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Cybercrimes are interrupting normal computer functions and has brought many known companies and personal entities to their knees. Over the last decade, crime has entered into the world of information. Crime is developing gradually since the days when merchandise was transported by stagecoach, theft or extortion has changed to keep up, even to our modern-day equivalent-credit and debit cards. Stealing credit card number has become well known danger.
In the present, internet has become a playing field for computer attackers. However, just a small amount of break ins is available. Thus, the damaged caused by these attackers is unknown and its incrementing tragically. In this research paper, the aim would be on the aspects of Cybercrimes such as the definition, why they occur, methods of committing cybercrimes, who they affect, money invested in it and cybercrime prevention procedures. More particularly, this paper will be focus on one of the elements of cybercrime and that is “hacking”. Moreover, this report will also show how the development of different types of technology led to strengthen the theft crimes and terrorism.
How it works
In this advanced innovation driven age, keeping our own data private is ending up more troublesome. The fact is, highly classified details are ending up more accessible to open databases as we are more interconnected than any other times in history. Our information is accessible for nearly anybody to filter through because of this interconnectivity. This creates a negative impression of the use of technology as anyone can get to know one’s private data at a simple cost. Innovation is helping us to make our lives easy but there is its own danger and the biggest of it is the threat of cybercrimes.
Normal web clients might be ignorant of cybercrimes, not to mention what to do in the event that they fall casualty of digital assaults. Numerous people fail to resist to cybercrimes around the globe, particularly since technology is developing at a fast pace. Cybercrime is an illegal activity that cause harm to another person using a computer and a network. Cybercrimes can happen by piercing privacy and confidentiality. Whenever protection and private data is lost or hindered by unlawfully people, it offers approach to prominent wrongdoings, for example, hacking, cyber terrorism, espionage, financial theft, copyright infringement, spamming, cyber warfare and many more crimes which occur across borders.
As indicated by Norton, “over the last 18 months, an inauspicious change has cleared over the web. The threat landscape once dominated by the worms and viruses unleashed by irresponsible hackers is now ruled by a new breed of cybercriminals. Cybercrime is motivated by fraud, typified by the bogus emails sent by ‘phishers’ that aim to steal personal information” (Cybercrime 2011). Cybercrimes are in charge of the achievement of their respective criminal resources and the defeat of many organizations and personal entities.
A commonly accepted definition of this term is that a cybercrime is a “crime committed using a computer and the internet to steal a person’s identity or sell contraband or stalk victims or disrupt operations with malevolent programs” (Cybercrime). However, other definitions have constraints to an expansive meaning to more closely describe the word “cybercrime”. SearchSecurity defines it as “for any illegal activity that uses a computer as its primary means of commission. The U.S. Department of Justice expands the definition of cybercrime to include any illegal activity that uses a computer for the storage of evidence (What Is Cybercrime?). New World Encyclopedia defines it as “is a term used broadly to describe activity in which computers or computer networks are the tool, target, or place of criminal activity. These categories are not exclusive, and many activities can be characterized as falling in one or more categories.” (Cybercrime).
There are two main categories:
There are many ways or means where cybercrimes can occur. Here are a few causes and methods of how cybercrimes can be committed on a daily basis: Hacking, Theft of information contained in electronic form, Email bombing, Data diddling, Salami attacks, Denial of Service attack, Virus / worm attacks, Logic bombs, Trojan attacks, Internet time theft, and Web jacking. (naavi of naavi.com and cyber law college india). Few of them are explained below:
Hacking: In other words, hacking can be referred to as the unauthorized access to any computer systems or network. This method can occur if computer hardware and software have any weaknesses which can be infiltrated if such hardware or software has a lack in patching, security control, configuration or poor password choice.
Denial of Service attack: Is basically where a computer system becomes unavailable to its authorize end user. This form of attack generally relates to computer networks where the computer of the victim is submerged with more requests than it can handle which in turn causing the pc to crash. E.g. Amazon, Yahoo. Another incident occurred in November, 2010 when whistle blower site wikileaks.org got a DDoS attack.
Theft of information contained in electronic form: This type of method occurs when information stored in computer systems are infiltrated and are altered or physically being seized via hard disks; removable storage media or other virtual medium.
Virus / worm attacks: Viruses are programs that can embed themselves to any file. The program then copies itself and spreads to other computers on a network which they affect anything on them, either by changing or erasing it. However, worms are not like viruses, they do not need the host to attach themselves to but make useful copies of them and do this constantly till they consume up all the available space on a computer’s memory. E.g. love bug virus, which affected at least 5 % of the computers around the world.
Trojan attacks: The term suggests where a program or programs mask themselves as valuable tools but accomplish damaging tasks to the computer. These programs are unlawful which flaccidly gains control over another’s system by assuming the role as an authorised program. The most common form of a Trojan is through e-mail. E.g. lady film director in the U.S.
Logic bombs: They are basically a set of instructions where it can be secretly executed into a program where if a particular condition is true can be carried out the end result usually ends with harmful effects. This suggests that these programs are produced to do something only when a specific event (known as a trigger event) occurs. E.g. Chernobyl virus.
Cyber terrorism may be defined to be where the deliberate use of disrupting activities, or the risk thereof, via virtual machine, with the purpose to further public, political, spiritual, radical or to threaten any person in continuance of such purposes (Denning, D). Theft crimes can include: Credit/Debit Card Fraud, Identity theft, Non – delivery of Goods and Services, Ponzi/Pyramid method. Two of them are discussed below:
Credit/Debit Card Fraud-is the unlawful use of a credit/debit card to falsely attain money or belongings. Credit/debit card numbers can be stolen from leaky web sites or can be obtained in an identity theft scheme.
Identity theft –this is when someone seizes another’s individual information without his or her awareness to commit theft or fraudulency. Typically, the victim is led to believe they are revealing sensitive private data to a genuine business, occasionally as a response to an e-mail to modernize billing or membership information etc.
In this modern age, it seems almost impossible to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, with all the advancements in technology which make it easy for someone to perform cybercrimes. In light of this, there are some ways however to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. Most internet browsers email service, and Internet providers provide a spam-blocking feature to prevent unwanted messages, such as fraudulent emails and phishing emails, from getting to your inbox.
However, every user must ensure to turn them on and do not turn them off whatsoever. Also, users must install and keep up-to-date antivirus programs, firewalls and spyware checkers. Along with keeping them up to date, users must make sure that they run the scans regularly. There are many companies out there that provide free software, but there are other you can purchase, along with that of the many produced by the leading companies providers; in addition, those companies provide free version of their paid or subscription antivirus software.
Encryption of information that you do not want anyone to have unauthorized access to is a good way to avoid some cybercrimes; information such as password and credit card information. Encryption software runs your data through encryption algorithms to make it unintelligible to anyone who tries to hack into your computer.
Another good precaution is to be weary of who you divulge your personal information to. Try to avoid unknown websites, in particular those that ask for your name, mailing address, bank account number or social security number. When doing online shopping make sure website is secure, look for URLs that starts with “https” and/or have the Trustee or VeriSign seal. If you do not see these anywhere on the site, you run the risk of submitting credit card information and other personal information to a site that maybe a fraud.
There’s nothing like the fear of being hacked to make businesses willing to spend cash on cybersecurity tools and services. As a result, security has become heavily scrutinized by boards of directors demanding that security budgets are used wisely, and solutions operate at peak efficiency. In 2020, major organizations are expected to spend $101.6 billion on cybersecurity software, services, and hardware, according to research released by the International Data Corporation. This equates to a 38% increase from the $73.7 billion that IDC projects organizations will spend on cybersecurity in 2016.
Researchers cited fear as the primary motivator for this bump in cybersecurity spending in light of major hacks that have wrecked companies like Yahoo, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Anthem. Recently, handbag maker Vera Bradley said that hackers may have stolen customer data—including credit card numbers and cardholder names—from the company’s in-store payment devices but didn’t say how many people were affected (Here’s How Much Businesses Worldwide Will Spend on Cybersecurity by 2020).
The United States is expected to spend $31.5 billion on cybersecurity tools and services, with Western Europe coming in at second place with $19.5 billion in spending. IDC did not break down how much the Asia/Pacific region will spend this year, but noted it is the third largest region in regard to cybersecurity spending. It is also expected to grow the fastest in spending by 2020, followed by the Middle East, Africa, and Western Europe.
Cybercrime is an international threat that needs to be handled carefully. Cybercrimes will always be an ongoing challenge despite the advancements being made by numerous countries. The everyday individuals and businesses need to make sure they are educated on what to do in terms of prevent in becoming the next victim of cybercrimes. This basic awareness can help prevent potential cybercrimes against them. The only benefit that can be taken from cybercrime is by creating jobs for cybersecurity which will boost up the country’s economy by protecting big organizations and individual’s privacy and confidentiality.
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