Types of Cyber Crime | Exploration of Cyber Crime | Classifications and Dimensions

This article delves into the traditional, general, and specific classifications of cyber crime, shedding light on the multifaceted nature of offenses committe


Shubham Kumar

1/28/20244 min read

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In an era dominated by technological advancements, the prevalence of Cyber Crime has grown exponentially, necessitating a thorough exploration of its various dimensions. This article delves into the traditional, general, and specific classifications of cyber crimes, shedding light on the multifaceted nature of offenses committed in the digital realm.

Reference- Criminology, Penology, Victimology by Prof. N. V. Paranjape

What is Cyber Crime?

Cyber Crime refers to the unlawful and illicit act, which tends to breach the law enforced by the state and parliament, and uses computers, software and virtual spaces, as a medium to harass and harm the victim, without being physically and emotionally present, however, virtually present. Due to the use of technology, the offender commits crime, without having a fear of being arrested.

Cyber Crime in India is punished under the act "The Information Technology Act 2002". Cyber Crime is one of the most ever evolving crimes, which suggest that its form keeps changing, due to change in technologies. Therefore, the process of classification of Cyber Crime also has been in significant development.

In the advent of Cyber Crimes, criterion on which the Cyber Crime was classified was called as traditional classification. On the eve of evolution, the technique to classify also evolved, and it was called General Classification. Since, Cyber Crime is ever evolving, therefore, the current criterion on which the cyber-crime is classified is called specific classification.

Traditional Classification of Cyber Crime

According to traditional classification, the cyber-crime is classified as cyber-crime of economic type and cyber-crime against privacy.

Cyber Crime of economic type includes the violation and breach of law enforced by the state, which uses computer, software and virtual space as a medium to commit crime and inflicts damage on the resources of victim.

The Cyber Crime of economic type includes frauds committed by manipulation of computer systems, illegal copy of software and computer spying, computer sabotage or illegal use of computer systems belonging to others etc. Moreover, the sole of aim of offender in these crimes is to surpass the access barrier and get illegal authorization of resources of victim.

Cyber Crime against privacy is the illicit activity that affects the private dynamics of victim. Basically, hindering the private domains of the victim by the uses of computers, software and virtual space, is called Cyber Crime against privacy. Cyber Crime involving violation of right to privacy adversely affects the judicial right to privacy of a person without affecting any of the proprietary rights of the victim. Crime like- Cyber Pornography, Stalking, recording private moments, defaming via making media viral, etc. are the examples of against privacy.

General Classification of Cyber Crimes

The general classification of the Cyber Crime is based on the evolution in the commission and omission of crimes. Moreover, this classification suggests the basic idea, that in what dynamics, Cyber Crimes are active.

This classification includes cyber-crimes against persons, cyber-crimes against all forms of property, cyber-crimes against State or society.

Cyber Crimes against individuals\persons span harassment via e-mail, stalking, defamation, unauthorized access to computer systems, indecent exposures, e-mail spoofing, fraud, cheating, and pornography.

Cyber-related crimes against property encompass computer vandalism, transmission of viruses, denial of service attacks, unauthorized access to computer systems, intellectual property rights violations, Internet time theft, and the sale of illegal articles.

Cyber-crimes against the state or society involve possession of unauthorized information, cyber terrorism, distribution of pirated software, and engaging in financial scams, among other activities.

Specific Classification of Cyber Crime

Cyber Crimes are basically operated over computers, software and virtual spaces, as medium, and tends to harass the victims in multiple ways. These ways are far more than which was explained in traditional and general classification. Since time being in force, the crime is ever evolving, and so is the technology. Since, Cyber Crimes use technology as medium, there are multiple number of ways though which one can commit this unlawful act. Specific classification focus on each and every aspect, and then classify cyber-crime as


Involves sending persistent messages causing annoyance, worry, and mental torture.

Cyber stalking includes following a person's movements online, posting threatening messages on bulletin boards, entering victim frequented chat-rooms, and bombarding with e-mails.

Cyber stalkers collect personal information from internet resources, targeting women, girls, and children.


Commonly committed cyber crime involving seeking unauthorized access through computer networks.

Forms of hacking include web-spoofing, e-mail bombing, trojan attacks, virus attacks, and password cracking.

Web-jacking involves forcefully taking control of a website for ransom or illegal political purposes.

E-mail Spoofing:

Involves misrepresenting the origin of an e-mail to deceive recipients.

Example: Sending threatening e-mails with a false origin to create panic or confusion.

Cyber Terrorism:

Defined as criminal acts perpetrated through computer and telecommunication capabilities to create fear, violence, destruction, and disruption of services.

Involves attacking critical infrastructures or misusing the internet to coerce or intimidate for political, social, or ideological objectives.

Cyber Pornography:

Takes various forms, including hosting websites with obscene material or producing obscene materials using computers.

Child pornography is a distinct category, involving the sexual abuse of children through the internet.

Cyber Defamation:

Similar to conventional defamation but occurs in cyberspace.

Involves making derogatory statements on websites or sending defamatory e-mails to harm a person's reputation.

E-mail Frauds (Spam):

Inexpensive method for distributing fraudulent messages to victims.

Common fraud type is phishing, tricking individuals into divulging personal information.

Money Laundering:

Cyber crime involving the illegal transfer of money in transit.

Significant increase in incidence, with cases of money laundering seizures and recoveries.

Data Diddling:

Offense involving changing or erasing data for illegal monetary gains or committing fraud.

Perpetrator changes data before or during input into a computer.

Intellectual Property Crimes:

Encompass software piracy, copyright infringement, trademark violations, and theft of computer source code. Exploitation of digitalization and the internet facilitates illegal distribution of intellectual property.


As technology advances, so do the dimensions and complexities of cyber crime. This comprehensive analysis of traditional, general, and specific classifications provides insights into the diverse manifestations of cyber offenses. The urgent need for robust legal frameworks, international cooperation, and updated cyber forensic systems is evident. Only through a collective effort can society effectively combat the evolving challenges posed by cyber crime in the digital age.