What is Cybercrime?

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime refers to online criminal activity that makes use of computers. A skilled computer user, sometimes called a "hacker," commits this act of cybercrime by illegally accessing, stealing, and then using the data of a business or an individual for malicious ends. There is always the chance that this person or group will become bad and engage in file destruction and corruption. There are a number of names for the crime that occurs on computers: cybercrime, hi-tech crime, or electronic crime. The computer is the primary means of global communication, and as such, it can be used as a means of stealing information for malicious purposes.

Who are the cybercriminals?

A cybercriminal is a person who uses his technological expertise to commit cybercrimes, which are malicious acts and illegal activities. They may be either individuals or groups. Cybercriminals are abundant on the so-called "Dark Web," where they mostly Cybercriminals can be individuals who are trading in illegal online content or scammers or even drug dealers. So here are some examples of cybercriminals:

  • Black hat hackers
  • Cyberstalkers
  • Cyber terrorists
  • Scammers

 Cybercriminals who conduct targeted attacks are better to be named Threat Actors.

Classifications of cybercrimes

Cybercrimes in general can be classified into four categories:

Individual Cyber Crimes:

This type is targeting individuals. It includes phishing, spoofing, spam, cyberstalking, and more.

Organization Cyber Crimes:

The main target here is organizations. Usually, this type of crime is done by teams of criminals including malware attacks and denial of service attacks.

 Property Cybercrimes:

This type targets property like credit cards or even intellectual property rights.

Society Cybercrimes:

This is the most dangerous form of cybercrime as it includes cyber-terrorism.

How is a computer used to commit a crime?

  • Computer as Target: The crime can destroy, damage, or hold for ransom a computer facility, hardware, programs, the computerized data base, or valuable data printouts.
  • Computer as Subject: Computers can be crime scenes. Stolen assets or information can be retained on the computer indefinitely.
  • Computer as Instrument: Computers can be used actively (e.g., by transferring assets) or passively in complex financial schemes to defraud (e.g., by creating a false record of corporate assets to mislead outsiders as to the financial stability of a corporation).
  • Computer as Symbol: Computers can be used to produce records that terrify or deceive victims into parting with valuables.

Types of cybercrimes

"Computer crime" refers to criminal activity involving an information technology infrastructure, such as illegal 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), and systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system).

Criminals may use the Internet for numerous purposes, including:

  • Trading/sharing information (documents, photographs, movies, sound files, text and graphic files, and software programs).
  • Concealing their identity.
  • Assuming another identity (identity theft).
  • Identifying and gathering information on victims.
  • Communicating with co-conspirators.
  • Distributing information or misinformation.
  • Coordinating meetings, meeting sites, or parcel drops.

Why do people commit cybercrimes?

Typically, a person conducts a cybercrime with the intent of gaining material benefits. Some persons are driven to try stealing through computer crimes by their own greed or by their own despair. Moreover, some persons may commit a cybercrime because they are coerced or coerced by another person to do so. The commission of computer crimes is sometimes seen as a means of demonstration by some. If a person is able to commit a computer crime, they may feel accomplished and proud of themselves. Sometimes referred to as "black hat hackers," these individuals enjoy wreaking havoc on the lives of others.

Sometimes people commit crimes online just because they're bored. They're bored and don't care if they break the law to get their hands on some action.

Examples of cybercrime

Below is a list of the different types of computer crimes today. Clicking any of the links gives further information about each crime.

  • Child pornography - Making, distributing, storing, or viewing child pornography.
  • Click fraud - Fraudulent clicks on Internet advertisements.
  • Copyright violation - Stealing or using another person's copyrighted material without permission.
  • Cracking - Breaking or deciphering codes designed to protect data.
  • Cyber terrorism - Hacking, threats, and blackmailing towards a business or person.
  • Cyberbully or Cyberstalking - Harassing or stalking others online.
  • Cybersquatting - Setting up a domain of another person or company with the sole intention of selling it to them later at a premium price.
  • Creating Malware - Writing, creating, or distributing malware (e.g., viruses and spyware.)
  • Data diddling - Computer fraud involving the intentional falsification of numbers in data entry.
  • Denial of Service attack - Overloading a system with so many requests it cannot serve normal requests.
  • Data theft - Stealing others' personal or confidential information.
  • Doxing - Releasing another person's personal information without their permission.
  • Espionage - Spying on a person or business.
  • Fake - Products or services that are not real or counterfeit. For example, a fake antivirus and fake technical support are examples of something fake.
  • Fraud - Manipulating data, e.g., changing banking records to transfer money to an account or participating in credit card fraud.
  • Green Graffiti - A type of graffiti that uses projectors or lasers to project an image or message onto a building.
  • Harvesting - Collect account or account-related information on other people.
  • Human trafficking - Participating in the illegal act of buying or selling other humans.
  • Identity theft - Pretending to be someone you are not.
  • Illegal sales - Buying or selling illicit goods online, including drugs, guns, and psychotropic substances.
  • Intellectual property theft - Stealing practical or conceptual information developed by another person or company.
  • IPR violation - An intellectual property rights violation is any infringement of another's Copyright, patent, or trademark.
  • Phishing or vishing - Deceiving individuals to gain private or personal information about that person.
  • Ransomware - Infecting a computer or network with ransomware that holds data hostage until a ransom is paid.
  • Salami slicing - Stealing tiny amounts of money from each transaction.
  • Sextortion - Extortion where a victim's private data of a sexual nature is acquired illegally by another person.
  • Slander - Posting libel or slander against another person or company.
  • Software piracy - Copying, distributing, or using software not purchased by the software user.
  • Spamming - Distributed unsolicited e-mails to dozens or hundreds of different addresses.
  • Spoofing - Deceiving a system into thinking you are someone you're not.
  • Swatting - The act of calling in a false police report to someone else's home.
  • Theft - Stealing or taking anything (e.g., hardware, software, or information) that doesn't belong to you.
  • Typo squatting - Setting up a domain that is a misspelling of another domain.
  • Unauthorized access - Gaining access to systems you have no permission to access.
  • Vandalism - Damaging any hardware, software, website, or other objects.
  • Wiretapping - Connecting a device to a phone line to listen to conversations.

Impacts of cybercrime:

In the information age, computers and information systems are everywhere. It includes power supply, fresh water supply, public transportation, communications networks, etc., for all business operations. Criminal damages to these systems are more damaging than traditional crimes.

  • Loss of data and information
  • Damage of IT resources
  • Time wasting in reading, checking, verifying and re-setting the system
  • Wasting bandwidth
  • Unavailability of service
  • Unauthorized use or misuse of computer systems
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Loss of public confidence
  • Disruption of Production
  • Financial Loss
  • Reputation of Companies

How to prevent cybercrime?

Use Strong Passwords

Use a different user name and password for each account, and don't write them down. Make the passwords harder to guess by putting together letters, numbers, and special characters (at least 10 in total), and change them often.

Secure Your Computer

Turn on your firewall. Firewalls are the first line of defense against hackers and viruses. They stop connections to unknown or fake sites and keep some viruses and hackers out. Use software to stop viruses and malware Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date so that viruses can't get in.

Block Spyware Attacks

Put in anti-spyware software and keep it up-to-date to keep your computer free from spyware.

Be Social-Media Savvy

Set the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MSN, and so on).

Check Your Security Settings

Use carefully when posting information online. Once anything is uploaded to the Internet, it is there forever!

Secure Your Mobile Devices

Be conscious of the fact that your mobile device is susceptible to viruses and hackers. Download programs from reputable websites. Install the most recent system software updates. Maintain your operating system and programs (Windows, Mac, Linux) with the most recent system updates. Enable automatic upgrades to prevent attacks on outdated software.

Protect Your Data

Encrypt your most critical information, such as tax returns and financial documents. Make routine backups of all your critical data and store it in a separate location.

Secure Your Wireless Network

Wi-Fi (wireless) networks that are not properly secured are accessible to theft. Examine and change the default settings. Public Wi-Fi, popularly known as "Hot Spots," is also susceptible. Avoid engaging in financial or business transactions on these networks.

Protect Your e-Identity

Be careful of disclosing personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and financial details over the Internet. Ensure websites are secure (e.g., when making online purchases) and that privacy settings are enabled (e.g., while accessing/using social networking sites).

Avoid Being Scammed

Always consider the source of a link or file before clicking on it. Feel no pressure from any emails. Verify the origin of the message. If in doubt, confirm the source. Never respond to emails asking you to validate your information or user ID or password.

Call the Right Person for Help

Don't worry! If you are a victim, see unlawful content on the Internet (such as child exploitation), or suspect a computer crime, identity theft, or commercial scam, contact your local police. If you require assistance with computer maintenance or software installation, contact your service provider or a licensed computer technician.

Finally, conduct a security audit annually. This will guarantee that your network security is always up-to-date.

Parental Control

Your children's online activity should be monitored. They should only have access to a computer in a central area of your home, and you should monitor all browser and email activities frequently. Utilizing parental control software that restricts the types of websites a user can visit is prudent. Always monitor the sites that youngsters visit to prevent any form of depravity, distraction, or harassment. Inform the children of the dangers of cybercrime.