Cybercrime or electronic crime generally refers to criminal activity where a computer or network is the source, tool, target, or place of a crime. These categories are not exclusive and many activities can be characterized as falling in one or more category. Additionally, although the terms computer crime and cybercrime are more properly restricted to describing criminal activity in which the computer or network is a necessary part of the crime, these terms are also sometimes used to include traditional crimes, such as fraud, theft, blackmail, forgery, and embezzlement, in which computers or networks are used to facilitate the illicit activity. So basically it is a criminal activity committed on the internet. This is a broad term that describes everything from electronic cracking to denial of service attacks that cause electronic commerce sites to lose money. (Babu, Parishat,2004) • Computer as a tool
When the individual is the main target of Cybercrime, the computer can be considered as the tool rather than the target. These crimes generally involve less technical expertise as the damage done manifests itself in the real world. Human weaknesses are generally exploited. The damage dealt is largely psychological and intangible, making legal action against the variants more difficult. These are the crimes which have existed for centuries in the offline. Scams, theft, and the likes have existed even before the development in high-tech equipment. The same criminal has simply been given a tool which increases his potential pool of victims and makes him all the harder to trace and apprehend. (Pati, n.d.)
• Computer as a target
These crimes are committed by a selected group of criminals. Unlike crimes using he computer as a tool, these crimes requires the technical knowledge of the perpetrators. These crimes are relatively new, having been in existence for only as long as computers have - which explains how unprepared society and the world in general is towards combating these crimes. There are numerous crimes of this nature committed daily on the internet. But it is worth knowing that Africans and indeed Nigerians are yet to develop their technical knowledge to accommodate and perpetrate this kind of crime. (Pati, n.d.)
Cybercrimes can be basically divided into 3 major categories :
1. Cybercrimes against persons.
Cybercrimes committed against persons include various crimes like transmission of child-pornography, harassment of any one with the use of a computer such as e-mail. The trafficking, distribution, posting, and dissemination of obscene material including pornography and indecent exposure, constitutes one of the most important Cybercrimes known today. The potential harm of such a crime to humanity can hardly be amplified.(Broadhurst,2006)
2. Cybercrimes against property.
is that of Cybercrimes against all forms of property. These crimes include computer vandalism (destruction of others' property), transmission of harmful programs. As well as steeling vital information like trade secrets of companies, identity theft, credit card number stealing and etc.
3. Cybercrimes against government.
Cyber crimes against Governments. Cyber terrorism is one distinct kind of crime in this category. The growth of internet has shown that the medium of Cyberspace is being used by individuals and groups to threaten the international governments as also to terrorize the citizens of a country. This crime manifests itself into terrorism when an individual "cracks" into a government or military maintained website. MODE AND MANNER OF COMMITING CYBER CRIME:
1.Unauthorized access to computer systems or networks / Hacking- This kind of offence is normally referred as hacking in the generic sense. However the framers of the information technology act 2000 have no where used this term so to avoid any confusion we would not interchangeably use the word hacking for ‘unauthorized access’ as the latter has...