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Email Investigation Laws in Cyber Forensics

Published By Siddharth
Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Aswin Vijayan
Published On May 7th, 2020
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Email investigation laws in cyber forensics consist of laws related to computer crimes, web crimes, data theft, etc. Whenever the technology represents a new significant activity, at the same time various cybercrime activities also take place. Cybercrime laws are created for criminals who involves in various computer crime activities. The laws state the offense for the occurred crime which may also include penalties.

Cybercrime is a global problem done by attackers or spammers using computer systems. The government furnished computer crime laws for individuals committing cybercrime. If any person is found to be guilty of any computer-based crime, then he/she will be punished under Information Technology laws. In this blog, we will discuss some of the basic IT laws that are associated with various computer-based crimes that may help in the cybercrime investigation process.
Before moving further, let’s have a look at come case scenarios in which the accused is being punished under the cyber laws followed in India:

Case Studies

Case 1: Company A proceeded to promote its newly launched merchandise and services by using emails of those who had previously bought products from their company.
Investigating officers received many complaints from the customers of Company A. The complaints were that they are not receiving messages for product promotion from Company A. Instead they are receiving some pornographic content on their email service from Company A. Upon further investigation by the investigators, it was understood that Company A did not send those messages to the recipients/clients.
The investigators found that an ex-employee of Company A did that through email spoofing because of some revenge. The uninvited Electronic Messages Act 2007 placed against that ex-employee and punished under the email investigation laws with the imprisonment of two years and fine up to 1 lakh rupees.

Case 2: A well–known case of spam concerned the social networking website Facebook. A college student and his two other friends in Feb 2019 allegedly gain access to email accounts by sharing a phishing website through Facebook.
They hacked numerous email accounts and sent more than thirty million junk emails daily from it. The results of this case was that they were charged and had to pay a fine of 3 Lakh rupees. This is an extreme case of spamming that incorporates an absolutely cheap outcome.

Case 3: One of the senior managers of the company connected with the bank. The bank received an email message from the manager of the company who requested to send 1 Lakh rupees for merchant payment. Within the received email, it was found that the message was holding precisely his original email address. The manager holds many business organizations and he used to send frequent such emails. As a result, the bank official’s started the procedure to send money to the manager.
After undergoing a thorough cybercrime investigation, it was found that the spammer was playing as the manager behind this crime scene. He was punished under computer crime laws, with imprisonment of three years and 3 Lakh rupees fine.

As we see in the above-mentioned cases that how users can become the victim of many such fraudulent cases involving several types of email threats such as spamming, phishing, etc.
It takes a lot of effort in finding the spammer and there are subsequent laws that are followed for each of these cyberattacks.

Email Investigation Laws in Digital Forensics

There are several computer-based offenses such as fraudulent publication, computer-related offenses, misrepresentation, etc. For the offenses, the government declared laws based on cybercrimes under which the criminal is punished. There are numerous sections in the IT Act, here we will focus on some of the basic cyber laws followed in India.

Section 43 Under IT Act, 2000: This act covers the offense of damaging the computer system, computer network, etc. It describes that if someone accesses a computer system or computer network and cause disruption. Then, he will be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years, pay compensation which may extend to five Lakh rupees or punished with both.

Section 65 Under IT Act 2000: This act involves tampering with computer source documents. If someone tamper, conceal, destroy or change any computer source document with some intentions. Then, he/she shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine up to 2 Lakh rupees.

Section 66 Under IT Act 2000: This act involves computer-based related offenses. If any person commits a crime under Section 43 of IT Act, 2000 then the criminal shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years and fine which my extend to five Lakh rupees.

Section 66(A) Under IT Act 2000: This act involves sharing offensive messages through communication services. If any person shares any information that causes annoyance, danger, obstruction, insult, etc. through any communication medium. Then, he/she shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or fine.

Section 66(B) Under IT Act 2000: In this act, if any person dishonestly, or fraudulently receives any stolen computer resource or any communication device, then he shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years or fine upto 1 Lakh rupees, or both.

Section 66(C) Under IT Act 2000: This act involves punishment for identity theft. It states that if someone fraudulently uses a digital signature, password, or any other identification of another person. Then, he/she will be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and fine up to 1 Lakh rupees.

Section 66(D) Under IT Act 2000: In this act, if any person fraudulently cheats by personation through any communication device or computer resource, then he shall be charged up to 1 Lakh rupees and punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years.

These are some basic email investigation laws that are considered while doing email forensics investigation. These computer crime laws are associated with several cybercrime activities in which the user involves.

Suggested Tip: Though there are several workarounds to implement the cybercrime investigation in an email message such as manually analyzing the email headers, etc. All these activities require sufficient time which may not act as a proven solution. As a result, MailXaminer Email Forensic Software which is used by many digital investigating officers and organization for email forensics. This software eases the forensic investigation with its various result-oriented & genuine features such as header analysis, link analysis, powerful search mechanisms, etc.

Time to Wind Up

At times, users become the victim of severe cybercrime attacks that can create a bad impact on the individual’s life. It can be a data breach, phishing, email spamming, whaling attack, spoofing, etc. So in order to trace the actual culprit behind the attack, the users get the assistance of forensic investigators. Then, the investigating officer will work on finding the evidence through emails, system data, etc. to find the culprit. Moreover, the attacker will be punished under email investigation laws for the respective offense which is mentioned in the IT Act