A Brief History of Cyber Crimewritten by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: M.S. Smith • updated: 5/25/2010Are you familiar with how cyber crime grew into the threat it is today?Cyber crime is simply defined as crimes that are directly related to computers and using computers.Understanding cyber crime history and the types of cyber crime will make fully understanding it and itseffects much easier. Many people assume that cyber crime is relatively new, but it isnt and once youfind out how long it has actually been going on you are sure to be surprised.Types of Cyber CrimeThere are two main categories of cyber crime. The first type targets computer devices or computernetworks directly. The second type targets independent computer devices or computer networks, butare facilitated by computer devices or computer networks. Some examples of the first type includedenial-of-service attacks, malware, and computer viruses. Examples of the second type include cyberstalking, phishing scams, identity theft and fraud, and information warfare.Spam is a crime in which bulk email is sent out unsolicited for commercial purposes. Laws prohibitingspam have been in place in some form for quite some time, but specific laws making spam illegal (anti-spam laws) are quite new.Computer fraud revolves around facts being dishonestly misrepresented to cause or prevent someonefrom doing something in which less experience loss. Those committing computer fraud may changecomputer input without being authorized, delete or change stored data, misusing or changing softwarepackages or existing system tools, writing or changing code, or destroy, steal, change, or suppressoutput to conceal unauthorized transactions
Harassment has extended to the internet world. Sometimes internet harassment is acute, but it can alsodevelop into chronic problems, such as cyber stalking, cyber bullying, online predatory behavior, hatecrimes, and real-world stalking. With real-world stalking, the stalker may take his harassment andstalking off of the internet and out into the real world to intimidate his victim. The stalker may beginharassing or stalking their victim by following them in chat rooms, sending emails, commenting on thevictims blogs or websites, or through online forums.Drug trafficking has been a problem for dozens of years, but the internet has made it easier. Thosetrafficking drugs can use the internet to sell their products through encrypted emails. They may useprivate chat rooms and forums to swap recipes and find new buyers.Cyberterrorism has become a major concern amongst federal officials. Cyberterrorists will work toadvance his social or political objectives by coercing or intimidating an organization or government. Theydo this by sending a computer-based attack against a network, computers, and the information theystore.Cyber warfare is warfare conducted through cyber space through the use of the Internet and computers.Cyber Crime HistoryCyber crime began with disgruntled employees causing physical damage to the computers they workedwith to get back at their superiors. As the ability to have personal computers at home became moreaccessible and popular, cyber criminals began to focus their efforts on home users. The most commoncyber crimes during this time were phishing scams, cyber stalking, computer viruses, and identity theft.As the years went on and more and more households bought home computers with Internet access,cyber crime became bigger and much harder to control. Cyber stalking and harassment also became farmore popular. Middle school and high school kids began to take advantage of the Internet to taunt theirclassmates and adults would stalk and harass those they also stalked in real life via the internet.Police departments and federal law enforcement have created special divisions specifically to deal withcyber crime. However, by judging the history of cyber crime, it is clear that it is not going to stopanytime soon and it seems like it will just continue to grow until new methods of fighting it areintroduced.