Cyber Crime: What are Cyber Crimes
Cybercrime is the generic description for any kind of computer-based crime that involves theft or destruction of digital assets. In most cybercrimes, computers are used to commit the crime and computer, and network systems are the targets. Cybercrimes involve the use of computers, internet, mobile phones, and other digital media to cause harm to an individual or a group of individuals.
Some of the various kinds of cybercrimes include hacking, copyright infringement, unethical mass-surveillance, sextortion, child pornography and child grooming and theft of private information among others.
Classification of Cybercrime
Cybercrime can be classified into various categories depending upon the nature of the attack and the targets. An overview of the various kinds of cybercrime is mentioned below.
- Cyberterrorism- Since early 2001, government agencies such as FBI and the CIA have detected an increase in the number of cyber-threats, issues with the internet and network scans. Such an increase in network threats is not a random phenomenon but orchestrated by terrorist organizations, defense and intelligence groups of other countries and criminal organizations looking to find security loopholes in major computer systems. Cyberterrorists attack government groups and large-scale organizations to further their political agenda or carry-out military attacks. Cyberterrorists use computer-based attacks on networks and gain control of vital systems. Any kind of terrorism conducted using computers is known as cyberterrorism.
- Cyberextortion- extortion on the internet is committed against businesses and websites when hackers gain control of their services offered but a block on it. Such denial of service attacks is usually followed by an extortion mail demanding large sums of money for the return on control. Cyber extortionists are increasingly attacking corporate websites and blocking their service for money. Cyber extortionists use a denial-of-service kind of attack to perpetrate such crimes.
- Cyberwarfare- The realm of the internet has become a national resource and a cause for concern for most government agencies around the world. This is mainly due to the integration of all important functions, services, and infrastructure into online platforms. Some of the various forms of cyber warfare include the Russian attack on Ukraine’s power grid in 2015, the 2007 attack on Estonia’s infrastructure and Russian cyber-attacks on the country of Georgia.
- The computer as a targeted attack- Hackers is primarily responsible for this kind of attack as it requires technical know-how and vulnerabilities of software and hardware. These crimes are difficult to eliminate as they evolve with developments in technologies. There are various kinds of cybercrimes that target computers such as denial-of-service, uploading of malware, sending computer viruses and others.
- The computer as a tool attacks- These attacks usually target individuals, and computers systems are usually used as tools to perpetuate the attacks. These crimes do not involve as much technical expertise as a computer as a target and quite often rely on psychological and social manipulation of targets. These crimes existed before the dawn of computers such as various kinds of scams, misinformation, theft, and others. Some of the various kinds of attacks that use computers as a tool include phishing, spamming, information warfare, identity theft and fraud and circulation of offensive or obscene content which includes various forms of harassments and threats.
With the rise of the dark web, online black markets have proliferated which sell sensitive information, drugs, contract assassins, and other illegal services. The dark web is a network separate from the regular internet. Data on the dark web cannot be searched easily or indexed by regular search engines. Darkweb is one reason why cybercrime is thriving today. Since the dark web provides anonymity to its users, it has become incredibly difficult to trace and identify cybercriminals.