Over the past decade cybercrime has increased dramatically resulting in a loss of approximately $560 million dollars for consumers and an estimated $1 trillion dollars for the U.S. government. Cybercrime ranges from crimes that effect national security such as cyber espionage to identity theft which affects the average consumer. The government has introduced legislation and created task forces in an effort to combat cybercrime.
The first cybercrime offense was committed in 1978 over the ARPAnet, a Department of Defense Network in the form of spam mail (Carajal, 2008). Since that time cyber crime has evolved into a worldwide problem that costs governments countless amounts of money to combat. There are several definitions used to identify cyber crime. The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Treaty categorizes cyber crime as offenses committed ranging from criminal activity against data to content and copyright infringement (Marion, 2010). The United Nations Manual on the Prevention and Control of Computer Crime defines cyber crime as fraud, forgery, and unauthorized access (Carajal, 2008). The Department of Justice (DOJ) defines cyber crime as any violations of criminal law that involve knowledge of computer technology for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution. The DOJ divided cybercrime into three categories:
1) Crimes in computer hardware, peripherals, and software are the target of a crime; the criminal is obtaining these objects illegally,
2) Computer is the subject or victim of the crime.
3) Computer is used as an instrument to commit ordinary crimes such as thefts of identity, data, and money.
The top five cyber crimes in 2011 were FBI related scams, identity theft, advance fee fraud, non-auction/non-delivery of merchandise, and overpayment fraud (IC3.gov, 2012). FBI related scams are scams which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims....