Cybercrime umbrellas a wide range of activities but these can generally be divided into two types:
- Crimes that target computer networks or devices. These types of crimes involve different threats (like viruses and bugs) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
- Crimes that use computer networks to commit other criminal activities. These types of crimes include cyber stalking, financial fraud or identity theft.
Types of Cybercrime
Hacking refers to the actions that seek to compromise digital devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and other network connected devices. It is the unauthorised access of a computer system. Hacking isn’t always committed with malicious intent, but it is usually associated with such. It is possible to hack a software program to allow features that the original designer did not intend, which would be a violation of the Terms of Service agreement. However, it is not always a prosecutable offense. Nonetheless, it is considered hacking. Common hacking techniques include: botnets, browser hijacks, worms, viruses, trojans, denial of service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware.
2. Identity Theft
This type of cybercrime is associated with the act of illegally gaining access to a user’s personal information to steal confidential information, money, or commit health/security fraud with the stolen identity. Using your name and personal information to impersonate you whilst on the phone is also considered identity theft and this is usually the next step after a hacker gains the confidential information through hacking.
This type of crime involves users with ill-intent sending emails with malicious attachments or URLs in hopes of the reader clicking on the attachments or visiting the URLs. Users are led to believe these URLs are from a website or service that they recognise and are tricked into filling in their personal information, where it is then stolen. Phishing is also an example of social engineering techniques at hand. Users are lured by communications that are seemingly from trusted parties such as banks, companies, subscribed services, social websites, etc.
4. Online Scams
Scammers use the latest technology to set up fake retailer websites that look like genuine online retail stores. They may use sophisticated designs and layouts, stolen logos, and even domain names that look identical to the genuine websites. Users are led to believe that this website is real, and once they make a purchase or perform an action, their information and data is stolen.
Classification of Cybercrime
1. Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism is the use of the computer and internet to perform violent acts that result in loss of life. This may include different type of activities either by software or hardware for threatening the life of people. In general, Cyber terrorism can be defined as an act of terrorism performed through the use of computer devices and networks.
2. Cyber Extortion
Cyber extortion occurs when a website, e-mail server or computer system is subjected to or threatened with repeated denial of service or other attacks by malicious hackers. These hackers demand huge money in return for assurance to stop the attacks and to offer protection.
3. Cyber Warfare
Cyber warfare is the use or targeting in a battle space or warfare context of computers, online control systems and networks. It involves both offensive and defensive operations concerning to the threat of cyber-attacks, espionage and sabotage.
4. Internet Fraud
Internet fraud is a type of fraud which makes use of the Internet and could include the hiding of information or providing incorrect information for the purpose of deceiving people for money or other things. Internet fraud is considered an umbrella term that covers a range of illegal and illicit actions that are committed on the internet.
5. Cyber Stalking
This is a kind of online harassment where the victim is subjected to a lot of online messages and emails. In this case, these stalkers know their victims and instead of offline stalking, they use the Internet to stalk. However, if they notice that cyber stalking is not having the desired effect, they begin offline stalking along with cyber stalking to make the victims’ lives more miserable.
That wraps up this article on cybercrime. Cybercrime is a rapidly ongoing and spreading issue that needs addressing in order to effectively counter it. To get a sense of the impact of cybercrime is to compare it to the internet economy, the fastest growing segment of the global economy, rather than total global GDP. Recent estimates from McAfee put the internet economy at $4.2 trillion in 2016. Using this figure, we can see cybercrime as a 14% tax on growth. There would be real benefit prosperity in all countries if the international community made a collaborative effort to counter cybercrime.
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