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Cyber Crimes

Cyber Crimes

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Published by aneesh manu.m

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Published by: aneesh manu.m on Apr 20, 2013
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CYBER CRIMESCyber-crime
also known as computer crime the use of a computer as aninstrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.Cybercrime, especially through the internet, has grown in importance as thecomputer has become central to commerce, entertainment, and government. Because of the early and widespread adoption of computers and the internet inthe United States, most of the earliest victims and villains of cybercrime wereAmericans. By the 21st century, though, hardly a hamlet remained anywhere inthe world that had not been touched by cybercrime of one sort or another. 
DEFINING CYBERCRIMES: 
 New technologies create new criminal opportunities but few new types of crime. What distinguishes cybercrime from traditional criminal activity?Obviously, one difference is the use of the digital computer, but technologyalone is insufficient for any distinction that might exist between different realmsof criminal activity. Criminals do not need a computer to commit fraud, trafficin child pornography and intellectual property, steal an identity, or violate
someone's privacy. All those activities existed before the “cyber” prefix became
ubiquitous. Cybercrime, especially involving the internet, represents anextension of existing criminal behaviour alongside some novel illegal activities. Most cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, or governments. Although the attacks do not take place on a physical body, theydo take place on the personal or corporate virtual body, which is the set of 
 
informational attributes that define people and institutions on the internet. inother words, in the digital age our virtual identities are essential elements of everyday life: we are a bundle of numbers and identifiers in multiplecomputer databases owned by governments and corporations. Cybercrimehighlights the centrality of networked computers in our lives, as well as thefragility of such seemingly solid facts as individual identity. An important aspect of cybercrime is its nonlocal character: actions can occur in jurisdictions separated by vast distances. This poses severe problems for lawenforcement since previously local or even national crimes now requireinternational cooperation. For example, if person accesses child pornographylocated on a computer in a country that does not ban child pornography, is thatindividual committing a crime in a nation where such materials are illegal?Where exactly does cybercrime take place? Cyberspace is simply a richer version of the space where a telephone conversation takes place, somewhere between the two people having the conversation. As a planet-spanning network,the internet offers criminals multiple hiding places in the real world as well as inthe network itself. However, just as individuals walking on the ground leavemarks that a skilled tracker can follow, cybercriminals leave clues as to their identity and location, despite their best efforts to cover their tracks. In order tofollow such clues across national boundaries, though, international cybercrimetreaties must be ratified. In 1996 the council of Europe, together with government representatives fromthe United States, Canada, and japan, drafted a preliminary international treatycovering computer crime. Around the world, civil libertarian groupsimmediately protested provisions in the treaty requiring internet service providers
 
(ISP) to store information on their customers' transactions and to turnthis information over on demand. Work on the treaty proceeded nevertheless,and on November 23, 2001, the council of Europe cybercrime convention was
 
signed by 30 states. Additional protocols, covering terrorist activities and racistand xenophobic cybercrimes were proposed in 2002. In addition, variousnational laws, such as the USA patriot act of 2001, have expanded lawenforcement's power to monitor and protect computer networks. Parents, teachers, non-profits, government, and industry have been workinghard to protect kids online. However, we also need to think about protecting theInternet from kids who might abuse it.The Department of Justice categorizes computer crime in three ways:
 
The computer as a target - attacking the computers of others (spreadingviruses is an example).
 
The computer as a weapon - using a computer to commit "traditionalcrime" that we see in the physical world (such as fraud or illegalgambling).
 
The computer as an accessory - using a computer as a "fancy filingcabinet" to store illegal or stolen information.Reports of alleged computer crime have been a hot news item of late. Especiallyalarming is the realization that many of the masterminds behind these criminalacts are mere kids. In fact, children no longer need to be highly skilled in order to execute cyber-crimes. "Hacker tools" are easily available on the Net and,once downloaded, can be used by even novice computer users. This greatlyexpands the population of possible wrongdoers. Children (and in some cases -their parents) often think that shutting down or defacing Web sites or releasingnetwork viruses are amusing pranks. Kids might not even realize that what theyare doing is illegal. Still other kids might find themselves hanging out onlinewith skilled hackers who share hacking tools with them and encourage them todo inappropriate things online. Unfortunately, some of these kids don't realizethat they are committing crimes until it is too late. Even more distressing and

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