[ISN] Source code thefts, hacking on the rise

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Fri Oct 22 02:08:38 EDT 2004


October 22, 2004

Bangalore - Cyber crimes in India are slowly evolving from a simple 
e-mail crime (sending obscene materials over e-mail) to more serious 
crimes like hacking and source code theft. 

The Bangalore cyber crime police station has registered around 22 
hacking cases and around five source code theft cases in the last 
three years. "Usually it is employees of the company who steal source 
code and try to sell it for easy money," said Susant Mahapatra, 
IGP-Economic Offences- Corps of Detectives (CoD). 

For instance, last year an employee of Zygox in Bangalore allegedly 
stole the source code of the product called "DigiBeat", which was 
being developed by the company and started his own company as Techmach 
Engineers and developed a product called "E-beat" with the source 
code. In another instance, an engineer from IT Must Consultancy 
services Pvt Ltd, allegedly stole the source code of one the company's 
sports betting software. "Theft of intellectual property is 
increasing, " said police official. 

Intellectual property rights (IPR) of computer software are covered 
under the Copyright Law in 1994 in India. The Act clearly explains the 
rights of copyright holder, position on rentals of software, the 
rights of the user to make backup copies and the heavy punishment and 
fines on infringement of copyright of software. 

If a person is convicted of hacking or IP theft, he can be convicted 
under either Section 66 (imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs 
1 lakh) or section 67 (five year imprisonment with Rs 2 lakh fine). 

Threats from employees for an organisation doesn't stop here. The CoD 
has also registered cases involving sending obscene e-mails to women 
colleagues from their male counterparts. 

Interestingly it discovered that most cyber crime involving sending 
obscene messages arise from "triangluar love stories" within the 

"It is just like a Hindi movie story. When romantic attemps fails, 
some people start sending obscene photos by e-mail to lady colleagues 
as a "revenge"," said police officials. 

Usually such messages are sent out from cyber cafes. "With the help of 
internet service providers, we can trace where mails have been sent 
from," said Mr Mahapatra. 

While technology can even help pinpoint which computer it has been 
sent from, it is still not possible to identify the individual who has 
sent it. 

The Karnataka government is planning to bring a law, where persons 
wanting to browse at Internet cafes will be asked for some 
identification (a driving licence, or identity card). The cyber centre 
operator would also have to maintain a list for a year of persons who 
have used the computers.

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