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Threat of computer crimes & computer attacks

Updated on March 8, 2018
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Threat of computer crimes

Computer crime is the use of computerized systems to perform illegal acts. It can be divided into main areas: theft, and sabotage and vandalism. Computer pranks are included as illegal activities because they often have at least the potential for significant harm. Also, they may be difficult to differentiate from sabotage and other forms of destructive behavior.


The computer criminals have no single profile. They range from application programmers and clerical personnel to managers. Computer crime can be divided into employees, outsiders, and hackers.


Employees use their knowledge of how to obtain easy access to the resources they need for their criminal activity.


Outsiders often have a somewhat more difficult task because they must learn how to penetrate a system without having easy access to information about how it works.


Hackers are less concerned about personal gains or damage they might cause. Instead they commit computer crime for the fun or intellectual challenge of breaking onto computer.

Type of Computer crime related theft can be divided in to six categories:

Theft of software and computer equipment

Become a major problem for hardware and software manufacturers and for companies that use computer equipment. Part of the temptation is that software, chips and computer equipment are both small and valuable.

Unauthorized use of access codes and financial passwords

Criminals steal telephone credit card number and PBX access codes in many ways. “Shoulder surfers” use binoculars, video cameras, or just good eyesight and number memory to spy on people entering telephone credit card numbers while making long distance calling airports. Company insider can also steal these codes.

Theft by entering fraudulent transaction data

Entering fraudulent transaction data is the simplest and most common method of theft in computer related crime. Forging documents, bypassing procedures, or impersonating someone perpetrates such frauds. The criminals who do this often know little about computers. Computer crimes less relies on computer knowledge and much more on knowledge of how business systems operates.

Theft by stealing or modifying data

Stealing and modifying another form of computer crime. Theft of physical media from work place such as paper document, tape or diskette. There are many stories of salespeople taking customer list when leaving job. The pervasive use of computer and diskettes make this easy to do. Product and process specifications also stolen by this way. Unlike other form of theft, it is often possible to steal computer data without changing or moving it. New communication technologies such as cellular phones, electronic e-mail, and voice mail have created new possibilities for thefts.

Internet hoaxes for illegal gains

Because the content of Internet sites is not controlled for accuracy, a large number of hoaxes and spoofs have occurred. Most have been inconsequential, but several in which individuals posted misleading messages to finance bulletin boards and chat rooms rocked the stock price of Pair Gain, Emulex and other stock.

Theft by modifying software

Some programmer committed computer crime by modifying software so it performs differently. One of these techniques used to accumulate fraction of money to a personal account. So nobody can identify or notice and no one would be harmed. Software modification some time involves collusion with business executives.

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