Digital crime is a crime related to a computer, and it has been on a consistent rise over time. Numerous questions and discussions have been formulated to try and explain the state of affairs. Concerning that, theories have come up from research conducted to shed more light and enlighten people. In our discussion, we will delve deeper into the theories to understand the reason why the crimes are on the rise and the motives that drive people to perpetrate them (Moon, McCluskey & C. P., 2010).
Two of the common theories include the self-control theory and the rationale choice theory. The self-control theory relates the crime to self-esteem issues. On top of that, it resonates from a social control theory point of view. The theory explains that a person is solely responsible for the actions he opts to undertake. An example of the crime would be digital piracy. More often than not, self-esteem issues take center stage in determining the outcome of someone's action. On the other hand, the rationale choice theory relates the crimes to a decision that an individual makes and an example would be intentionally stealing ones password (Cornish, D.B & Clarke, 2014). The theory bases its argument that one concedes to a criminal activity if it would either be beneficial to him or has some interests in the outcome.
Lastly, is the deterrence theory that could be used to explain the digital and non-digital crime issue. The method addresses the need for enforcing punitive measures on those caught committing the offences more than the gains they would obtain. It would serve to restrict individuals to resist criminal activities and other crimes or else face ruthless consequences.
In particular, digital crimes and offences result in different impacts on the affected individuals. They damage one's reputation, harm the person mentally or physically and lastly can lead to loss of the victim in more high profile situations. Such acts and offences threaten nations and organizations privacy and financial conditions, and if not handled with the urgency required, they can prove more lethal and destructive. Concerning digital crime, the individuals who perpetrate the offences can be analyzed and grouped into various categories (Moon, McCluskey & C. P., 2010).
There are those referred to as hackers. They work anonymously, and their motives are not of a criminal nature. In other instances, organizations obtain their services to test their security to seal the penetration loopholes into their system to avoid an attack. Next are the phishers. Their motives are mainly getting your personal information by directing one to fake websites so that they could undertake their attack. Others are the script kiddies who lack any expertise related to hacking and are just wannabes. Once in a while, they can manage to attack systems that are secured weakly but are not that of a threat.
The insiders are the other category. They are mainly people within the organization who are driven by different motives to attack the institutions in which they part. They can also aid outsiders to commit offences by giving them crucial information and guides on how they can pull the attacks successfully. Last but not least, are the advanced persistent threat agents. They bear responsibility for high-profile attacks. Their level of skill and expertise is top notch and in most occasions, they receive funding. They are extremely dangerous and possess massive technological resources.
On the same subject, digital crimes can be split into various classifications and activities including cyber extortion, cyberwarfare, fraud and financial crimes and lastly cyberterrorism. Cyber extortion takes place when a system is subject to denial of service by hackers who demand payment to avoid the attacks. Corporate platforms are increasingly falling prey to the attackers who threaten to paralyze the institution's activities. Cyberwarfare, on the other hand, are attacks on nations and states which primarily target the cyberspace. The attacks target infrastructure of significance on the host country in a coordinated and synchronized way.
The other is cyber terrorism which involves an attack of intimidation on the government. The perpetrator's motive is primarily advancing his or her political and social objective by launching attacks on government systems from potential security loopholes. It is with the aim of also instilling fear and panic among the general public. Finally, are the fraud and financial crimes. They involve the misinterpretation of information by coercing the victim to refrain from engaging in a particular activity which eventually results in a loss. Of importance to note, the attacks rely mainly on a computer and a network for them to be successful (Taylor, Fritsch & Liederbach, 2014).
The menace is becoming a challenge each and every day. Various efforts are being incorporated by states to handle the issue to avoid an increase of the damages later on including enacting of legislations. They are meant to curb the offences and outlaw them. Other measures on top of that include enforcing of penalties, creation of awareness and diffusing the digital crime. In conclusion, digital crimes need to be ruthlessly dealt with to deter others from engaging thereby ensuring safety for all.
Cornish, D. B., & Clarke, R. V. (Eds.). (2014). The Reasoning Criminal: Rational choice perspectives on offending. Transaction Publishers.
Moon, B., McCluskey, J. D., & McCluskey, C. P. (2010). A general theory of crime and computer crime: An empirical test. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 767-772.
Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., & Liederbach, J. (2014). Digital crime and digital terrorism. Prentice Hall Press.
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