Cybercriminals modus-operandi, Reporting of cybercrimes, Remedial and Mitigation measures

03/12/2023 0 By indiafreenotes

Understanding the modus Operandi of cybercriminals is crucial in developing effective cybersecurity strategies. Cybercriminals employ a variety of techniques to compromise systems, steal sensitive information, and exploit vulnerabilities.


Phishing is a deceptive technique where cybercriminals use emails, messages, or websites that mimic legitimate entities to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information such as login credentials, financial details, or personal information.

  • Tactics: Phishing emails often contain urgent messages, fake links, or malicious attachments designed to lure recipients into taking actions that benefit the attacker.

Ransomware Attacks:

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that encrypts files or systems, rendering them inaccessible. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, for the decryption key.

  • Tactics: Ransomware is often delivered through phishing emails, malicious attachments, or exploiting vulnerabilities in software. Once activated, it encrypts files and displays a ransom message.

Malware Distribution:

Malware, short for malicious software, includes viruses, Trojans, worms, and other types of harmful software. Cybercriminals use malware to compromise systems, steal data, or disrupt operations.

  • Tactics: Malware is distributed through infected websites, malicious email attachments, or compromised software. It can exploit vulnerabilities in software or rely on social engineering to trick users into executing it.

Business Email Compromise (BEC):

BEC attacks involve compromising business email accounts, often those of executives, to conduct fraudulent activities. This may include unauthorized fund transfers or sensitive information theft.

  • Tactics: Cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing, or malware to gain access to business email accounts. Once compromised, they can monitor communications and orchestrate fraudulent transactions.

Credential Stuffing:

In credential stuffing attacks, cybercriminals use username and password combinations obtained from previous data breaches to gain unauthorized access to user accounts on various platforms.

  • Tactics: Automated tools are employed to test large sets of credentials across multiple websites, exploiting the tendency of users to reuse passwords across different accounts.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks:

DDoS attacks overwhelm a target’s online services by flooding them with traffic, causing disruption or downtime.

  • Tactics: Cybercriminals often use botnets—networks of compromised computers—to launch massive volumes of traffic at a target’s servers, making it difficult for legitimate users to access services.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks:

In MitM attacks, cybercriminals intercept and potentially alter communications between two parties without their knowledge.

  • Tactics: Attackers may achieve this by eavesdropping on unsecured networks, deploying rogue Wi-Fi hotspots, or using techniques like session hijacking to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs):

APTs are long-term targeted attacks where cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to a network and remain undetected for an extended period, often to steal sensitive information or conduct espionage.

  • Tactics: APTs involve sophisticated techniques, including zero-day exploits, social engineering, and lateral movement within a network to maintain persistence.


Cryptojacking involves using a victim’s computing resources without their knowledge to mine cryptocurrencies. This can lead to reduced system performance and increased energy consumption.

  • Tactics: Cybercriminals may infect websites with malicious scripts or distribute malware that hijacks the processing power of users’ devices to mine cryptocurrencies.

Supply Chain Attacks:

Supply chain attacks target vulnerabilities in the software supply chain to compromise the integrity of software or hardware before it reaches end-users.

  • Tactics: Cybercriminals may compromise software updates, inject malicious code into legitimate applications, or compromise hardware components during the manufacturing process.

Reporting of Cyber crimes

Reporting cybercrimes in India involves a structured process to ensure that law enforcement agencies can investigate and take appropriate action. Here’s a guide on how to report cybercrimes in India:

  • Identify the Cybercrime:

Recognize the type of cybercrime you have encountered. It could be phishing, online fraud, hacking, cyberbullying, ransomware, or any other form of illegal online activity.

  • Preserve Evidence:

Document and preserve any evidence related to the cybercrime. This may include screenshots, emails, chat logs, transaction details, or any other relevant information. Preserving evidence is crucial for investigation and prosecution.

  • Contact Local Law Enforcement:

For immediate assistance, contact your local police station and provide them with a detailed description of the cybercrime. They may guide you on the next steps or initiate a preliminary inquiry.

  • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCCRP):

The Government of India has established the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCCRP) to facilitate the online reporting of cybercrimes. Visit the NCCRP website ( to file a complaint.

Provide accurate details about the incident, including the type of cybercrime, date and time, the platform or website involved, and any supporting evidence.

  • Cyber Crime Cells:

Several states in India have dedicated Cyber Crime Cells or Cyber Police Stations. You can contact these specialized units directly to report cybercrimes. They are equipped to handle technology-related offenses.

  • CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team):

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is the national nodal agency for responding to cybersecurity incidents. While CERT-In does not directly investigate crimes, it plays a role in coordinating responses to significant cybersecurity incidents. Visit their website ( for information and advisories.

  • Online Consumer Complaints:

If the cybercrime involves online fraud or financial transactions, you can also file a complaint on platforms like the National Consumer Helpline (

  • Social Media Platforms:

If the cybercrime is related to social media, report the incident to the respective platform. Major social media websites have reporting mechanisms to address cyberbullying, harassment, or other illicit activities on their platforms.

  • Bank Authorities:

In case of financial fraud or unauthorized transactions, inform your bank immediately. Banks have dedicated cybercrime cells to investigate and take appropriate actions.

  • Cyber Crime Helpline Numbers:

Be aware of local cybercrime helpline numbers that you can contact for assistance. These numbers are often provided by law enforcement agencies and can vary by state.

  • Stay Informed:

Stay informed about updates and advisories issued by law enforcement agencies, CERT-In, and other relevant authorities. Awareness about emerging cyber threats can help you avoid falling victim to cybercrimes.

  • Legal Assistance:

If needed, consider seeking legal assistance. Cybercrime cases may involve legal proceedings, and consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance on your rights and responsibilities.

Remedial and Mitigation measures

Remedial and mitigation measures are essential components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. These measures aim to address and alleviate the impact of cyber threats, incidents, and vulnerabilities.

  • Incident Response Plan:

Develop and implement an incident response plan outlining the steps to be taken in the event of a cybersecurity incident. This plan should include procedures for identifying, containing, eradicating, recovering from, and reporting incidents.

  • Data Backups:

Regularly back up critical data and ensure that backups are stored securely. This helps in the recovery process in case of data loss due to ransomware, accidental deletion, or other incidents.

  • Patch Management:

Keep software, operating systems, and applications up to date by promptly applying security patches. Regularly check for updates and patches from vendors to address known vulnerabilities.

  • Network Segmentation:

Implement network segmentation to limit the lateral movement of attackers within a network. This helps contain the impact of a security breach and prevents unauthorized access to critical systems.

  • Endpoint Protection:

Deploy robust endpoint protection solutions, including antivirus and anti-malware software, to detect and block malicious activities on devices.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide additional verification beyond passwords.

  • Security Awareness Training:

Conduct regular security awareness training for employees to educate them about phishing, social engineering, and other common cyber threats. Educated users are more likely to identify and avoid potential risks.

  • Encryption:

Use encryption to protect sensitive data during transmission and while stored on devices or servers. This helps safeguard information even if unauthorized access occurs.

  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS):

Deploy IDPS to monitor network and system activities, detect anomalies, and automatically respond to potential security incidents.

  • Web Application Firewalls (WAF):

Implement WAF to protect web applications from various attacks, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other common web-based vulnerabilities.

  • Regular Security Audits:

Conduct regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify weaknesses in systems and networks. Address any discovered vulnerabilities promptly.

  • Cyber Insurance:

Consider cyber insurance to mitigate financial losses in the event of a cybersecurity incident. Cyber insurance can cover costs related to data breaches, legal expenses, and business interruption.

  • Vendor Security Assessment:

Assess the security practices of third-party vendors and partners. Ensure that they adhere to cybersecurity standards and implement measures to protect shared data and systems.

  • Access Controls:

Implement strict access controls to limit user privileges based on job responsibilities. Regularly review and update user access permissions.

  • Continuous Monitoring:

Implement continuous monitoring of network traffic, system logs, and user activities to detect and respond to suspicious or malicious behavior in real-time.

  • Threat Intelligence Sharing:

Engage in threat intelligence sharing with industry peers, government agencies, and cybersecurity organizations to stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

  • Legal Compliance:

Ensure compliance with relevant cybersecurity laws and regulations. This includes data protection laws, privacy regulations, and industry-specific standards.

  • DDoS Protection:

Deploy DDoS protection measures, such as traffic filtering and content delivery networks (CDNs), to mitigate the impact of distributed denial-of-service attacks.

  • Cloud Security Measures:

If using cloud services, implement security measures provided by the cloud service provider and follow best practices for securing cloud-based environments.

  • Collaboration and Communication:

Foster a culture of collaboration and open communication within the organization regarding cybersecurity. Encourage employees to report suspicious activities promptly.