Ransomware is a form of malicious software that encrypts the victim’s data and prevents access to the said data unless the victim spends a large amount of money to the hacker as ransom. Sometimes the hackers threaten to leak the encrypted data, thereby infringing privacy. Some of the simpler forms of ransomware lock the data in such a way that it would not be hard to reverse, but more complex ransomware software use a technique called cryptoviral extortion to encrypt data. The ransomware is usually downloaded through email and payment is made in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. There are many ransomware software that have infected computers, from the WannaCry ransomware, which had a massive outbreak earlier in 2017, to the more recent Locky ransomeware.
Quick Heal Technologies, a Pune based cybersecurity firm, has detected over 48,000 ransomware attacks all over India.  They further stated that about 60% of the attacks were against corporations while 40% were against private individuals. Various government agencies have also been targets of ransomware attacks. Various experts on cyber security urge for the enactment of a cyber security law and an amendment to the Information Technology Act to make cyber attacks criminal offences and clearly define the roles and responsibilities, accountability and liabilities of ISPs in case of such offences.
Ransomware attacks are a clear infringement of the victim’s Right to Privacy, which the Hon’ble Supreme Court declared as a Fundamental Right under Article 21. Ransomware is also a case of extortion, which is covered under Section 383 of the IPC.
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B.A., B.L., (Hons) IPDP., (London)
Pgd IPR., Pgd Cyber Law., Msc., (IT)
CCI., CFA., IPCL.,
Advocate, Madras High Court
Karthikeyan, is a renowned cyber law expert, who is also the Managing Partner of Law Office of Karthikeyan, a reputed law firm based in Chennai.More About Us