The Nature of Cybercrime

A cybercrime is an illegal action, carried out by means of using information technologies for criminal purposes. Basic types of a cybercrime are distribution of malicious software, hacking passwords, stealing credit card and other bank details, as well as a spread of the illegal information (slander, or pornography) on the Internet. Online auctions, in which sellers bet to raise the price of goods offered for an auction, are also considered a cybercrime. In other words, there are offenses, committed in the sphere of information processes, encroaching on information security. In addition, one of the most dangerous and widespread crimes committed on the Internet is a scam (Dhamija, 2010).

Nowadays there are numerous types of the fraudulence on the Internet, but the most interesting is the, so-called, phishing. It is an online swindle, the purpose of which is gaining access to the confidential user data: name and password (Dhamija, 2010). Phishing is a social engineering, which is based on users’ lack of knowledge concerning the basic rules of the web security. The phishing significantly affects all levels of human relations. The first and most important one is its impact on individuals. This type of fraud is carried out by acquiring access to the personal data of the Internet users. Thus, swindlers send bulk email on behalf of the popular brands, and personal messages to different Internet services. These letters often contain a direct link to a website that looks indistinguishable from the original. Once the user goes to a fake page, scammers try to encourage him or her to enter his/ her login and password, which the person uses on a particular website. This way allows fraudsters to access the Internet accounts and bank information. If to take into consideration that many websites offer paid services, the common users can become the victim and lose their money after all (Dhamija, 2010). In accordance with the annual report of Symantec Company, the Norton Cybercrime Report 2012, every second person aged eighteen years and older becomes the victim of a cybercrime. It is more than half a million users daily. Average damage from one cyber attack is 197 U.S. dollars. Over the past twelve months, there were about 556 million victims. It is more than the entire population of the European Union today (Symantec Corporation, 2012).

The huge numbers of sacrifices affect the Internet trade development. People doubt that their money are in safety and prefer to use traditional methods of carrying out the payment. Consequently, the scam makes the impact on local, national, and international levels. Additionally, the offenders’ actions can be directed at the exact group, for example, the elderly users, who are more trusting. Thus, the local impact can also be proved. The national impact can be expressed in that, nowadays, the main purpose of fraudsters is to obtain the information about customers’ bank and electronic payment systems. Recently, the serious crime took place in the USA when the criminals, acting on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service, gathered considerable data of the taxpayers. The first letters were sent randomly, but now phishers can determine the list of services of exact person and use the targeted mailing. Moreover, not only the individuals can be attacked by the offenders. According to the results of the previously mentioned research, sixty-five percent of European organizations were under attack of hackers and scammers (Symantec Corporation, 2012). The fact proves that the problem of cybercrime affects not only the national level, but also it becomes an international threat.

The global nature of cybercrime poses great challenges for law enforcement bodies. In order to provide an effective control over the Internet crimes, the world community needs to create a capable system of cooperation and outline the main tasks, which should be done (Dhamija, 2010). The USA and European community have made some steps in this direction. One of the tasks of the International Police Organization and the European Police Office is to undertake an appropriate investigation of cybercrimes. Additionally, the Council of Europe had adopted the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, which outlined the main ways of cooperation between the European countries concerning this issue. These reasonable steps made by different countries show that the problem of the Internet crimes is needed to be solved rapidly. The complexity of the investigation of such crimes lies in the fact that the criminals are almost imperceptible. It is very difficult to trace the source of actions and catch the culprit, due to the irrelevance of the old methods of crime investigation.

According to all foregoing, it is necessary to stress that the cybercrime causes a great damage to the world economy and slows a further development of the online community. The fishing is one of the most popular types of the Internet scam. It affects all levels of people relations while the law enforcement bodies has not got an effective tool to stop these violations and prevent the Internet users from illegal actions. Consequently, this problem is extremely complex, so the world community should make certain steps to address the looming threat.

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