Computer crime, cyber crime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime generally referrers to criminal activity where a computer or network is the 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 or cyber crime 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.
Computer crime can broadly be defined as criminal activity involving an information technology infrastructure, including illegal access (unauthorized access), illegal interception (by technical means of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from or within a computer system), data interference (unauthorized damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data), systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data), misuse of devices, forgery (ID theft), and electronic fraud.
A computer crime is any illegal action where the data on a computer is accessed without permission. This access doesn't have to result in loss of data or even data modifications. Arguably the worst computer crime occurs when there are no indications that data was accessed.
Computer crime is often attributed to rogue hackers and crackers, but increasingly organized crime groups have realized the relative ease of stealing data with relative low-level of risk. Government organizations are also rumored to be involved with hacking in to computer systems, but the legality of such actions is far too grey an area to be... [continues]
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