You are on page 1of 11

INTRODUCTION

With the day to day evolution of human mind, the modes of committing crime are also
drastically changing. Criminals are getting smarter day by day and are applying there minds in
this context to commit crime and escape without getting caught. With the advent of computers no
one thought that it will become a mode or source of committing crime. Charles Babbage who is
well known as the father of computer would not have dreamt that the machine he is giving the
world may become a source of crime and would ever influence the society in a negative way.
Whenever we talk about cyber crime we can make out that its something related to a
wrong done were a computer system is involved.
The term cyber crime is a wrongly applied name. This term has nowhere been defined
in any statute or Act passed or enacted by the government. The concept of cyber crime is not
radically different from the concept of conventional crime. Both include conduct whether act or
omission, which cause breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the state.
Though cyber crimes is a new breed of crimes which came into being just after the advent of the
computers and the scenario has become more worse with the influence of internet in our day to
day life.
Many definitions of cyber crimes. According to Anwers.com "cyber crime" is a generally
accepted slang term referring to crime committed over, or by means of computers or the internet.
According to Stanley (2001), cyber crimes are activities committed using the Internet or
computer or other electronic devices as the medium, in violation of existing laws for which
punishment is imposed upon successful conviction. The scope of the cyber crime are very broad
which involved such as cyber-fraud and identity theft through such methods as phishing,
pharming, spoofing and through the abuse of online surveillance technology. There are also
many other forms of criminal behaviour perpetrated through the use of information technology
such as harassment, defamation, pornography, cyber terrorism, industrial espionage and some
regulatory offences.

CONTENTS
Cyber crimes can be basically divided into three major categories:
1. Cyber crimes against persons.
2. Cyber crimes against property.
3. Cyber crimes against government.

Cyber crimes committed against persons include various crimes like transmission of
child-pornography, harassment of any one with the use of a computer such as e-mail. The
trafficking, distribution, posting, and dissemination of obscene material including pornography
and indecent exposure, constitutes one of the most important cyber crimes known today. The
potential harm of such a crime to humanity can hardly be amplified. This is one cyber crime
which threatens to undermine the growth of the younger generation as also leave irreparable
scars and injury on the younger generation, if not controlled.
A minor girl in Ahmedabad was lured to a private place through cyberchat by a man,
who, along with his friends, attempted to gangrape her. As some passersby heard her cry, she was
rescued.
Another example wherein the damage was not done to a person but to the masses is the
case of the Melissa virus. The Melissa virus first appeared on the internet in March of 1999. It

spread rapidly throughout computer systems in the United States and Europe. It is estimated that
the virus caused 80 million dollars in damages to computers worldwide.
In the United States alone, the virus made its way through 1.2 million computers in onefifth of the country's largest businesses. David Smith pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 1999 to state and
federal charges associated with his creation of the Melissa virus. There are numerous examples
of such computer viruses few of them being "Melissa" and "love bug".
Cyberharassment is a distinct cyber crime. Various kinds of harassment can and do occur
in cyberspace, or through the use of cyberspace. Harassment can be sexual, racial, religious, or
other. Persons perpetuating such harassment are also guilty of cyber crimes.
Cyberharassment as a crime also brings us to another related area of violation of privacy
of citizens. Violation of privacy of online citizens is a cybercrime of a grave nature. No one likes
any other person invading the invaluable and extremely touchy area of his or her own privacy
which the medium of internet grants to the citizen.
The second category of cyber crimes is that of cyber crimes against all forms of property.
These crimes include computer vandalism (destruction of others' property), transmission of
harmful programmes.
For example, a Mumbai-based upstart engineering company lost a say and much money
in the business when the rival company, an industry major, stole the technical database from their
computers with the help of a corporate cyberspy.
The third category of cyber crimes relate to cyber crimes against Government.
Cyberterrorism is one distinct kind of crime in this category. The growth of internet has shown
that the medium of Cyberspace is being used by individuals and groups to threaten the
international governments as also to terrorise the citizens of a country. This crime manifests itself
into terrorism when an individual "cracks" into a government or military maintained website.
According to a report of expressindia. com, it was said that internet was becoming a boon
for the terrorist organisations. During the investigation of the Red Fort shootout in Dec. 2000, the

accused Ashfaq Ahmed of this terrorist group revealed that the militants are making extensive
use of the internet to communicate with the operatives and the sympathisers and also using the
medium for intra-bank transfer of funds".
Cracking is amongst the gravest cyber crimes known till date. It is a dreadful feeling to
know that a stranger has broken into your computer systems without your knowledge and
consent and has tampered with precious confidential data and information.
Coupled with this the actuality is that no computer system in the world is cracking proof.
It is unanimously agreed that any and every system in the world can be cracked. The recent
denial of service attacks seen over the popular commercial sites like E-bay, Yahoo, Amazon and
others are a new category of cyber crimes which are slowly emerging as being extremely
dangerous.
Using one's own programming abilities as also various programmes with malicious intent
to gain unauthorised access to a computer or network are very serious crimes. Similarly, the
creation and dissemination of harmful computer programmes which do irreparable damage to
computer systems is another kind of cyber crimes. Software piracy is also another distinct kind
of cyber crimes which is perpetuated by many people online who distribute illegal and
unauthorised pirated copies of software.
CYBER CRIMES COMPARISON IN USA AND MALAYSIA
Cyber crimes reported frequently happen in USA which cases are mostly classified as expertise
doers.
In 21 January 2010, The FBI continues to receive reports of counterfeit check scheme
targeting U.S. law firms. As previously reported, scammers send e-mails to lawyers, claiming to
be overseas and seeking legal representation to collect delinquent payments from third parties in
the U.S. The law firm receives a retainer agreement,invoices reflecting the amount owed, and a
checkpayable to the law firm. The firm is instructed to extractthe retainer fee, including any other
fees associated withthe transaction, and wire the remaining funds to bank in Korea, China,
Ireland, or Canada. By the time thecheck is determined to be counterfeit, the funds have already

been wired overseas.In a new twist, the fraudulent client seeking legal representation is an exwife on assignment in an Asian country, and she claims to be pursuing a collection of divorce
settlement monies from her ex-husband in the U.S. The law firm agrees to represent the ex-wife,
sends an e-mail to the ex-husband, and receives a certified check for the settlement via
delivery service. The ex-wife instructs the firm to wire the funds, less the retainer fee, to an
overseas bank account. When the scam is executed successfully, the law firm wires the money
before discovering the check is counterfeit. All Internet users need to be cautious when they
receive unsolicited e-mails. Law firms are advised to conduct as much due diligence as possible
before engaging in transactions with parties who are handling their business solely via e-mail,
particularly those parties claiming to reside overseas.
In 21 June 2010, The FBI Newark Division released a warning to consumers concerning
a new scheme using telecommunications denial-of-service (TDoS) attacks. The FBI determined
fraudsters compromised victim accounts and contacted financial institutions to change the victim
profile information (i.e., email addresses, telephone numbers and bank account numbers). The
TDoS attacks used automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm victims cell
phones and land lines with thousands of calls. When victims answered the calls they heard dead
air (nothing on the other end), an innocuous recorded message, advertisement, or a telephone sex
menu. Calls were typically short in duration but so numerous that victims changed their phone
numbers to terminate the attack. These TDoS attacks were used as a diversion to prevent
financial and brokerage institutions from verifying victim account changes and transactions.
Fraudsters were afforded adequate time to transfer funds from victim brokerage and financial
online accounts. Protection from TDoS attacks and other types of fraud requires consumers to be
vigilant and proactive. In Newarks Public Service Announcement (PSA), they recommend
consumers protect themselves by:

Implement security measures for all financial accounts by placing fraud alerts with the
major credit bureaus if you believe they were targeted by a TDOS attack or other forms

of fraud.
Use strong passwords for all financial accounts and change them regularly.
Obtain and review your annual credit report for fraudulent activity.

According to statistic of cyber crimes cases in USA from 2000-2010, the most popular of
cases are:

Non-Delivery Payment/Merchandise (non-auction) Purchaser did not receive items

purchased, or seller did not receive payment for items sold.


FBI-Related Scams Scams in which a criminal poses as the FBI to defraud victims.
Identity Theft Unauthorized use of victims personally identifying information to

commit fraud or other crimes.


Computer Crimes 1) Crimes that target computer networks or devices directly or 2)

crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices.


Miscellaneous Fraud Variety of scams meant to defraud the public, such as work-at-

home scams, fraudulent sweepstakes and contests, and other fraudulent schemes.
Advance Fee Fraud Criminals convince victims to pay a fee to receive something of

value, but do not deliver anything of value to the victim.


Spam Mass-produced, unsolicited bulk messages.
Auction Fraud Fraudulent transactions that occur in the context of an online auction

site.
Credit Card Fraud Fraudulent, unauthorized charging of goods and services to a

victims credit card.


Overpayment Fraud An incident in which the complainant receives an invalid
monetary instrument with instructions to deposit it in a bank account and to send excess
funds or a percentage of the deposited money back to the sender.

In Malaysia, cases of computer fraud would normally be investigated under the Computer
Crimes Act 1997 (Act 563) (CCA), which provides for the punishment of unauthorized access
with intent to commit the offence of fraud or dishonesty under the Penal Code. While we contend
that Computer fraud is more a matter of using different processes to achieve the same end as
that achieved through historical mainstream fraud, the response required from the investigation
team often needs to be markedly different. A critical factor is the admissibility of computergenerated evidence in criminal proceedings. Any evidence that is obtained must satisfy the rules
of the court in the relevant jurisdiction. Companies can risk damaging or destroying valuable

evidence if they do not follow the correct investigation technique committed against the
computer systems. As more computers move on to on-line processing and improved
telecommunications, computer hackers are now a threat.
According to CyberSecurity Malaysia, cyber security specialist, there is need for a
dedicated "cyber court" in the country given that cyber crimes increased tremendously during
2008. Lt. Col. (retired) Husin Jazri, Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity, said that the total
number of Internet crimes reported in 2008 by the security firm had grown more than twice the
previous estimates. Moreover, the situation might get worse this year (2009), as reported by
thestaronline on January 16, 2009. According to Jazri, in 2008, the organization dealt with 2,123
incidents of cyber crime, more than 100% increase in comparison to 2007 when the company
dealt with 1,038 incidents.
The reports received from the organization revealed that nearly 50% of the incidents
reported were related to fraud, while the rest to malicious code and intrusions like malware
infections, spam, online harassment, malicious websites, intrusions etc.
Moreover, over 4,000 cyber complaints, majority of them relating to cyber crimes, were
filed with CyberSecurity Malaysia between 2007 and 2008. The complaints comprised fraud,
hack threats, Denial-of-Service conditions and other PC problems like viruses corrupting files or
data getting exposed.
Further, as the Internet usage in the country grows, the total number of online
transactions along with other activities is likely to increase, which, in turn, increase the number
of online crime incidences. Besides, growth in broadband and wireless capacity makes the
Internet more convenient and quicker to use. But unfortunately, these utilities could be used as
means for Internet crimes.
In addition, the ongoing economic crisis across the world will also boost cyber crimes.
The problem of insufficient awareness about cyber security or Internet-safety practices among
Malaysians surfing on the Web continues to pose a big challenge. For example, some users do
not own a distinct password while many are not updating their security software.

Commenting on this, Malaysian Police said that to an unwary person, a fraudulent


website appears to be the bank's real website. Similarly, an innocent recipient thinks that an email announcing a 'prize win' is genuine. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that online crimes
involving banking fraud and phishing rose 619% in 2008 over 2007.

Suggestions
Below are following recommendations to overcome the cyber crimes activities based on the
researches conducted.
1) Education
Hackers arent the only ones who can gain power from information. By educating
yourself about the types of scams that exist on the Internet and how to avert them, you are
putting yourself one step ahead of the cybercriminals. Since phishing is prevalent, read
up on the latest phishing scams and learn how to recognize a phishing attempt.
Remember, phishing is when hackers attempt to lure you into revealing personal
information by pretending to be a legitimate organization or person. These scams often
play off major new stories, so keep informed on the latest news-related scams.
2) Use a firewall
Firewalls monitor traffic between your computer or network and the Internet and serve as
a great first line of defense when it comes to keeping intruders out. Make sure to use the
firewall that comes with your security software. And if you have a home wireless
network, enable the firewall that comes with your router.
3) Click with caution
When youre checking your email or chatting over instant messenger (IM), be careful not
to click on any links in messages from people you dont know. The link could take you to
a fake website that asks for your private information, such as user names and passwords,
or it could download malware onto your computer. Even if the message is from someone
you know, be cautious. Some viruses replicate and spread through email, so look for
information that indicates that the message is legitimate.

4) Practice safe surfing


When navigating the web, you need to take precautions to avoid phony websites that ask
for your personal information and pages that contain malware. Use a search engine to
help you navigate to the correct web address since it will correct misspellings. That way,
you wont wind up on a fake page at a commonly misspelled address.

CONCLUSION
Computer crime definitely must be taken seriously. Attacks can come from a computer across the
room or computers located in another country. The threat could be external or it could be
internal. It may have financial impact, it may deal with child pornography or it may be related to
cyber terrorism. Because of the number of computer crime cases that has increased over the
years (and many more unreported), the development of computer crime laws and policing
initiatives must grow in tandem. Tackling computer crime is similar to tackling computer
security; we have to start from the basics and address one thing at a time. As long as there is a
system in place to punish the wrongdoers, as long as there is public awareness of the potential
seriousness of such crimes, there will be much headway in computer crime law and investigation
in the coming years in Malaysia and around the world. One important element that to be similar
between most of the cases was the strength of the investigation team and the support it has
received from its counterparts whether locally or internationally
(2821 WORDS)

REFERENCES

Chawki, M.: Cybercrime in France: an overview. Computer Crime Research Center.


December, 2005. http://www.crime-research.org/articles/cybercrime-in-france-overview/

Gordon, S.: Exploring spyware and adware risk assessment. Presentation to the Computers and
Security Institute Conference, Phoenix, Arizona (2005)

http://www.answers.com

http://www.wikipedia.com

Morris, Daniel A. Tracking a Computer Hacker. Last updated July 10, 2001
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/usamay2001_2.htm

Puvaneswary, S. Police Seek Help From The Two Countries To Track Down Those
Responsible. 17 January 2001. http://www.niser.org.my/news/2001_01_17.html

Schneier, Bruce. Secret and Lies. John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

Stafford, Ned. Sudan Bank Hacked, Bin Ladden Info Found Hacker, Newsbytes. 27
September 2001. http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/170588.html.

Stanley, N. (2001). White Collar Crime, in M.J. Tonry (ed) Handbook of Crime and Punishment,
New York: Oxford University Press.

Sutherland, E.H. (1949). White Collar Crime, New York: Dryden Press.