Cyber Crime

As Internet usage is growing daily the world is coming closer. The World Wide Web sounds like a vast phenomenon but surprisingly one of its qualities is bringing the world closer making it a smaller place to live in for its users. However, it has also managed to create another problem for people who spend long hours browsing the Cyber World – which is cyber crimes. While law enforcement agencies are trying to tackle this problem, it is growing steadily and many people have become victims of hacking, theft, identity theft and malicious software. One of the best ways to avoid being a victim of cyber crimes and protecting your sensitive information is by making use of impenetrable security that uses a unified system of software and hardware to authenticate any information that is sent or accessed over the Internet. However, before you can understand more about this system, let us find out more about cyber crimes.

Types of Cyber Crimes

When any crime is committed over the Internet it is referred to as a cyber crime. There are many types of cyber crimes and the most common ones are explained below:

Hacking: This is a type of crime wherein a person’s computer is broken into so that his personal or sensitive information can be accessed. In the United States, hacking is classified as a felony and punishable as such. This is different from ethical hacking, which many organizations use to check their Internet security protection. In hacking, the criminal uses a variety of software to enter a person’s computer and the person may not be aware that his computer is being accessed from a remote location.

Theft: This crime occurs when a person violates copyrights and downloads music, movies, games and software. There are even peer sharing websites which encourage software piracy and many of these websites are now being targeted by the FBI. Today, the justice system is addressing this cyber crime and there are laws that prevent people from illegal downloading.

Cyber Stalking: This is a kind of online harassment wherein the victim is subjected to a barrage of online messages and emails. Typically, these stalkers know their victims and instead of resorting to offline stalking, they use the Internet to stalk. However, if they notice that cyber stalking is not having the desired effect, they begin offline stalking along with cyber stalking to make the victims’ lives more miserable.

Identity Theft: This has become a major problem with people using the Internet for cash transactions and banking services. In this cyber crime, a criminal accesses data about a person’s bank account, credit cards, Social Security, debit card and other sensitive information to siphon money or to buy things online in the victim’s name. It can result in major financial losses for the victim and even spoil the victim’s credit history.

Malicious Software: These are Internet-based software or programs that are used to disrupt a network. The software is used to gain access to a system to steal sensitive information or data or causing damage to software present in the system.

Child soliciting and Abuse: This is also a type of cyber crime wherein criminals solicit minors via chat rooms for the purpose of child pornography. The FBI has been spending a lot of time monitoring chat rooms frequented by children with the hopes of reducing and preventing child abuse and soliciting.

Causes of Cyber Crime

Wherever the rate of return on investment is high and the risk is low, you are bound to find people willing to take advantage of the situation. This is exactly what happens in cyber crime. Accessing sensitive information and data and using it means a rich harvest of returns and catching such criminals is difficult. Hence, this has led to a rise in cyber crime across the world.

History of Cyber Crime

When computers and networks came into being in the 1990s, hacking was done basically to get more information about the systems. Hackers even competed against one another to win the tag of the best hacker. As a result, many networks were affected; right from the military to commercial organizations. Initially, these hacking attempts were brushed off as mere nuisance as they did not pose a long-term threat. However, with malicious software becoming ubiquitous during the same period, hacking started making networks and systems slow. As hackers became more skillful, they started using their knowledge and expertise to gain benefit by exploiting and victimizing others.

Cyber Crime in Modern Society

Today, criminals that indulge in cyber crimes are not driven by ego or expertise. Instead, they want to use their knowledge to gain benefits quickly. They are using their expertise to steal, deceive and exploit people as they find it easy to earn money without having to do an honest day’s work.

Cyber crimes have become a real threat today and are quite different from old-school crimes, such as robbing, mugging or stealing. Unlike these crimes, cyber crimes can be committed single handedly and does not require the physical presence of the criminals. The crimes can be committed from a remote location and the criminals need not worry about the law enforcement agencies in the country where they are committing crimes. The same systems that have made it easier for people to conduct e-commerce and online transactions are now being exploited by cyber criminals.

Categories of Cyber Crime

Cyber crimes are broadly categorized into three categories, namely crime against

  1. Individual
  2. Property
  3. Government

Each category can use a variety of methods and the methods used vary from one criminal to another.

Individual: This type of cyber crime can be in the form of cyber stalking, distributing pornography, trafficking and “grooming”. Today, law enforcement agencies are taking this category of cyber crime very seriously and are joining forces internationally to reach and arrest the perpetrators.

Property: Just like in the real world where a criminal can steal and rob, even in the cyber world criminals resort to stealing and robbing. In this case, they can steal a person’s bank details and siphon off money; misuse the credit card to make numerous purchases online; run a scam to get naïve people to part with their hard earned money; use malicious software to gain access to an organization’s website or disrupt the systems of the organization. The malicious software can also damage software and hardware, just like vandals damage property in the offline world.

Government: Although not as common as the other two categories, crimes against a government are referred to as cyber terrorism. If successful, this category can wreak havoc and cause panic amongst the civilian population. In this category, criminals hack government websites, military websites or circulate propaganda. The perpetrators can be terrorist outfits or unfriendly governments of other nations.

How to Tackle Cyber Crime

It has been seen that most cyber criminals have a loose network wherein they collaborate and cooperate with one another. Unlike the real world, these criminals do not fight one another for supremacy or control. Instead they work together to improve their skills and even help out each other with new opportunities. Hence, the usual methods of fighting crime cannot be used against cyber criminals. While law enforcement agencies are trying to keep pace with cyber criminals, it is proving to be a Herculean task. This is primarily because the methods used by cyber criminals and technology keeps changing too quickly for law enforcement agencies to be effective. That is why commercial institutions and government organizations need to look at other methods of safeguarding themselves.

The best way to go about is using the solutions provided by Cross-Domain Solutions. When organizations use cross domain cyber security solutions, they can ensure that exchange of information adheres to security protocols. The solution allows organizations to use a unified system comprising of software and hardware that authenticates both manual and automatic transfer and access of information when it takes places between different security classification levels. This allows seamless sharing and access of information within a specific security classification, but cannot be intercepted by or advertently revealed to user who is not part of the security classification. This helps to keep the network and the systems using the network safe.

Cross Domain Solution offers a way to keep all information confidential by using safe and secure domains that cannot be tracked or accessed. This security solution can be used by commercial and governmental organization to ensure an impenetrable network while still making sure that users can get access to the required information easily.