Although the term cybercrime is usually restricted to describing criminal activity in which the computer or network is an essential part of the crime, this term is also used to include traditional crimes in which computers or networks are used to enable the illicit activity.
- Examples of cybercrime which the computer or network is a tool of the criminal activity include spamming and criminal copyright crimes, particularly those facilitated through peer-to-peer networks.
- Examples of cybercrime in which the computer or network is a target of criminal activity include unauthorized access (i.e, defeating access controls), malicious code, and denial-of-service attacks.
- Examples of cybercrime in which the computer or network is a place of criminal activity include theft of service (in particular, telecom fraud) and certain financial frauds.
- Finally, examples of traditional crimes facilitated through the use of computers or networks include Nigerian 419 or other gullibility or social engineering frauds (e.g., hackingphishing", identity theft, child pornography, online gambling, securities fraud, etc. Cyberstalking is an example of a traditional crime -- harassment -- that has taken a new form when facilitated through computer networks. "
Another way to define cybercrime is simply as criminal activity involving the information technology infrastructure, including illegal access (unauthorized access), illegal interception (by technical means of non-public transmissions of computer data to, from or within a computer system), data interference (unauthorized damaging, deletion, deterioration, alteration or suppression of computer data), systems interference (interfering with the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data), misuse of devices, forgery (ID theft), and electronic fraud.
One of the recent researches showed that a new cybercrime is being registered every 10 seconds in Britain. During 2006 the computer crooks were able to strike 3.24 million times. Some crimes performed on-line even surpassed their equivalents in real world. In addition, experts believe that about 90% of cybercrimes stay unreported.
According to a study performed by Shirley McGuire, a specialist in psychology of the University of San Francisco, the majority of teenagers who hack and invade computer systems are doing it for fun rather than with the aim of causing harm. Shirley McGuire mentioned that quite often parents cannot understand the motivation of the teenage hackers. She performed an anonymous experiment, questioning more than 4,800 students in the area of San Diego. Her results were presented at the American Psychological Association conference:
- 38% of teenagers were involved in software piracy;
- 18% of all youngsters confessed of entering and using the information stored on other personal computer or website;
- 13% of all the participants mentioned they performed changes in computer systems or computer files.
The study revealed that only 1 out of 10 hackers were interested in causing certain harm or earn money. Most teenagers performed illegal computer actions of curiosity, to experience excitement.
- Politically Motivated Computer Crime and Hacktivism
- British Cybercrooks Moving at One-Crime per 10 Seconds Speed
- Cybercrimes.net and Cyb3rCrim3.org Susan W. Brenner
- Cybercrime - High Tech crime JISC Legal Information Service
- Criminal Justice Resources - Cybercrime
- Cybercrime NYLS
- Cybercrime Law
- Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/185.htm
- Computer Crime Research Center
- Cybercrime.gov US Department of Justice CCIPS
- US CERT United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)
- FBI Cyber Investigations Home Page
- US Secret Service Computer Fraud
- On Guard OnGuardOnline.gov
- ID Theft
- FindLaw Computer Crime
- RCMP Computer Crime Prevention Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center
- Annual e-Crime Conference : International Conference for Public & Private Security Specialists