What does Cybercrime mean?
Cybercrime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crime (hacking, phishing, spamming) or is used as a tool to commit an offense (child pornography, hate crimes). Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets, or use the internet for exploitive or malicious purposes. Criminals can also use computers for communication and document or data storage. Criminals who perform these illegal activities are often referred to as hackers.
Cybercrime may also be referred to as computer crime.Cybercrime , or computer related crime , is crime that involves a
computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Debarati Halder and K. Jaishankar define cybercrimes 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, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (networks including but not limited to Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (Bluetooth/SMS/MMS)". Cybercrime may threaten a person or a nation's security and financial health.  Issues surrounding these types of crimes have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding hacking,
copyright infringement , unwarranted mass-surveillance , child pornography , and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise. Debarati Halder and K. Jaishankar further define cybercrime from the perspective of gender and defined 'cybercrime against women' as "Crimes targeted against women with a motive to intentionally harm the victim psychologically and physically, using modern telecommunication networks such as internet and mobile phones". Internationally, both governmental and non-state actors engage in cybercrimes, including espionage ,
financial theft , and other cross-border crimes. Activity crossing international borders and involving the interests of at least one nation state is sometimes referred to as cyberwarfare.
A report (sponsored by McAfee ) estimates that the annual damage to the global economy is at $445 billion; however, a Microsoft report shows that such survey-based estimates are "hopelessly flawed" and exaggerate the true losses by orders of magnitude.
[ third-party source needed] Approximately $1.5 billion was lost in 2012 to online credit and debit card fraud in the US. In 2016, a study by Juniper Research estimated that the costs of cybercrime could be as high as 2.1 trillion by 2019.
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Computer crime encompasses a broad range of activities.
Fraud and financial crimes
Main article: Internet fraud
Computer fraud is any dishonest misrepresentation of fact intended to let another to do or refrain from doing something which causes loss. In this context, the fraud will result in obtaining a benefit by:
Altering in an unauthorized way. This requires little technical expertise and is common form of theft by employees altering the data before entry or entering false data, or by entering unauthorized instructions or using unauthorized processes;
Altering, destroying, suppressing, or stealing output, usually to conceal unauthorized transactions. This is difficult to detect;
Altering or deleting stored data;
Other forms of fraud may be facilitated using computer systems, including
bank fraud, carding, identity theft ,
extortion, and theft of classified information .
A variety of internet scams , many based on phishing and social engineering , target consumers and businesses.
Cyberterrorism is defined by U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as a premeditated attack against a computer system, computer data, programs and other information with the sole aim of violence against clandestine agents and subnational groups. The main aim behind cyberterrorism is to cause harm and destruction.
Government officials and information technology security specialists have documented a significant increase in Internet problems and server scans since early 2001. But there is a growing concern among federal officials[ who? ] that such intrusions are part of an organized effort by cyberterrorists, foreign intelligence services, or other groups to map potential security holes in critical systems. A cyberterrorist is someone who intimidates or coerces a government or organization to advance his or her political or social objectives by launching a computer-based attack against computers, networks, or the information stored on them.
Cyberterrorism in general can be defined as an act of terrorism committed through the use of cyberspace or computer resources (Parker 1983). As such, a simple propaganda piece in the Internet that there will be bomb attacks during the holidays can be considered cyberterrorism. There are also hacking activities directed towards individuals, families, organized by groups within networks, tending to cause fear among people, demonstrate power, collecting information relevant for ruining peoples' lives, robberies, blackmailing etc.
Cyberextortion 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 money in return for promising to stop the attacks and to offer "protection". According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberextortionists are increasingly attacking corporate websites and networks, crippling their ability to operate and demanding payments to restore their service. More than 20 cases are reported each month to the FBI and many go unreported in order to keep the victim's name out of the public domain. Perpetrators typically use a distributed denial-of-service attack.
An example of cyberextortion was the attack on Sony Pictures of 2014 .
Cyberwarfare is any virtual conflict initiated as a politically motivated attack on an enemy's computer and information systems. Waged via the Internet, these attacks disable financial and organizational systems by stealing or altering classified data to undermine networks, websites and services.
Cyberwarfare is also known as cyber warfare or cyber war.
Sailors analyze, detect and defensively respond to unauthorized activity within U.S. Navy information systems and computer networks.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) notes that the cyberspace has emerged as a national-level concern through several recent events of geo-strategic significance. Among those are included, the attack on Estonia's infrastructure in 2007, allegedly by Russian hackers. "In August 2008, Russia again allegedly conducted cyberattacks, this time in a coordinated and synchronized kinetic and non-kinetic campaign against the country of
Georgia. Fearing that such attacks may become the norm in future warfare among nation-states, the concept of cyberspace operations impacts and will be adapted by warfighting military commanders in the future.
Computer as a target
These crimes are committed by a selected group of criminals. Unlike crimes using the computer as a tool, these crimes require the technical knowledge of the perpetrators. As such, as technology evolves, so too does the nature of the crime. These crimes are relatively new, having been in existence for only as long as computers have—which explains how unprepared society and the world in general is towards combating these crimes. There are numerous crimes of this nature committed daily on the internet:
Crimes that primarily target computer networks or devices include:
Malware (malicious code)
Computer as a tool
Main articles: Internet fraud , Spamming ,
Phishing, and Carding (fraud)
When the individual is the main target of cybercrime, the computer can be considered as the tool rather than the target. These crimes generally involve less technical expertise. Human weaknesses are generally exploited. The damage dealt is largely psychological and intangible, making legal action against the variants more difficult. These are the crimes which have existed for centuries in the offline world. Scams, theft, and the likes have existed even before the development in high-tech equipment. The same criminal has simply been given a tool which increases his potential pool of victims and makes him all the harder to trace and apprehend.
Crimes that use computer networks or devices to advance other ends include:
Fraud and identity theft (although this increasingly uses malware, hacking and/or phishing, making it an example of both "computer as target" and "computer as tool" crime)
Information warfare,Phishing scams,Spam
Propagation of illegal obscene or offensive content, including harassment and threats
The unsolicited sending of bulk email for commercial purposes (spam) is unlawful in some jurisdictions.
Phishing is mostly propagated via email. Phishing emails may contain links to other websites that are affected by malware.  Or, they may contain links to fake online banking or other websites used to steal private account information.
Obscene or offensive content
The content of websites and other electronic communications may be distasteful, obscene or offensive for a variety of reasons. In some instances these communications may be legal.
The extent to which these communications are unlawful varies greatly between countries, and even within nations. It is a sensitive area in which the courts can become involved in arbitrating between groups with strong beliefs.
One area of Internet pornography that has been the target of the strongest efforts at curtailment is child pornography .
Various aspects needed to be considered when understanding
Cyberbullying, is a practice where an individual or group uses the Internet to ridicule, harass or harm another person. The social and emotional harm inflicted by cyberbullies grows out of - or leads to - physical bullying in the offline world.
Cyberbullying is a prosecutable offense in some jurisdictions, but a globally uniform legal approach has not yet been established. Online predator,
Cyberstalking is a criminal practice where an individual uses the Internet to systematically harass or threaten someone. This crime can be perpetrated through email, social media, chat rooms, instant messaging clients and any other online medium. Cyberstalking can also occur in conjunction with the more traditional form of stalking, where the offender harasses the victim offline. There is no unified legal approach to cyberstalking, but many governments have moved toward making these practices punishable by law.
Cyberstalking is sometimes referred to as Internet stalking, e-stalking or online stalking. and Internet troll
Whereas content may be offensive in a non-specific way, harassment directs obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing for example on gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation. This often occurs in chat rooms, through newsgroups, and by sending hate e-mail to interested parties. Harassment on the internet also includes revenge porn.
There are instances where committing a crime using a computer can lead to an enhanced sentence. For example, in the case of United States v. Neil Scott Kramer , Kramer was served an enhanced sentence according to the
U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual §2G1.3(b)(3)  for his use of a cell phone to "persuade, induce, entice, coerce, or facilitate the travel of, the minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct." Kramer argued that this claim was insufficient because his charge included persuading through a computer device and his cellular phone technically is not a computer. Although Kramer tried to argue this point, U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual states that the term computer "means an electronic, magnetic, optical,
electrochemically , or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device."
Connecticut was the U.S. state to pass a statute making it a criminal offense to harass someone by computer.
Michigan , Arizona , and Virginia and
South Carolina have also passed laws banning harassment by electronic means.
Harassment as defined in the U.S. computer statutes is typically distinct from cyberbullying, in that the former usually relates to a person's "use a computer or computer network to communicate obscene, vulgar, profane, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language, or make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature, or threaten any illegal or immoral act," while the latter need not involve anything of a sexual nature.
Although freedom of speech is protected by law in most democratic societies (in the US this is done by the
First Amendment), it does not include all types of speech. In fact spoken or written "true threat" speech/text is criminalized because of "intent to harm or intimidate", that also applies for online or any type of network related threats in written text or speech.  The US Supreme Court definition of "true threat" is "statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group".
Darknet markets are used to buy and sell recreational drugs online. Some
drug traffickers use encrypted messaging tools to communicate with drug mules. The dark web site Silk Road was a major online marketplace for drugs before it was shut down by law enforcement (then reopened under new management, and then shut down by law enforcement again). After Silk Road 2.0 went down, Silk Road 3 Reloaded emerged. However, it was just an older marketplace named
Diabolus Market, that used the name for more exposure from the brand's previous success.
The ravaging and heart whisking effect of cyber crime is a thing of concern which should not be overlooked but trampled upon by positive response of government through legislation and international cooperation and treaties.