Cybercrime is vastly growing in the world of tech today. Criminals of the World Wide Web exploit internet users’ personal information for their own gain. They dive deep into the dark web to buy and sell illegal products and services. They even gain access to classified government information.
Cybercrimes are at an all time high, costing companies and individuals billions of dollars annually. What’s even more frightening is that this figure only represents the last 5 years with no end in sight. The evolution of technology and increasing accessibility of smart tech means there are multiple access points within users’ homes for hackers to exploit. While law enforcement attempts to tackle the growing issue, criminal numbers continue to grow, taking advantage of the anonymity of the internet.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense. A cybercriminal may use a device to access a user’s personal information, confidential business information, government information, or disable a device. It is also a cybercrime to sell or elicit the above information online.
Cybercrimes can generally be divided into two categories:
|Crimes that target networks or devices||Crimes using devices to participate in criminal activities|
|DoS Attacks||Identity Theft|
Categories of Cybercrime
There are three major categories that cybercrime falls into: individual, property and government. The types of methods used and difficulty levels vary depending on the category.
- Government: This is the least common cybercrime, but is the most serious offense. A crime against the government is also known as cyber terrorism. Government cybercrime includes hacking government websites, military websites or distributing propaganda. These criminals are usually terrorists or enemy governments of other nations.
Types of Cybercrime
History of Cybercrime
The malicious tie to hacking was first documented in the 1970s when early computerized phones were becoming a target. Tech-savvy people known as “phreakers” found a way around paying for long distance calls through a series of codes. They were the first hackers, learning how to exploit the system by modifying hardware and software to steal long distance phone time. This made people realize that computer systems were vulnerable to criminal activity and the more complex systems became, the more susceptible they were to cybercrime.
Fast Forward to 1990, where a large project named Operation Sundevil was exposed. FBI agents confiscated 42 computers and over 20,000 floppy disks that were used by criminals for illegal credit card use and telephone services. This operation involved over 100 FBI agents and took two years to track down only a few of the suspects. However, it was seen as a great public relations effort, because it was a way to show hackers that they will be watched and prosecuted.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation was formed as a response to threats on public liberties that take place when law enforcement makes a mistake or participates in unnecessary activities to investigate a cybercrime. Their mission was to protect and defend consumers from unlawful prosecution. While helpful, it also opened the door for hacker loopholes and anonymous browsing where many criminals practice their illegal services.
Crime and cybercrime have become an increasingly large problem in our society, even with the criminal justice system in place. Both in the public web space and dark web, cybercriminals are highly skilled and are not easy to find. Read below to learn more about how to combat cybercrime through cyber law.
Impact of Cybercrime on Society
Cybercrime has created a major threat to those who use the internet, with millions of users’ information stolen within the past few years. It has also made a major dent in many nations’ economies. IBM president and CEO Ginni Rometty described cybercrime as “the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.” Read below for shocking statistics on cybercrime’s impact on our society to date.
- Cybercrime will more than triple the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.
How to Fight Cybercrime
It seems like in the modern age of technology, hackers are taking over our systems and no one is safe. The average dwell-time, or time it takes a company to detect a cyber breach, is more than 200 days. Most internet users are not dwelling on the fact that they may get hacked and many rarely change their credentials or update passwords. This leaves many people susceptible to cybercrime and it’s important to become informed. Educate yourself and others on the preventive measures you can take in order to protect yourself as an individual or as a business.