Computer Crimes and the Fight to Stop Them
Computer crime is on everyone’s mind in this modern day. Tuning in the news or reading a newspaper only gives a new and almost daily account of yet another example of computer crime. This has merely given authentication to our knowledge that we live in a new world of computer driven threats. For discussion by students and professors the following paper list a brief history of computer crime patterns and the methods that need to be established to fight these crimes.
The histories of man are full of fraudulent activities and are defined as the use of trickery, deceit or sharp practice for the purpose of profit or gain an unfair or dishonest advantage. Moses even used fraud to compel Ramses to free the Israelites when he brought the plagues on Egypt. Today with the development of computers, fraudulent schemes have been designed that have bilked unsuspecting persons and business out of billions. Computer fraud covers a vast array of dishonest computer usages. A criminal may changing computer input, delete or change stored data, misusing or change software packages or existing system tools, writing or changing code, or various means of creating fraudulent transactions. (A Brief History of Cybercrime, 2012)
Harassment has grown with internet world. Harassment prior to computers could be a number of illegal activities from childhood bullies at the bus stop to sexual harassment at the work place. Sometimes internet harassment is acute, but it can also develop into chronic problems, such as cyber stalking, cyber bullying, online predatory behavior, hate crimes, and real-world stalking. Internet harassment shows similar patterns of starting in computer chat-rooms or email and move into an actual meeting where a person can be kidnapped or even murdered.
Drug trafficking has been a problem for dozens of years, but the internet has made it easier. Trafficking drugs is much easier over the internet where dealers can sell products through encrypted emails. They may use private chat rooms and forums to swap recipes and find new buyers.
Terrorism before the development of computers relied on the newspapers and television to spread their coverage of their activities. With regulation from government persons could only see what was not deemed a threat to national security. Cyber terrorism has become a major concern amongst federal officials. Cyber terrorists use online postings and emails to advance their terrorist activities through coercion and threats of political and economic violence. They also attempt to infiltrate computer networks to destroy the information that they store.
With the identification of some types of cybe-rcrime the next discussion will be of the processes to fight these crimes. The following lists of processes are part of many company policy directives that have been established to address the securing of company computer systems and the data that they contain.
Regular Maintenance-this includes system patch updates, antivirus and firewall updates before the computer is allowed to access the internet. (Wright, 2010)
Periodic Evaluations-This can be checking the reported results of an antivirus or firewall and the discovery of any patterns or vulnerabilities in the network or computer security.
Awareness-This can be communications from the IT department or from security software manufactures of new threats that appear on the internet.
Policy Standards and Guidelines-as new employees come on board with companies with secure computer systems they are required by the company to adhere to specific computer usage and access policies to protect the company and the public information that is stored on their system.
Training and Education-As new software programs and faster computer networks are developed, a need for training and education is needed to train employees how to keep their work safe using encryption and passwords. Further training on standards for protecting the integrity and risk are needed to promote a safer from hacking and social networking.
Computers have been said, to have made this world a better place to live; and it is very true now that they have entered our daily lives we would be at a great loss if we had to do without them. Realizing this has merely given authentication to our knowledge that we live in a new world of computer driven threats, and they too are here to stay.
A Brief History of Cybercrime. (2012). Retrieved June 19, 2012, from Bright Hub: http://www.brighthub.com/internet/security-privacy/articles/72172.aspx
McQuade, S. (2006). Understanding and managing cybercrime (1st ed.). Upper Saddel River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Wright, C. (2010). Implementating an Information Security Management System Training Process. Darling Harbor, Austrialia: Sans Institute.
Additional Sights for Research
Interpol official site - International Criminal Police Organization - ICPO - Rapid access to official, controlled information.
- The US Department of Justice / Computer and Intellectual Property Crime Unit
The principle entity of the Federal Government, that is charged with the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes.
- FBI Cyber Crime Unit
The latest in Cyber Crime investigative and prosecution activities.