cybercrime, also called computer crime, the use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy. Cybercrime, especially through the Internet, has grown in importance as the computer has become central to commerce, entertainment, and Because of the early and widespread adoption of computers and the Internet in the United States, most of the earliest victims and villains of cybercrime were Americans. By the 21st century, though, hardly a hamlet remained anywhere in the world that had not been touched by cybercrime of one sort or another.
Computer crime refers to criminal activity involving a computer. The computer may be used in the commission of a crime or it may be the target. Net-crime refers to criminal use of the Internet. Cyber-crimes are essentially a combination of these two elements and can be best 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 the Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (SMS/MMS)". In its most simple form, cyber-crime can be defined as any illegal activity that uses a computer as its primary means of function. The U.S. Department of Justice broadens this definition to include any illegal activity that uses a computer for the storage of evidence. The term 'cyber-crime' can refer to offenses including criminal activity against data, infringement of content and copyright, fraud, unauthorized access, child pornography and cyber-stalking. The United Nations Manual on the Prevention and Control of Computer Related Crime includes fraud, forgery and unauthorized access in its definition of cyber-crime. Cyber-crime in effect covers a wide range of attacks on individuals and organizations alike. These crimes may include anything from an individual's emotional or financial state to a nation's security.
There are two main categories that define the make up of cyber-crimes. Firstly those that target computer networks or devices such as viruses, malware, or denial of service attacks. The second category relate to crimes that are facilitated by computer networks or devices like cyber-stalking, fraud, identity-theft, extortion, phishing (spam) and theft of classified information. Defining cybercrime:
New technologies create new criminal opportunities but few new types of crime. What distinguishes cybercrime from traditional criminal activity? Obviously, one difference is the use of the digital computer, but technology alone is insufficient for any distinction that might exist between different realms of criminal activity. Criminals do not need a computer to commit fraud, traffic in child pornography and intellectual property, steal an identity, or violate someone’s privacy. All those activities existed before the “cyber” prefix became ubiquitous. Cybercrime, especially involving the Internet, represents an extension of existing criminal behaviour alongside some novel illegal activities. Most cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, or governments. Although the attacks do not take place on a physical body, they do take place on the personal or corporate virtual body, which is the set of informational attributes that define people and institutions on the Internet.
Types of cybercrime:
Cybercrime ranges across a spectrum of activities. At one end are crimes that involve fundamental breaches of personal or corporate privacy, such as assaults on the integrity of information held in digital depositories and the use of illegally obtained digital information to blackmail a firm or individual. Also at this end of the spectrum is the growing crime of identity...
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