousand dollars and that’s when they pull the plug and POOF!…they disappear.

There are thousands of documented cases of HYIP fraud. Some people have even lost their life’s savings this way, please don’t be one of those people.11

Diploma Scam

Quick degree scams - "Get your degree in 30 days!" "No studying required", "Turn your experience into a degree". They say they are accredited and the degree is legal and meaningful. That's part of the scam.

The existence of unaccredited, substandard, and/or fraudulent postsecondary education (college, university, graduate schools) providers is a global phenomenon, as is the existence of unrecognized and/or fraudulent accreditors. The credits and degrees awarded by these unaccredited or sham diploma mills are not going to be recognized by legitimately accredited institutions, official professional licensing authorities, recognition authorities or reputable employers.

And when the scam is exposed that you purchased your degree; you'll be out on the street and no one will hire you.  You may make the cover of a newspaper, exposed as the worthless hack you are for attempting to buy your degree. You may make a list of people who have purchased scam degrees, that we're working on right now.12

Free Product and Service offers

Free stuff is being used as a marketing or brand awareness tool, but it can be used for a much more sinister goal: It can be the tool to collect a significant amount of money via simple social engineering.

I get offers for many products by e-mail which i mostly delete or let the spam filter take care of them. But in the past week i got bombarded from several different sources regarding one apparently free product. The sheer amount of e-mails made me read through one of them. It was an announcement for a free distribution of some SEO program. 


Just for fun, I clicked on the included link, and got to a page with a style of a typical social engineering 'easy money' page. Here is the analysis of such pages.

At the end of the (very long) page i got to the real deal. They need my credit card in order to send me the free program on a DVD

  • I will be charged just shipping and handling costs for the program which are $7 for US and $10 internationally, and i get free access to the service for a month.

  • I will be billed $100 per month for the SERVICE, after the first month. I understand that I can cancel at any time right from within the site or by just logging a ticket at www.SOMEADDRESS.TLD

Wait, if it is a FREE PROGRAM delivered on a DVD with no strings attached, they can just dump it on rapid-share and let the visitors rip.

The fraudsters model is simple they always have access to thousands of credit card data with an agreement to use them when they want.

Bogus Diet Patches

Another common method were criminals try to woo people by offering highly discounted patches. In reality what gets shipped would be only a dummy patch or a fake drug. The shipping is done normally using re-shipping method.13

Phishing, Carding, and Money Laundering 

"Phishing is a form of online identity theft that employs both social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers' personal identity data and financial account credentials. Social-engineering schemes use 'spoofed' e- mails to lead consumers to counterfeit websites designed to trick recipients into divulging financial data such as account user names and passwords. Hijacking brand names of banks, e-retailers and credit card companies, phishers often convince recipients to respond. Technical subterfuge schemes plant crime-ware onto PCs to steal credentials directly, often using key logging systems to intercept consumers online account user names and passwords, and to corrupt local and remote navigational infrastructures to misdirect consumers to counterfeit websites and to authentic websites through phisher-controlled proxies that can be used to monitor and intercept consumers’ keystrokes."  

Pumping and Dump Stock Fraud

"Pump and dump" schemes, also known as "hype and dump manipulation," involve the touting of a company's stock (typically microcap companies) through false and misleading statements to the marketplace. After pumping the stock, fraudsters make huge profits by selling their cheap stock into the market.


Pump and dump schemes often occur on the Internet where it is common to see messages posted that urge readers to buy a stock quickly or to sell before the price goes down, or a telemarketer will call using the same sort of pitch. Often the promoters will claim to have "inside" information about an impending development or to use an "infallible" combination of economic and stock market data to pick stocks. In reality, they may be company insiders or paid promoters who stand to gain by selling their shares after the stock price is "pumped" up by the buying frenzy they create. Once these fraudsters "dump" their shares and stop hyping the stock, the price typically falls, and investors lose their money.


You've seen spam (unsolicited commercial email) show up as a component of some cyber crimes we've already discussed, but I think that ultimately it also deserves its own listing here, because at least in some cases bulk mail may be legal or illegal based solely on what's being sent and how it is being delivered. In some jurisdictions, any or all commercial email is permissible, but in other jurisdictions,  unsolicited commercial email is regulated.

Scheduled Controlled Substances Sold Online without prescription

There are many scheduled controlled substances sold online. All you need in one credit card to buy them. You don't need a prescription, social security number or age proof to buy them. For example.

  • In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) regulates the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances. See 21 USC 811.

  • Substances are categorized by the CSA into five tiers, I through V:

    -- Schedule I: heroin, LSD, marijuana, MDMA, peyote, psilocybin, etc.

    -- Schedule II: cocaine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate, morphine, PCP, etc.

    -- Schedule III: anabolic steroids, codeine/acetaminophen combinations, etc.

    -- Schedule IV: alprazolam, diazepam, phentermine, zolpidem, etc.

    -- Schedule V: codeine-based cough syrups, etc.

    See the summary table at

  • States can also schedule controlled substances beyond federal levels; for example, while carisoprodol ("Soma") is not a federally controlled substance at the time this was written, it IS scheduled by Oregon and other individual states (see )

  • Other drugs (such as antibiotics, insulin, birth control pills, ED pills) require a bonafide prescription, but they're regulated by the FDA rather than the DEA.

  • Fraudsters contact their victims by bulk email and conduct a fraud transaction

Child Exploitation/ Child Pornography and illegal Obscenity

I request if you ever come across a child pornographic site please report. Please do not do the research yourself.

  • Internet porn is a multi-billion dollar-per-year industry with content ranging from the risque to the hardcore; thus, it is hardly surprising that there is a variety of content-related cyber crimes associated with this online content area.

  • Perhaps more than any other online crime related area, child porn is one area where any and all investigation of potentially illegal content MUST be left to law enforcement. If you run into a child porn site do NOT attempt to investigate it yourself! Instead, report it immediately to the NCMEC or the FBI's Innocent Images program (see )



  • "Warez" (pronounced "wearzz," NOT "wahr-ez") are pirated copies of proprietary commercial software, typically distributed over the Internet after the program's copyright protection mechanisms (if any) have been disabled. Pirated music, pirated movies and pirated games may also be distributed.

  • Individuals in the warez scene may amass and freely share huge collections of programs (even if they have no personal use for particular programs) as a competitive matter or to increase their status with their peers; others may avoid an emphasis on sheer volume, focusing instead on how quickly they can get and distribute newly developed programs or particularly obscure or expensive ones.

  • Others may accumulate titles to build an inventory of programs which can be sold to retail customers online. These pirates typically attempt to explain their unusually low prices (and unorthodox distribution mechanisms) by falsely claiming that the downloadable software they're selling is an "original equipment manufacturer" ("OEM") version which is inexpensive because it is being distributed without physical media, manuals or or fancy packaging.

    In reality, of course, that software is sold cheaply because it's been stolen.

  • Stolen intellectual property may also be distributed in the form of authentic- looking physical CD or DVD copies, again typically sold at large discounts.

Online Sale of Replica Counterfeit Trademarked Product

Counterfieting is a very old industry it is as old as the brand. Coupled with Online presence it has shot into a completely new business today. The counterfeiting industry costs $300 billion in the US annually, $500 billion worldwide.

In case you aren't aware of this, MANY (estimated to be over 50%) of the "100% guaranteed authentic" designer & big name brand items you see on auction sites are fake.14

Untaxed Cigarettes Sold over the Internet

Online cigarette sale is big tax evading game in the west. Internet cigarette sellers offer cheaper rates in part because they do not collect state taxes. Under legal pressure, they began turning over customer data to states a year ago. A federal law prohibits retailers from delivering tobacco products across state lines without reporting their sales.15

Online Gambling

Online gambling has become the number one Internet-related card fraud problem in Europe. That's according to Europay, Mastercard's European partner, which reckons that 20 per cent of online fraud is related to gambling. Online fraud accounts for five per cent of all UK credit and debit card fraud16.

Internet gambling, like Internet porn, is big business – a USA Today article puts its value at $12 billion dollars per year.17 Calvin Ayre (of the Bodog Internet gambling empire) even made Forbes list of billionaires18. While Internet gambling is legal in some jurisdictions, in the United States, with only narrow exceptions, Internet gambling is NOT legal 

Cyber Crime in India: Case Studies

While I have a huge collection of international cyber crimes I thought it may be more relevant if we discuss Indian Cyber crime case studies. However if any of you is interested in international case studies please do reach me. I have not arranged the following section in an order to create flow of thought for the reader. And it is possible there is a drift from the taxonomy which we have defined in the beginning. 

Insulting Images of Warrior Shivaji on Google - Orkut19

An Indian posts ‘insulting images’ of respected warrior-saint Shivaji on Google’s Orkut.  Indian police come knocking at Google’s gilded door demanding the IP address (IP uniquely identifies every computer in the world) which is the source of this negative image.  Google, India hands over the IP address.

No such incident in India would be complete without a few administrative slip-ups.  The computer with that IP address is using Airtel, India as the ISP to connect to the internet and Orkut.  Airtel gives police the name of an innocent person using a different IP address.  How two IP addresses could be mixed-up in a sensitive police case is anyone’s guess.

An innocent Indian, Lakshmana Kailash K, is arrested in Bangalore and thrown in jail for 3 weeks.  Eventually, his innocence is proved and he is released in Oct, 2007.

A number of  news media report this incident.  American citizen and India lover Christopher Soghoian (home page studies Informatics at Indiana University and researches/writes about security, privacy and computer crime.  Christopher does an excellent article on this topic for the blogs at respected tech media group CNET. 

Like all good writers, Christopher Soghoian, gives Google, India a list of questions so that he can give a balanced perspective to the millions of CNET readers.

How does Google, India respond?   

The only comment was:  "Google has very high standards for user privacy and a clear privacy policy, and authorities are required to follow legal process to get information. In compliance with Indian legal process, we provided Indian law enforcement authorities with IP address information of an Orkut user."

Not surprisingly, Google is a keen to play this down as Yahoo is being hauled over the coals by US Congress for handing over an IP addresses and emails to the Chinese Government which resulted in a Chinese democracy activist being jailed.

Techgoss contacted Christopher and asked him for a list of  the questions he had put to Google. The following were the questions that Christopher put to Google which were never answered.  Sometimes what you do not say says more about what you have done.

1. Can Google speak at all to the specifics of this incident?

2. If so, can Google confirm if they released ip addresses or any other log information to the Indian police regarding this incident.

3. If Google did hand over log information, did the Indian police have a warrant/court order, or did they merely request it?

4. Does Google feel in any way responsible for the man's accidental arrest and jailing?

5. Speaking more generally, without going into the specifics of this incident...Has Google ever in the past handed over user information (including logs) to Indian law enforcement/authorities without a court order/search warrant?

6. In this case, the crime the man was accused of (defaming a 300 year old historical figure)  does not exist in the US. Will Google conform to the laws of each country it does business in, or will it defer to American concepts of freedom of speech and the press?

7. Does Google reveal information to other countries for "crimes" that would not normally be an illegal in the US? For example, the ip addresses of people in Saudi Arabia and other conservative Muslim countries who search for adult, consensual pornography?

8. Is the log data for Orkut stored in India, or is it stored elsewhere? If the data is not stored in India, is Google still responsible for giving it to the Indian authorities?

How does it Airtel react to rectify its mistake?

Firstly, with an immediate, unqualified apology.   In itself, a positive first step.

Techgoss (  had heard rumors about Airtel also offering monetary compensation to the person wrongly jailed.   But Airtel is being coy about possible financial compensation.  An Airtel spokesperson issued the following statement to

“Airtel are aware of this incident and deeply distressed by the severe inconvenience caused to the customer. We are fully cooperating with the authorities to provide all information in this regard and we are in touch with the customer. We have robust internal processes, which we review frequently to make them more stringent. We have conducted a thorough investigation of the matter and will take appropriate action”.

Does this mean the customer will get compensation?  It is not clear either way.  Let’s wait and see.  It is interesting to see that despite the arrest he is still with Airtel.  Now that’s loyalty to your telecom company.

What is the current Scenario?

Finally he has demanded that he be compensated for the injustice meted out to him! The illegally accused and detained techie in the Chatrapati Shivaji defamation picture case on Orkut, Lakshmana Kailas K, has slapped a ten page legal notice on Telecom giant Bharti Airtel, the Principal Secretary (Home) of the state government in Maharashtra, India and the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Financial & Cyber crime unit) demanding that an amount of 20 crores be paid as damages.

The software engineer has also sent a copy of the legal notice to the National Human rights commission. Lakshmana had spent a harrowing 50 days in police custody accused of a crime he had never committed just because an IP address sought by the police was wrongly supplied by Bharti Airtel. The legal notice smacks of his anger with the police and judiciary making a mockery of the rights of an individual and the pitiable conditions of the Yerwada jail where he was detained with a number of hardened criminals. He is reported to have been beaten by a lathi and asked to use the same bowl to eat and to use in the toilet.

Kenneth L. Haywood 

Kenneth L. Haywood  (born 1964) became involved in a 2008 controversy in the Indian city of Mumbai after his wireless connection was allegedly used by terrorists to transmit a message to Indian news networks before their attacks. It was subsequently revealed that Haywood had been living a double life as an "executive skills trainer" and a Christian pastor, while the firm that he worked for was a probable front for evangelical religious activities. Haywood was not charged by Indian authorities in connection with the blasts, which occurred at Ahmedabad and Surat, in late July 2008.

Financial crimes20

WiproSpectramind lost the telemarketing contract from Capital one due to an organized crime.The telemarketing executives offered fake discounts, free gifts to the Americans in order to boost the sales of the Capital one. The internal audit revealed the fact and surprisingly it was also noted that the superiors of these telemarketers were also involved in the whole scenario.

Cyber pornography

Some more Indian incidents revolving around cyber pornography include the Air Force Balbharati School case. In the first case of this kind, the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell registered a case under section 67 of the IT act, 2000. A student of the Air Force Balbharati School, New Delhi, was teased by all his classmates for having a pockmarked face.

Online gambling

Recent Indian case about cyber lotto was very interesting. A man called Kola Mohan invented the story of winning the Euro Lottery. He himself created a website and an email address on the Internet with the address '' Whenever accessed, the site would name him as the beneficiary of the 12.5 million pound.After confirmation a telgu newspaper published this as a news. He collected huge sums from the public as well as from some banks for mobilization of the deposits in foreign currency. However, the fraud came to light when a cheque discounted by him with the Andhra Bank for Rs 1.73 million bounced. Mohan had pledged with Andhra Bank the copy of a bond certificate purportedly issued by Midland Bank, Sheffields, London stating that a term deposit of 12.5 million was held in his name.

Intellectual Property crimes

These include software piracy, copyright infringement, trademarks violations, theft of computer source code etc. In other words this is also referred to as cybersquatting. Satyam Vs. Siffy is the most widely known case. Bharti Cellular Ltd. filed a case in the Delhi High Court that some cyber squatters had registered domain names such as and with Network solutions under different fictitious names. The court directed Network Solutions not to transfer the domain names in question to any third party and the matter is sub-judice. Similar issues had risen before various High Courts earlier. Yahoo had sued one AkashArora for use of the domain name ‘Yahooindia.Com’ deceptively similar to its ‘’. As this case was governed by the Trade Marks Act, 1958, the additional defence taken against Yahoo’s legal action for the interim order was that the Trade Marks Act was applicable only to goods.

Email spoofing

Recently, a branch of the Global Trust Bank experienced a run on the bank. Numerous customers decided to withdraw all their money and close their accounts. It was revealed that someone had sent out spoofed emails to many of the bank’s customers stating that the bank was in very bad shape financially and could close operations at any time. Unfortunately this information proved to be true in the next few days.


But the best example of the email spoofing can be given by the Gujarat Ambuja Executive’s case. Where he pretended to be a girl and cheated the Abudhabi based NRI for crores by blackmailing tactics.

Cyber Defamation

India’s first case of cyber defamation was reported when a company’s employee started sending derogatory, defamatory and obscene e-mails about its Managing Director. The e-mails were anonymous and frequent, and were sent to many of their business associates to tarnish the image and goodwill of the company.

The company was able to identify the employee with the help of a private computer expert and moved the Delhi High Court. The court granted an ad-interim injunction and restrained the employee from sending, publishing and transmitting e-mails, which are defamatory or derogatory to the plaintiffs.

Cyber stalking

RituKohli has the dubious distinction of being the first lady to register the cyber stalking case. A friend of her husband gave her telephonic number in the general chat room. The general chatting facility is provided by some websites like MIRC and ICQ. Where person can easily chat without disclosing his true identity. The friend of husband also encouraged this chatters to speak in slang language to Ms. Kohli.


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