Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing areas of crime. Cyber Crimes are defined as: "Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (SMS/MMS)". More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity that modern technologies offer in order to commit a diverse range of criminal activities. The typical crimes in criminal history are now being brought to a whole different level of innovation and ingenuity These include attacks against computer data and systems, identity theft, the distribution of child sexual abuse images, internet auction fraud, the penetration of online financial services, as well as the deployment of viruses, Botnets, and various email scams such as phishing. hijacking domain names, virus imitation, and cyber vandalism. A couple of these crimes are activities that have been exposed and introduced into the world. The global nature of the Internet has allowed criminals to commit almost any illegal activity anywhere in the world, making it essential for all countries to adapt their domestic offline controls to cover crimes carried out in cyberspace. The use of the Internet by terrorists, particularly for recruitment and the incitement of radicalization, poses a serious threat to national and international security.
In addition, the threat of terrorism forces authorities to address security vulnerabilities related to information technology infrastructure such as power plants, electrical grids, information systems and the computer systems of government and major companies.
The changing nature of cybercrime
In the past, cybercrime has been committed by individuals or small groups of individuals. However, we are now seeing an emerging trend with traditional organized crime syndicates and criminally minded technology professionals working together and pooling their resources and expertise. This approach has been very effective for the criminals involved. In 2007 and 2008 the cost of cybercrime worldwide was estimated at approximately USD 8 billion. As for corporate cyber espionage, cyber criminals have stolen intellectual property from businesses worldwide worth up to USD 1 trillion.
Email scams are designed to trick people into thinking that they come from legitimate senders (e.g. banks, Inland Revenue, and online services like PayPal).
Most email scams will ask you to either reply with private details, or to click on a link and enter your details. These pages look very close to the real thing and instead of keeping your details secure they are viewed by the people running the scam. It is also known as "PHISHING". Phishing email messages, websites, and phone calls are designed to steal money. Cybercriminals can do this by installing malicious software on your computer or stealing personal information off of your computer.
Cybercriminals also use social engineering to convince you to install malicious software or hand over your personal information under false pretenses. They might email you, call you on the phone, or convince you to download something off of a website. What does a phishing email message look like?
Here is an example of what a phishing scam in an email message might look like.
How to tell if an email is a scam
Knowing what to look for makes it easier to spot a scam email.
* Bad spelling and grammar
* More than one address in the To: field
* Being asked for personal or private details
* Emails addressed to somebody else (and not you)...
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