PAPER WRITTEN IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT
OF THE ESSAY CONTEST ON
ONUOHA, MAUREEN CHIZOBA
C/O MR. DIKE G. OKORONKWO,
PLOT 607 MONSTERRADO STREET, (NEAR RUSSEL CENTRE)
WUSE ZONE 4, ABUJA, NIGERIA
27TH MAY, 2005
Over the past twenty years, unscrupulous computer users have continued to use the computer to commit crimes; this has greatly fascinated people and evoked a mixed feeling of admiration and fear. This phenomenon has seen sophisticated and unprecedented increase recently and has called for quick response in providing laws that would protect the cyber space and its users. The level of sophistication has gone high to the point of using the system to commit murder and other havoc. The first recorded cyber murder committed in the United States seven years ago according to the Indian Express, January, 2002 “has to do with an underworld don in hospital to undergo a minor surgery. His rival goon hired a computer expert who altered his prescriptions through hacking the hospital’s computer system. He was administered the altered prescription by an innocent nurse, this resulted in the death of the patient”1
This work seeks to define the concept of cyber-crime, identify reasons for cyber-crime, how it can be eradicated, look at those involved and the reasons for their involvement, we would look at how best to detect a criminal mail and in conclusion, proffer recommendations that would help in checking the increasing rate of cyber-crimes and criminals.
WHAT IS CYBER – CRIME?
Cyber-crime by definition is any harmful act committed from or against a computer or network, it differs according to McConnell International, “from most terrestrial crimes in four ways: they are easy to learn how to commit, they require few resources relative to the potential damages caused, they can be committed in a jurisdiction without being physically present in it and fourthly, they are often not clearly illegal.”2
Another definition given by the Director of Computer Crime Research Centre (CCRC) during an interview on the 27th April, 2004, is that “cyber-crime (‘computer crime’) is any illegal behavior directed by means of electronic operations that targets the security of computer systems and the data processed by them.”3 In essence, cyber-crime is crime committed in a virtual space and a virtual space is fashioned in a way that information about persons, objects, facts, events, phenomena or processes are represented in mathematical, symbol or any other way and transferred through local and global networks
From the above, we can deduce that cyber crime has to do with wrecking of havoc on computer data or networks through interception, interference or destruction of such data or systems. It involves committing crime against computer systems or the use of the computer in committing crimes.
CAUSES OF CYBER – CRIME
There are many reasons why cyber-criminals commit cyber-crime, chief among them are these three listed below: Cyber crimes can be committed for the sake of recognition. This is basically committed by youngsters who want to be noticed and feel among the group of the big and tough guys in the society. They do not mean to hurt anyone in particular; they fall into the category of the Idealists; who just want to be in spotlight. Another cause of cyber-crime is to make quick money. This group is greed motivated and is career criminals, who tamper with data on the net or system especially, e-commerce, e-banking data information with the sole aim of committing fraud and swindling money off unsuspecting customers. Thirdly, cyber-crime can be committed to fight a cause one thinks he believes in; to cause threat and most often damages that affect the recipients adversely. This is the most dangerous of all the causes of cyber-crime. Those involve believe that they are fighting a just cause and so do not mind who...
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