The development of the Internet has transformed itself into a revolution which is misused for criminal and other activities against the individual, the Governments and the society at large. Cyber crimes refer to all activities done with criminal intent in cyberspace. Because of the anonymous nature of Internet, it is possible to engage in a number of criminal activities, and people have been misusing this aspect of the Internet to perpetuate criminal activities in cyberspace.
“Computer Crime” encompasses crimes committed against the computer, the materials contained therein such as software and data, and its uses as a processing tool. These include hacking, denial of service attacks, unauthorized use of services and cyber vandalism. “Cyber Crime” describes criminal activities committed through the use of electronic communications media.
Today there are over 16 million home pages on the World Wide Web (Dearth and Williamson, 1996) and approximately 70 million Internet users in 200 nations (Dobeck, 1997).
All the world is a pond for phishers. Scams including those perpetrated through the phishing technique continue to grow despite the ongoing efforts by private technological initiatives and public law enforcement to combat them.
One of the main types of computer crime is identity theft. Identity theft is a crime involving illegal usage of another individual’s identity. Types of identity theft include financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, identity cloning, and business/commercial identity theft.The computer criminal assumes their identity online, running up credit card bills and perhaps even raiding their bank accounts. Another example of identity theft: a criminal legally obtains personal identifiers, and then clones someone to them for concealment from authorities.
Another main type of cyber crime is called “hacking”. In computing, the term hacking is used in a wider sense to mean using software for enjoyment or self-education, not necessarily involving unauthorized access. However, once people begin to hack for malicious purposes, that is when is becomes a crime. The most destructive for of hacking is the creation of a virus. A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. Another type of computer infection is called a worm. A worm travels from computer to computer while a virus travels from file to file.
1 out of 5 children received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet in a one-year period of time
Computers have enabled people to commit an endless amount of crimes. It also can be much harder to catch a criminal when he is committing a crime behind a computer screen. Federal police said that over 10 million computer crimes were recorded last year, which represented a 45 percent increase from the year before.