Computer Crime

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White-collar crime, specifically computer crime, is becoming more popular as computers become more readily available. Crimes using computers and crimes against computers are usually committed without fear of being caught, due to the detachment of the offender from the victim. Computer crime is defined as, “Criminal activity directly related to the use of computers, specifically illegal trespass into the computer system or database of another, manipulation or theft of stored or on-line data, or sabotage of equipment and data.”. People who commit these crimes are of a wide variety. Cyber-criminals can be put in seven categories. Pranksters perpetrate tricks on others. They generally do not intend any particular or long-lasting harm. Hackers explore computer systems for education, out of curiosity, to achieve idealized social justice, or to compete with their peers. They may be attempting to gain the use of a more powerful computer, gain respect from fellow hackers, build a reputation, or gain acceptance as an expert without formal education. Malicious hackers intend on causing loss to satisfy some antisocial motives or just for fun. Many computer virus creators and distributors fall into this category. Personal problem solvers often cause serious loss in their pursuit of a solution to their own personal problems. They may turn to crime after conventional problem-solving methods fail, or they may see crime as a quick and easy way to solve their problems. “They generally believe that the victim of the crime is rich enough to afford the loss and would not miss what was taken or used. Disgruntled employees, angry about being fired or not receiving a raise they felt they deserved, have also been known to “even the score” with their company by disrupting their computer networks or program functionality fall into this category”(7). • Career criminals: These individuals earn part or all of their income from crime, although they do not necessarily engage in crime as a full-time occupation. Some have a job, earn a little and steal a little, then move on to another job to repeat the process. In some cases they conspire with others or work within organized gangs such as the Mafia. The greatest organized crime threat comes from groups in Russia, Italy, and Asia. “The FBI reported in 1995 that there were more than 30 Russian gangs operating in the United States. According to the FBI, many of these unsavory alliances use advanced information technology and encrypted communications to elude capture.”(7). • Extreme advocates: Better known as “computer terrorists,” these individuals and groups have strong social, political, or religious views and are intent on changing conditions by engaging in crime. Their crimes usually involve violence against people or property and are calculated to achieve a high level of publicity to bring attention to the terrorists' causes. “To date, terrorists have rarely engaged in cyber crime, although the Red Brigades in Europe came close by destroying more than 60 computer centers during the 1980s. Terrorist groups, especially the highly organized ones sponsored by rogue countries such as Libya and Iran, are likely to turn their attention to our fragile information, utility, and transportation infrastructures when their current methods lose their impact.”(7). Such groups could plan an attack on a worldwide basis, using cryptography to communicate, and then carry out their acts through the Internet. • Malcontents, addicts, and irrational and incompetent people: “These individuals extend from the mentally ill to those addicted to drugs, alcohol, competition, or attention from others, to the criminally negligent. In general, they are the most difficult to describe and the most difficult to protect against. We have no way of determining who is sufficiently irrational to trigger an attack against an organization or individual because of a perceived affront. We also have no way of predicting negligence. Criminal...
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