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Main categories of computer crimes
According to Person in the third edition of Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism there exists four main categories of computer crimes (Taylor, Fritsch and Liederbach, 2014). These are as listed below:-
Crimes associated with widespread presence of computers. With rapid changing technology and increased uptake of agents of technology like computers nowadays very many people own the computerized devices. The computer crimes targets also tend to increase with the computers they will be using. Some user acquire computer through illegal manner thus leading to possession of counterfeit devices and the programs installed. This brings about to violation of copyrights law which is a crime and also hackers can use this counterfeit programs to gain illegal access to commit crimes.
The Computer being used as the target- this is a crime in which the computer is used as agent to do the crime. The offender might authoritatively gain access to the computer to go through the files stored in it and even modify to cause damage to the file and softwares present. It can also involve storage of information either for use to commit a crime from the files that a stored in the device. The access can also enable them gain access to protected information thus leading to violation of intellectual property rights that can be copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.
Computer as an instrument for crime- Most computer users possess the computerized devices legally and use it for legal activities but there arises situations when its manipulated to be an agent for conducting illegal practices. The outstanding example in this category illegal obtain of cash from automated teller machine and also stealing information about a credit card and using it to gain access to the credit account.
Computer being used as an aid for other crimes to occur. There are crimes that not necessarily involve computerized systems for them to occur. The presence of computer and advancement in technology has necessitated occurrence of many crimes, made it hard to suspect planning of crimes and to investigate crimes when they have occurred. The crimes that occur in this category are the recent illegal banking transactions conducted without knowledge of the bank and also the account holder. The illegal mobilization and collection of money from people with excuse of a problem or a donation toward a certain charitable purpose.
Common Forms of Digital Crime
Malicious files and software these are programs and collection of data that are found that alter the normal operations of the computer. They achieve this by gaining access to data illegally while obtaining private information they can range from Trojan horses, viruses, worms and spyware.
Cyber stalking has also come out to be a major crime in the recent times with everybody trying to own computerized devices. Online stalking is conducted through a victim being intimidated by postings in websites, online social group and even sending of messages through e-mails. (Laura, 2014).
Identity theft. Recently many people do a lot of their transaction online like banking which demands they have personal accounts for privacy. Identity theft come about when a person may use another persons identity to commit crime online without their consent and end up losing a lot like finances.
Cyber terrorism- there has been increased terrorism threats all around the globe and the terrorist groups have advanced a lot due to presence of technology. The use of computers technology to commit terrorism over this is from recruitment of individual to join the terrorist group and the planning of attack is whats referred to as cyber terrorism (Parker 1983).
Theft. Online theft is committed by illegal downloading and selling of copyrighted material while claiming to mine yet the owner has not granted permission. Sometimes the offender go forward and share the illegally downloaded materials over the networks (Laura, 2014).
Computer crime with greatest overall threat
According to the Go-Gulf (2013) the cybercrime category that poses the strongest threat in the recent time as reported and in the statistics is the spread and sharing of malicious files and software which include Trojan horses, viruses, worms and spyware. This is mainly attributed by the networking of all computer devices and recent emergence of internet of thing which tend to connected all devices through a network. This enables faster spread of the malicious files through the network.
The role played by law enforcement agencies the government is very essential for fighting against cybercrimes. According to the Homeland Security this is achieved by all agencies concerned working in conjunction to examining the cause of all cybercrimes occurring and bringing all the cyber criminals to justice through the enacted laws. Training and recruiting of cyber security specialist also helps combat the menace and setting up an agreed professional way of conducting ourselves in cyber space and reporting of the cybercrime incidences.
The response of agencies concerned with cybercrimes prevention in case of a crime is reported is always investigation, apprehending the cyber criminals and having them judged in the court of law. They also respond by creating platforms for reporting the crimes like the online reporting. My suggestion to law enforcement agencies to combatting cybercrimes is to always keep the systems used updated and keep changing with the current faster technology. The reason being cyber criminals keep changing their tactics to be ahead of enforcement agencies so as to perform their actions successfully.
Carter, David L. (1995). Computer crime categories volume 64, issue 7, pg. 21. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.
Homeland Security (2016). Combating Cyber Crime January. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/topic/combating-cyber-crime (Accesed 16th October 2016).
Taylor, R., Fritsch, E., Liederbach, J. (2014). Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism / Edition 3(chapter 1).PEARSON.
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