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What is Cyber Crime? A Complete Guide: Includes The Latest Threats

What is Cyber Crime? A Complete Guide: Includes The Latest Threats

It is a crime in which the computer is used either as an instrument or target or may be used as both. Cybercrime includes any unlawful act dealing with computers and computer networks. Many crimes that are traditional in nature may also be conducted through the Internet. To list few of them are Internet fraud, hate crimes, financial crime, identity theft, email spamming, IP spoofing, DDos attack, Phishing website etc. i.e. any unlawful activity that is conducted using a computer and the Internet.

Criminal exploitation of the Internet is known as Netcrime. Cybercrime may also be defined as offenses which are committed against an individual or a group of individuals with determined motive to cause harm to the prestige of the individual or a group of individuals, or cause physical detriment or mental stress directly or indirectly using the modern communication network like Internet. Cybercrime may also threaten national security and financial system.

Bulk of Cyber criminals were found to be consisting of a specific age group 15 to 26
Cyber criminals may comprise of but are not restricted to teenagers, hackers, discontented employees.
The total damage globally caused due to cybercrime per annum estimates over 4 hundred billion dollars.

Abacus is thought to be one of the first forms of computer which has been around since 3500 B.C
The first recorded cybercrime dates back to around 1820(sabotage of the textile loom)
The first spam email was sent out over the ARPANT in 1976
1982 EIK Cloner known to be the first virus was installed in over an Apple computer.

Cybercrime may be classified in two ways as a tool/instrument or target

Computer as an Instrument/tool:
Denial of service attack, Hacking, Computer virus, Malware software etc.

Computer as a target:
It includes email spamming, identity mugging/theft/ stealing, credit card fraud, cloning of debit/ credit cards phishing etc.

Cybercrime may be against:

1) Individual
2) Property
3) Government

  • Cybercrime against an Individual: included harassment, dissemination of obscene material, child pornography, indecent exposure, Cyber stalking
  • Cybercrime against Property: unauthorized trespassing of a computer over cyberspace, vandalism of computer, and possession of unsanctioned information
  • Cybercrime against Government: this includes crimes that are against the government. The websites that belong to the government or the military owned website is targeted. This is also known as cyber terrorism. The hackers do utilize the growth in reach of Internet, thus every one over the world is in contact with the internet. So it is the Government is responsible for its citizen’s security be it physical or over the virtual world (Internet).

Forms of cyber crime

a) Conventional crime form modification by using computers
b) Cybercrimes that are often used

Conventional crime Modification

Financial crimes: includes bank frauds, credit card frauds, net banking and phone banking frauds. Hoax rewards and claims made to account holders by making use of bogus emails, or fraudulent calls, or an imposter who acts as if to be one of the bank staff.

Sale of illegal articles: includes the sale of banned substance like narcotics or sedatives, arms and weapons, banned medications, wildlife entities. By making use of email, bulletin boards, websites as medium.

Online gambling:there are millions of website that are a virtual gambling abode online. Most of the website provides free accounts and trial, then later when the user gets addicted to gambling if he/she wants to continue to use the services then certain amount has to be paid either by using credit card or online money transfer etc.

Frequently used Cybercrimes

E-Mail bombing
Refers to sending volumes of email to a specify email address in order to fill the mail box or bottleneck the Email server. The abuser sends recurrent and identical message.

Data diddling:
The process of alteration of raw data moments before it is administered by a computer and changes it back once the alteration is done. Example of data diddling is fabricating, counterfeiting documents used in data entry.

Salami attacks:
It is a form financial crime when it is considered for a single account it is seem to be trivial. It deducts a very small amount of money from a single customer’s account of a particular bank, where the bank employee has inserted a tampered program in the bank servers. For a single account it goes unnoticed but when considering all the affected account it is of a great amount.

DDos attack:
This encompasses saturating computer resources with additional requests and surpassing the limit than it can handle. This causes resources to crash thus denying the authorized users access the services which are offered for use. In this attack the source responsible for flooding of incoming traffic is not a single source but may originate from n number of sources, even ranging from couple of millions or more. This then makes it highly difficult to stop the attack by blocking a single source plus is not easy to identify genuine user traffic or the attack traffic.

IP Spoofing:
Is a form of online concealment in which the an intruder to gain unauthorized access to computer sends message to the computer with an IP address that trick the computer accept that it is coming from a genuine host. The hackers usually find an IP address that is permitted and make modification in the data packets from own computer to comprise this IP.

Virus/worm:
Viruses are computer programs that fasten themselves to a file or program and allow them to spread from one file to other and also from one computer to other. Computer viruses also vary in its severity. They can range from mild range attack to severe attack for files, software and hardware. Most viruses are attached to the executable file. It also means that the viruses can exist in docile form and will have to be open or run to spread the malicious software package. A worm may resemble a virus but it does not need a host to fasten itself to. It can duplicate itself and create many copies. A worm consumes a lot of system resource there causing non responsiveness of individual computers and web server.

Logic bombs:
These programs are dependent or event oriented i.e. they are like viruses which are inactive for the year and are active only for specified event or date.

Trojan Horse:
Appears to be a useful software but once it is run or installed or the computer it does the actual damage. The intensity of damage done by Trojan may vary annoying to damaging by destroying and deleting files on the system. It is also known to create a back door thus giving unauthorized access to the system; personal information and confidential information may get liaised. Unlike worms Trojans are not self-replicating.

Computer Vandalism:
An act of terminating and damaging data or wipe out the hard disk present on the system, transmitting viruses in order to affect the services.

Cyberstalking:
Means following a user’s activity over the internet. Thereby harassing or threatening the user. The stalker commits this crime by use of email, chatrooms, using the social media websites, photo sharing website, blogs, Instant messaging etc. The stalker gathers the information wealth of the user by monitoring the social websites visited by the user. Thus the cyber stalker starts to keeping checks on a person’s daily life.

Measures to be taken

» Make use of a good antivirus software.
» Uninstall software which is not useful
» Keep software updated/ or latest version of the software
» Make sure to take backup for important data. Use a remote backup solution R1 soft backup for continuous data protection
» Get the system and network behind firewalls (software and hardware)
» Make sure not give your contact or other eminent information to strangers
» Make use of your screen name as a substitute of real name
» Be careful while uploading your pictures; make sure not to send your images to strangers
» Use smart anti-spam filter, spam expert to prevent spam
» For online transaction make use of a secured website that has secured SSL certificate
» Don’t open or reply to email from an unknown source
» Have strong alpha-numeric and special characters to keep a unique password for each separate login
» Change passwords on a regular basis. While using a web browser avoid using the save password option
» Avoid accessing your net banking from an internet cyber-cafe or any other public network
» Make use of an OTP (one time password) for authorizing a financial transaction
» Use the virtual keyboard to login to net banking
» Beware to phishing websites, especially which make claims to provide a great offer
» If using wireless network make sure that you make is secure

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