Computer Crimes - Essay Example

Since the introduction of computers to our society in the early sass’s, our world has never been the same. Suddenly our physical world got mailer and the electronic world grew to an endless electronic reality. As we approach the year 201 5, humanity will further itself into the Information Age. Computer technology has brought us into an era that is no longer run by man but instead is dependent on computers due to their incredible capabilities. Mankind has progressed further in the last fifty years than any other period of history. With the introduction of the computer a new form of crime was created.

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These crimes referred to as computer crimes are varied but all involve criminal activities such as theft, fraud, forgery and mischief. The problem with today’s computer crimes is that the criminal Justice systems have not been able to keep up with the technology change. Only a few countries have adequate laws to address the problem, and of these, not one has addressed all the legal, enforcement and prevention issues. Technology is growing much too fast for the legal system to keep with the pace. Computer crimes are often heard a lot about in the news. Since that’s where the money is.

Instead of settling for a few hundred thousand dollars in a bank robbery, with enough computer knowledge someone can walk away from a computer crime with millions. The National Computer Crimes Squad estimates that between 85 and 97 percent of computer crimes are not even detected. Fewer than 10 percent of all computer crimes are reported, this is mainly because organizations fear that their employees, clients, and stockholders will lose faith in them if they admit that their computers have been attacked. Few of the crimes that are reported are ever solved.

This would be considered a 21st century bank heist in which the criminals never wore ski masks, threatened a teller or set foot in a vault. In 2013, a situation occurred where thieves took $45 Million in ATM scheme (Cantors). In two precision operations that involved people in more than two dozen countries acting in close coordination and with surgical precision, thieves stole $45 million from thousands of A. T. M. ‘s in a matter of 10 hours. All it took was the knowledge and a few keystrokes along with blank credit cards that were accessible by purchasing over the Internet.

Sony revealed that the company’s Palpitation Network and Sony Entertainment Network were hit by “an attempt to overwhelm the network with artificially high traffic” (Moline, Para 1). Sony says the company is working to restore USN service as non as possible. Sony says that the ability to access their network has been impacted; no personal information has been accessed. This is an example that shows how some hackers do a malicious act, with the shutdown of a network with no real meaning behind it (Moline). Hacking was once a term that was used to describe someone with a great deal of knowledge with computers.

Since then the definition has seriously had a change of meaning. In every neighborhood there are criminals, so you could say that hackers are the criminals of the computer world. Fifteen years ago, Internet crimes were rarely heard of. Since reading various amounts of information, we now see that the Internet has crime of all kinds. The above information provides you with enough proof that no doubt computer crime is on the rise in many areas such as hacking, theft of personal information, or even Just to be malicious.

Origins of Computer Crimes A web search for the origins of history of computer crime will yield hundreds, if not thousands, of results. Among those results is a paper written in 2008 by M. E. Kebab, PhD, CHIPS-SIMMS, a professor of Computer Information Systems at Norwich University. In his paper, entitled A Brief History of Computer Crime: An Introduction or Students, Kebab gives the reader a brief synopsis of the most famous cases of computer crime covering the four decades from the sass’s, to 2004.

The events highlighted are not only those crimes, which were committed using computers, but also attacks that were committed against computers themselves. He starts the article off by explaining his view of why it is important to study historical records pertaining to computer crime. He states, “Every field of study and expertise develops a common body of knowledge that distinguishes professionals from amateurs. One element of that body of knowledge is a shared history of significant events that have shaped the development of the field.

Newcomers to the field benefit from learning the names and significant events associated with their field so that they can understand references from more senior people in the profession and so that they can put new events and patterns into perspective. ” (Widthwise) Kebab lists these significant events in an order, which illustrates the evolution of computer crimes. In the late sass’s and early sass’s, a majority of the crimes committed were nothing more than random acts of violence and civil unrest, which led to the damaging of computer equipment. In 1969, a protest broke out at a Canadian university campus.

Protestors caused a fire to break out in a campus building, thus damaging computer data. While attacks such as these did not directly target computer equipment, there were attacks that specifically targeted computer systems with the sole purpose of destroying them; such as in 1974, when four attempts were made to sabotage computer equipment at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The attackers used methods such as loosening wires, putting gouges in equipment, and using objects such as magnets. Over the last two decades, computer rimes have been more so centered on siphoning the data that resides on the systems.

As Kebab points out, this does on mean that system hardware attacks are a thing of the past; “The incidents of physical abuse of computer systems did not stop as other forms of computer crime increased. ” (Kebab) Internet Fraud Internet fraud is any illegal activity that uses the Internet to commit a fraud. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICC), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NCSC), defines Internet fraud “as any illegal activity involving one of more components of the Internet, such as websites, chat rooms, and/or email.

Internet crime involves the use of the Internet to communicate false or fraudulent representations to consumers. ” (ICC) These types of crimes include credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, pushing/spoofing, spam, and various other illegal activities on the Internet. North America is home to over 270 million Internet users, all of who are potential victims of fraudulent undertakings (Internet World Stats). In 2013, J. P. Morgan released their 13th Annual Online Fraud Report, in which they estimated that in 2011, online merchants “reported losing an average of 1. Of total online revenue to fraud. ” (Cyberspace) According to industry market projections from 2011, that 1. 0% translated to roughly $3. 4 billion in revenue loss due to online fraud. In their 2012 Internet Crime Report, ICC “received and processed 289,874 complaints, averaging more than 24,000 complaints per month. ” (ICC) The report goes on to state that the most common amongst these complaints were “FBI impersonation e-mail scams, various intimidation crimes, and scams that used computer “shareware” to extort money from Internet users.

According to NCSC, what makes the Internet such an appealing medium for Iranians is the fact that it allows them to come in contact with hosts of anonymously with minimal cost. In a 2013 talking paper on Internet fraud, they state that fraud related crimes “frequently rely on visual communications, such as a website or e- mail, to draw victims into the crime. Spoofed websites and pushing e-mails are examples of convincing electronic lures designed to extract confidential personal information from victims.

The more detailed or realistic an online communication appears, the more likely a person is to accept the information conveyed as being true or from a legitimate source. They go on to note that the anonymity of the contact between the criminals and their victims makes it difficult to identify the perpetrators. Internet Cybernetic Crime is a word used to describe the act, which violates a law whether it is moral or penal. It has been around since probably the beginning of mankind, or at least since early societies dictated what actions were considered criminal. In order for there to be a crime, a law must be violated or broken.

According to Webster Dictionary, a law is a rule of conduct or an action recognized by custom or decreed by a formal enactment, community, or group (Kauffman). Due to the many advances in technology in today’s modern era, there are many types of crimes. One of the most prominent types is Internet cybernetic. Internet Cybernetic is the new fastest growing type of crime in the modern era that occurs via the Internet or network of computers due to the convenience, speed, and anonymity of attacks that can be committed with no regards for borders either physically or virtually.

Wisped defines Cybernetic as any crime that involves a computer and a network in which a computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target Kruse). This includes anything from downloading illegal music files to stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts. With the global reach and anonymity of the Internet, it has given rise to individuals that can reach around the world in a manner of nanoseconds. Unfortunately, it has also given criminals with the means and resources the ability to commit computer crimes anywhere in the world. A perfect example of this is that recently.

Back in May of 2014, the online retail giant eBay revealed that they suffered a massive breach of security when hackers recruitment their security and managed to steal personal records of 233 million users (McGregor). This is Just one example of many types of cybernetic attacks. There are many different types of cybernetics such as personal cybernetic, which includes exploitation of children or child porn, cyber stalking and bullying. Also, one of the most prevalent is financial cybernetics, which involve intrusions into online financial services, fraud, identify theft, and pushing Just to name a few.

Most recently, in the news, celebrities have been the targets of a “mass hacker” who exploited a flaw in Apple’s cloud server. It’s rumored that the anonymous hacker gained access to the email accounts associated with the cloud service by guessing passwords based on the personal information of celebrities, or by correctly answering their security questions, then stole over hundreds of images of at least 101 “A-List” stars (many of which were nude pictures). Then the hackers uploaded them on a forum website called www. Achaean. Org (Grant). Also, Home Depot was the victim of massive computer security breach this year.

The retail giant confirmed that hackers slipped into their computers systems unnoticed for approximately five months. Credit cards and debit data from shoppers in the United States and Canada was stolen. To this date Home Depot is still investigating whether or not the PINs were exposed. This incident placed approximately 40 million consumer’s financial accounts at risk. (Bagpiper) Computer Hackers Many have seen the TV shows and movies where some computer genius broke into a system or gathered all the information they were searching for with only a few keystrokes on computer.

Those so called unstoppable computer geniuses were called “hackers”. In the hardcore Internet community the term “hacker” used to mean someone with the thirst for knowledge that had to do with all things related to computers and/or the Internet. Hackers use their skills to learn and to share knowledge and resources with others who share the same passion. Those of them that inspired to use the skills for criminal activities and monetary gain were called “crackers” or “black hat hackers”.

They would use their knowledge and skillets to bypass security systems, leaving viruses, collecting password, and otherwise Just to wreak havoc, or find ways to reverse engineer software to either defeat copyright protection or possibly to find and exploit software flaws. Regardless of whether they are called hackers or black hat hackers, it depends on how they use their expertise to determine whether their actions are harmless, helpful, or criminal in nature. According to Wisped the word hacker, in relation to technology, has several different meanings.

Hacker, is a term used in computing that can describe several types of persons: (computer security) someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or network, (hobbyist) who makes innovative customizations or combinations of retail electronic or computer equipment, and (programmer picture) were the combination of excellence, playfulness cleverness in performed activities (Loggers). But in today’s mainstream media hacking is usually associated with criminal activity. In recent news, it was reported by The New York Times that hackers breached the security of the nation’s HealthCare. Ova website. No personal information on consumers was stolen. The hackers managed to get in too “test server” that was still set to default parameters from the manufacture and never should have been connected to the Internet (Properly). Also, Reuters reported, back in February of this ear that a British man has been charged with hacking Federal Reserve computers. He was responsible, along with a group of other hackers, infiltrating the systems from October 2012 to February 2013. They have been charged with stealing and disclosing personal information of the system’s users.

The group of hackers, comprising of adult males in their late twenties to middle age, are facing years of prison if convicted (Steppes). Often times when we think of computer hackers we stereotypically image some middle age guy in his mother’s basement. Anyone, male or female, young or old, can e held responsible for computer hacking crimes. A perfect example of this in Joseph Zigzag’s Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age textbook he references the case were in Tennessee, several ninth graders broke into their school computer system and infected it with a virus that wiped out most of the school records.

It is believed the students got the virus off the Internet (McMahon). One of the main goals for criminals hacking into systems is for monetary gain. Not only do they target companies, government, and corporations, they also target everyday casual computer users. They have several methods of targeting regular users using email attacks, exploiting flaws in your computer operating systems, and bogus links posing as legitimate website that steer you to a fake site to steal your information. Their main focus is to steal their victim’s personal identity and obtain his or her other vital information.

Computer Security When referring to the words computer security, it can be broken down into many terms of meaning. It’s the protection of your computer system and the data that’s stored in it. The content of a computer is vulnerable to few risks, unless the imputer is connected to other computers on a network. There are several reasons on why it’s important to secure your computer. One should have a clear understanding on how computer security occurs and the results from it, and how to better protect your computer.

The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain available to its intended users. Viruses are one of the biggest problems facing computer security. More than 45,000 different viruses invade Window’s based PC’s each year. Within the last year, several of these bugs have caused billions of dollars in damage. It is obvious that many people store private information such as Social Security and credit card numbers, as it is more convenient than to enter them every time completing a form for an online purchase.

Hackers do not have to attack every user individually, they write special viruses to run on your computer getting that information while accessing a program or website on the Internet. Privacy is perhaps the most important aspect of computer security for everyday Internet users. Although users may feel that they have nothing to hide when they are registering with an Internet site, privacy on the Internet is about protecting personal information, even if the information does not seem sensitive.

Small pieces of related information from different sources can be easily linked together to form a composite of information, for example, information between, Faceable, Twitter and Snap Chat may seems harmless when registering online. Now, these sites include email, Linked (resume) and others. Someone could possibly have a profile of how you look, habits, and work information. It is very important that individuals are able to maintain control over what information is collected about them, how it is used, who may use it, and what purpose it is used for.

In the last few decades, the world saw a revolution in information and technology, and the main factor of this revolution was the computer. Information circulates with extreme speed, and a person with a computer and access to the Internet can follow what is happening anywhere. In order to guarantee the stability of a world where millions of transactions occur, there must be some kind of security to regulate it. That’s where computer security comes in, even if computer security techniques are effective, there are still threats to security as a user.

Several issues that the ordinary, average user faces can easily be resolved through basic “home remedies”. For example, monitor how much personal information is disclosed on the Internet, as well as websites that are visited. One of the highest risks is what program/data is downloaded on personal computers, while connected to the Internet. Summary/Conclusion In today’s society, computer crimes has become and is suspected to surpass the traditional way of theft through snatching purses. Credit card information is more easily accessible due to the Internet connecting individuals who would never otherwise meet.

Criminals are using this information for their own personal pleasures, including selling the data to others. According to U. S. Department of Justice, credit-card theft is exploding, increasing to 50%. Identity theft has become a big business, due to the sale of no-limit American Express card numbers, which can go for hundreds of dollars (Anderson 2014). There has been a growth to the number of malicious programs written to gain credit cards information. According to USA TODAY, these malicious programs have grown exponentially from about 1 million to an estimated 130 million since 2007.

Some of the most successful identity thieves are hacking into businesses. They can steal thousands of card numbers, or even millions when hacking larger business rather than small day-by-day crimes (Anderson 2014). When a company is hacked and computer crimes have been committed, the losses suffered by the businesses can have an enormous affect with the card numbers stolen. The business takes losses in forms of legal settlements, fees for consultants aired to remove mallard, personnel hours are spent to warn or notify customers that their card information has been hacked.

Analysts imply that in the future, we should be prepared to be a victim of this at least once at some point in our lifetime (Lawrence 2014). Computer hackers come from many different diverse backgrounds: race, nationality, financial status, etc. There is no particular region or country responsible for most of the Internet hacking despite what people think. But there is one fact, that there are different types of computer hackers and they’re distinguishing by how they use their technical abilities. Within the hacker’s culture they’re subcultures that describe the type a hacker a person is. There are black hats, white hats, and grey hats hackers.

Also, they’re what you call “script kiddies”, which are probably the majority of hackers on the Internet (Anderson 2014). Black hat hackers are usually responsible for most of the cybernetics involving piracy, identify theft, credit card fraud, website defacement, and other questionable acts like spreading worms and virus for malicious intent. Then you have your script kiddies, which are “hackers” with no real knowledge or technical expertise in IT (Information Technology). This amateur hacker gets the name script kiddies because they use scripts, tools, and software written by real hackers.

Regardless of what type of computer hacker a person is they are responsible for their actions whether it be harmless or not. Unwanted intrusion into someone’s computer or network is a cybernetic. With updates, and adequate security and the safeguarding of personal data people reduce the risk of being affected by hackers (Anderson 2014). Since computer crimes are growing at an extremely fast rate, it is sometimes hard to stay up-to-date with the trending threats. Maintaining computer security is a teeth used to manage threats by using anti-virus software and monitoring personal privacy.

The problem is, every day something about a computer crime changes, whether it’s the program uses a virus to steal personal information or the characters used to encrypt files in the program. Concisely, as the threats evolve, sometimes computer security does not simultaneously evolve, causing even more susceptibility to computer crime threats. Society must become aware of more ways to protect computers, as well as personal interests. With the increase of accessibility to computers and Internet networks, due to the whirring of the digital divide, more people than ever before are on the information highway.