A Guide To
There has been growth in the Internet that has been almost exponential over the period 1992 - 2006 but this must slow down as the world becomes saturated with Internet access.
There has been dramatic growth in computer crime both on and off the Internet during the same period but there are concerns with the validity of the figures given the twin problems of failure to detect the crime and under-reporting to law enforcement
Of the crimes committed using computers many are traditional crimes using the computer and Internet as a tool that is cheap, can extend the reach of the criminal and allows a great degree of anonymity as well as confused jurisdictional and legal issues.
One only needs to look at the cost of operating a 419 fraud using the Internet where email harvesting software can be freely obtained against the laborious process of writing or printing a letter, enclosing it in an envelope and then sending it by post - let alone obtaining victim's addresses.
Crimes that fall into the 'traditional crime - using new (and existing) technology' include:
· Advanced Fee Fraud;
· 419 Fraud;
· Investment Fraud;
· Credit Card Fraud;
· Chain letters;
Crimes that fall into the 'new technology and new crimes' category are:
· Spoof Web Sites;
· Cyber Auction Fraud;
· Electronic ID Theft.
Of these, spoof web sites, cyber auction frauds and electronic ID theft are variations of existing crimes. There have been spoof shops or ATM sites set up, auction fraud can carry on for postal auctions or where the bidder is no present and ID theft was originally carried out by raiding bins and social engineering.
Hacking can be likened to breaking and entering as in effect hacking is the electronic equivalent.
The only new crime really is Malware as this could not be propagated so easily without the Internet, but originally was distributed by floppy disk.
Even denial of service could be carried out using a picket line to stop anyone or anything crossing the picket line. This has been extensively used in the UK and abroad in industrial disputes.
There are legislative issues as well as a chronic under funding of both implementing and managing information security by individuals as well as organisations and far too few investigators to investigative crime when they are reported
· We are dealing with twenty-first Century crimes;
· Committed on technology founded in the twentieth Century;
· Carried out on people who still believe in nineteenth Century visions of what constitutes property;
· Investigated by a police force whose concepts were founded in the eighteenth Century;
· Where sentencing is carried out by judges who appear to be living in the seventeenth Century handing down risible sentences;
· All of which is based on laws and philosophies that are more relevant to the sixteenth century.
In summary, there are few new crimes using computers or the Internet - most of them could exist in one form or another without either the computer or the internet.
What has changed is the drastic reduction of cost for carrying out scams using computers or the Internet, the dramatic increase of available victims and the ability to make any web site look as if it is the real thing belonging to a major legitimate organisation.
An Introduction to Computer Crime