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John Michael Dulay
Prof. Y. Xu
BUSA 345
15 April 2016
Computer Crime: A Threat to Businesses
Computer crimes has been around since the computers became an essential part of a
business. Even before the appearance of the Internet, these illegal actions have been occurring,
hurting businesses as early as 1984 when the earliest federal legislation regarding computer
crime, the Counterfeit Access Device and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has been put in place
to protect individuals from them. These computer crimes perform acts that causes massive
damage to the company affected causing them to lose not only money but trust and confidence
that they have built up. Although security against them has been improving for the past years, the
cost in order to maintain a working security system are costing companies millions of money.
According to reports by Hewlett Packard and other institutes, these crimes “cost the average
American firm $15.4 million per year, double the global average” (Griffiths). In addition, the
increasing expenses by companies to protect themselves is offset by the decreasing cost and the
simplicity of performing this type of crimes, further increasing the time and money a companies
need. According to a cybersecurity firm called Incapsula, “the price of launching a DDoS attack
has plummeted to just $38 per hour” and in comparison to that value, businesses shoulder a cost
of $40,000 per hour for an unmitigated attack (Griffiths). Such mind-blowing values will cause
the demise of many corporations unless stopped or at least decreased. However, with a no clear
solution in sight, businesses must continue to struggle in order to protect themselves and not let
themselves fall into demise.
Computer crimes are defined as “the use of a computer to commit an illegal act” by
individuals “with the intention of doing damage” (Valacich and Schneider 362). These computer
crimes comes in variety of activities ranging from seemingly harmless spam or electronic junk
mail to actions like phishing in order to trick individuals into giving personal or business-related
information to the detriment of the individual. One of the most common type of computer crime
is the Distributed-Denial-of-service-attack or DDoS, a type of cyberattack where the attacker
interrupts a network service by sending “high volumes of traffic or data through the target
network until the network becomes overloaded”. First appearing in the late 1990s, DDoS attacks

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have been disrupting many of the e-commerce of companies by preventing them from accessing
their website not allowing them to purchase the products they want causing discontent to
potential customers and also causing the company to lose out revenue from not being able to
finish a sale. One of the most recent DDoS attacks in the previous years is when a group called
Lizard Squad performed a DDoS attack to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live causing it to
go down rendering its services null during Christmas. These event resulted to thousands of users
being frustrated damaging the reputation of the two companies who are operating them, Sony
and Microsoft, respectively. This is after the wake of another cyberattack that Sony experienced
where stolen e-mails and even film scripts were leaked by another group called Guardians of
Peace, which left the company really exposed. These simple actions caused such a large effect to
Sony at that moment that they “reverted to using fax machines and paper in its offices” in order
to prevent further leaks from happening (Kiss).
Computer crimes perform a great deal of damage to whoever its target is when
successfully accomplished. It might be hard to completely prevent it, but there are still countermeasures around in order to decrease the likelihood of experiencing such crimes. According to
Cisco, DDoS attacks are “among the most difficult to defend against” and responding to such
attacks appropriately and effectively will be a massive challenge for all Internet-dependent
organizations (Defeating DDoS Attacks). In addition, establishing security measures like
firewalls and intrusion detection systems are not enough to properly defend against them. Having
a security system that have the ability to specifically detect and defeat such complex attacks is
what a company needs in order to prevent itself from falling to the threats brought forth by such
attacks. In Cisco’s case, they performed a system that will allow them to not only detect the
attack but also divert, filter bad traffic, and maintain good traffic for the network it protects.
Computer crimes are ruthless activities that target individuals or businesses to cause them
harm. To this day, having a fail-safe protection against them may still not be in sight but through
the advances of technology, we are closing into that goal. As an individual, having the prudence
to not open any suspicious files or mails is a good starting point. For a business, they need to be
extremely cautious with the way they perform their duties as they will have on their hand the fate
of their corporation that may fall into demise if it ever experienced any computer crime. Having
a security system doesn’t mean that one can slack off and not be careful with the way they act.
The security system is there to support one as an individual and the corporation a group during

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an attack but it’s not so effective if the people and business it has to protect are not doing their
part. Such simple actions may be the key for a person to defend against such attacks, not to
prevent it but decrease the likelihood of such event happening.

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Works Cited
"Defeating DDOS Attacks." Cisco. Cisco Systems, Inc., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
<http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/security/traffic-anomaly-detector-xt5600a/prod_white_paper0900aecd8011e927.html>.
Griffiths, James. "Cybercrime Costs the Average U.S. Firm $15 Million a Year." CNNMoney.
Cable News Network, 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
<http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/08/technology/cybercrime-cost-business/>.
"History of Computer Crime." History of Computer Crime. Pennsylvania State University, 14
Mar. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
<http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/j/m/jms6423/Engproj/History%20of%20Computer%
20Crime.xhtml>.
Kiss, Jemima. "Xbox Live and Playstation Attack: Christmas Ruined for Millions of Gamers."
The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 26 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
<https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/26/xbox-live-and-psn-attackchristmas-ruined-for-millions-of-gamers>.
Valacich, Joseph, and Christoph Schneider. Information Systems Today: Managing in a Digital
World. 7th ed. Pearson Education, Inc. 2016. Print.