A Study on the Types ofCyber Crimes and Prevention Methods
What is Cyber Crime?A generalized definition of cyber crime may be “unlawful acts wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both”The computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity- financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, pornography, online gambling, intellectual property crime, e-mail spoofing, forgery, cyber defamation, cyber stalkingThe computer may however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases- unauthorized access to computer/ computer system/ computer networks, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, Trojan attacks, internet time thefts, theft of computer system, physically damaging the computer system
Computer crimes encompass a broad range of potentially illegal activities. Generally, however, it may be divided into one of two types of categories(1) Crimes that target computer networks or devices directly; Examples - Malware and malicious code, Denial-of-service attacks and Computing viruses(2) Crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices, the primary target of which is independent of the computer network or deviceExamples - Cyber stalking, Fraud and identity theft, Phishing scams and Information warfare
The Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention ofCrime and the Treatment of Offenders (Vienna, 10-17 April2000) categorized five offenses as cyber-crime: unauthorizedaccess, damage to computer data or programs, sabotage tohinder the functioning of a computer system or network,unauthorized interception of data to from and within a systemor network, and computer espionage.
Classification of Cyber Crimes The subject of cyber crime may be broadly classified under the following three groups. They are:1. Against individuals Their person Their property of an individual.2. Against an organization Government Firm, Company, Group of Individuals3. Against the society at large
Against Individuals: Harassment via e-mails Cyber-stalking Dissemination of obscene material Defamation Unauthorized control/access over computer system Indecent exposure Email spoofing Cheating & Fraud
Against Individual Property: Computer vandalism Transmitting virus Netrespass Unauthorized control/access over computer system Intellectual Property crimes Internet time theftsAgainst an Organization: Unauthorized control/access over computer system Possession of unauthorized information Cyber terrorism against the government organization Distribution of pirated software
Against the Society at large: - Pornography (basically child pornography) Polluting the youth through indecent exposure Trafficking Financial crimes Sale of illegal articles Online gambling Forgery
SPAM: Spam, or the unsolicited sending of bulk email for commercial purposes, is unlawful to varying degrees. FRAUD: Computer fraud is any dishonest misrepresentation of fact intended to let another to do or refrain from doing something which causes loss. Forms of fraud may be facilitated using computer systems, including bank fraud, identity theft, extortion, and theft of classified information. A variety of Internet scams target consumers direct.
Valid credit card numbers can be intercepted electronically, as well as physically; the digital information stored on a card can be counterfeited. Computer networks may also be used in furtherance of extortion. PHISHING: It is technique of pulling out confidential information from the bank/financial institutional account holders by deceptive means. SALAMI ATTACK: In such crime criminal makes insignificant changes in such a manner that such changes would go unnoticed.
Criminal makes such program that deducts small amount like Rs. 2.50 per month from the account of all the customer of the Bank and deposit the same in his account. In this case no account holder will approach the bank for such small amount but criminal gains huge amount OBSCENE OR OFFENSIVE CONTENT: - Content considered by some to be objectionable exists in abundance in cyberspace. This includes, among much else, sexually explicit materials, racist propaganda, and instructions for the fabrication of incendiary and explosive devices. In some instances these communications may be illegal.
One area of Internet pornography that has been the target of the strongest efforts at curtailment is child pornography According to Crime Research, child pornography involves distributing, trafficking, dissemination and posting any child- related obscene material When executing this cyber crime, offenders will post obscene photos and videos of children and underage teenagers. They will provide these for free or charge a subscription fee to those who sign up for their websites
HARASSMENT: It involves violating the privacy of another person by using the Internet Whereas content may be offensive in a non-specific way, harassment directs obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing for example on gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation This often occurs in chat rooms, through newsgroups, and by sending hate e-mail to interested parties. Any comment that may be found derogatory or offensive is considered harassment
Cyber stalking involves following a persons movements across the Internet by posting messages (sometimes threatening) on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat- rooms frequented by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc. Defamation is an act of imputing any person with intent to lower the person in the estimation of the right-thinking members of society generally or to cause him to be shunned or avoided or to expose him to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
TRAFFICKING: Trafficking may assume different forms. It may be trafficking in drugs, human beings, arms, weapons etc. Drug traffickers are increasingly taking advantage of the Internet to sell their illegal substances through encrypted e- mail and other Internet Technology. Some drug traffickers arrange deals at internet cafes, use courier Web sites to track illegal packages of pills, and swap recipes for amphetamines in restricted-access chat rooms.
PIRACY: Piracy is the act of copying copyrighted material It involves the use of the Internet to market or distribute creative works protected by copyright This has caused considerable concern to owners of copyrighted material. Each year, it has been estimated that losses of between US$15 and US$17 billion are sustained by industry by reason of copyright infringement HACKING: It is hacking websites This may be done for personal notoriety, the challenge, or a political message just as with traditional defacement of property. It can also include hacking into computer networks
VIRUSES: Viruses are sent to other peoples computers to gain access to their personal information and to eventually destroy their hard drive. To combat viruses, companies and individuals can purchase anti-virus software for their computer, avoid downloading anything unless they know the source is completely safe and not open emails from anyone they do not know
Conclusion:The above forms of computer-related crime are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and need not occur in isolation Computer-related crime may be compound in nature, combining two or more of the generic forms outlined above
Child Pornography The law enforcement agencies are trying to combat this cybercrime by working undercover online Viruses To combat viruses, companies and individuals can purchase anti-virus software for their computer, avoid downloading anything unless they know the source is completely safe and not open emails from anyone they do not know. Cyber Harassment To combat cyber harassment, individuals should report all suspected cases to their local law enforcement agency Law enforcement agencies will take the proper measures to identify the harasser and may choose to prosecute them
Terrorism Combat this type of cyber crime, law enforcement agencies, particularly the FBI, have special units. The Cyber Division that deals specifically with cyber terrorism Cracking Cracking can be difficult to solve, but any suspected cracking crimes should be discussed with a local law enforcement agency. If they do not have the man power to pursue the offender, the FBI may decide to pursue it
Prevention Methods Frequent password changing With the advent of multi-user systems, security has become dependent on passwords. Thus one should always keep passwords to sensitive data secure. Changing them frequently, and keeping them sufficiently complex in the first place can do this. Safe surfing This is a practice, which should be followed by all users on a network. Safe surfing involves keeping ones e-mail address private, not chatting on open systems, which do not have adequate protection methods, visiting secure sites.
Accepting data from only known users, downloading carefully, and then from known sites also minimizes risk Frequent virus checks One should frequently check ones computer for viruses and worms. Also any external media such as floppy disks and CD ROMS should always be virus checked before running Email filters These are programs, which monitor the inflow of mails to the inbox and delete automatically any suspicious or useless mails thus reducing the chances of being bombed or spoofed
To Conclude,A netizen should keep in mind the following things To prevent cyber stalking avoid disclosing any information pertaining to oneself. This is as good as disclosing your identity to strangers in public place Always avoid sending any photograph online particularly to strangers and chat friends as there have been incidents of misuse of the photographs Always use latest and up date anti virus software to guard against virus attacks Always keep back up volumes so that one may not suffer data loss in case of virus contamination
Never send your credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds. Always keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing to prevent any kind of harassment or depravation in children. It is better to use a security programme that gives control over the cookies and send information back to the site as leaving the cookies unguarded might prove fatal. Web site owners should watch traffic and check any irregularity on the site. Putting host-based intrusion detection devices on servers may do this Use of firewalls may be beneficial
And finally, Web servers running public sites must be physically separate protected from internal corporate network