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Cyber Crime Trends

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Cyber-Crime Trends
Melody Ann Lovelace
CJA570
October 10, 2011
Ray Gagne

Cyber-Crime Trends
In the dawn of the 21st century, the evolution of new technology and science concepts have made changes to everyone’s daily life. Cyber-crimes are a creature that did not exist 15-plus years ago. Back in the day, before technology, were only the conventional crimes such as illegal behaviors people thought were criminal behaviors. However, in today’s time an individual must be extremely careful because not only are people combating traditional crimes but cyber-crimes as well. Cyber-crimes are the newest and most complicated crimes for the new century. A cyber crime is an individual conducting actions such as disrupting communications and devices, disrupting networks, Internet, and telephone; both landlines and mobile. Individuals of various ages are committing cyber crimes because these types’ crimes are easier to commit than the traditional kidnapping, murder, or human trafficking.
According to Parthasarati (n. d.), cyber criminals fall into one of four categories or groups including children and adolescents between ages six to 18, organized hackers, professional hackers/crackers, and the discontent employee(s). The child or adolescent will partake in such behaviors to prove his or her self superior or outstanding over other individual in his or her age group. The organized hacker will want to fulfill objectives such as political bias and fundamentalism to name a couple. The professional hacker/cracker obtains motivation from money and are individual(s) employed by a competitor to hack credentials or valuable information. The discontent employee believes to have been done wrong by organization or dissatisfied and seeks revenge by hacking employer’s system.
Current cyber-crimes include unauthorized, access to computer systems or networks, electronically stealing information, email bombs, data diddling, salami attacks, denial of service attacks, virus or worm attacks, logic bombs, Trojan attacks, Internet time theft, and web jacking (Parthasarati, n. d.). The cost of cyber-crimes rises to astronomical numbers in the billions of dollars every year. John Walker (2008) illustrates an estimation of global costs as 81 billion each year. (pg. 1) The Internet Crime Complaint Center receives over 300,000 complaints which average over 25,000 per month in 2010 (IC3, 2011). Therefore, by the few statistics listed, it is evident that cyber crimes are on the rise and careful consideration must be taken to enact up-to-date systems, stricter regulations, and cooperation because cyber-crimes have no boundaries.
To begin with criminal profiling is an art and a science because it is about generalizations and knowing the types of individuals who will commit specific criminal offenses. The typical cyber criminal is an individual who possesses some measure of technical knowledge. This individual will have a total disregard for the law or any rationalizations about why specific law(s) are invalid and should not apply (Shinder, 2010). The cyber criminal is an individual that may have a high tolerance for risk and seeks the thrill factor. This individual is a control freak by nature and receives much enjoyment by manipulating or outsmarting others. What motivates the cyber criminal is monetary gain, political beliefs, religious beliefs, strong emotions, sexual desires or impulses, and simple boredom (Shinder, 2010).
Not all cyber criminals are equally created because these individuals range from pre-adolescent downloading illegal music unknowing it is a crime to the desperate white collar worker with the dire monetary need downloading company secrets for that monetary gain, to the sociopath who can manipulate any network for whatever the need may be that day and no regard for what is right and wrong (Shinder, 2010). Some signs to look for can include disturbing phone calls, harassment, withdrawing from friends and family, refusing to help at work because of being discovered, avoiding formal audits, living above expected lifestyle with no explanation, large cash transactions, and multiple bank accounts with different banks (Shinder, 2010).
Because cyber crimes are borderless, these acts can occur or come from anywhere, anytime, and impact millions of people and systems around the world with the push of a button. Globally, there are five countries in three continents coming together to combat cyber crimes in a synergistic manner by swapping practices and tools, sharing intelligence, and synchronizing and strengthening the laws (News Report, 2008). In 2006, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States have their high-level cyber cops meet at FBI Headquarters to establish the Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group. This group is assisting with forensic tools, training and strategies for public awareness in an effort to reduce cyber crimes (News Report, 2008).
The United States Department of Justice is taking the lead for a national effort to prosecute individuals committing cyber crimes. The FBI and international efforts are in collaboration to investigate the crime as they occur. The mission and strategy is to stop the individuals behind the computer intrusions and malicious intent, identify and thwart online sex predators, counteract operations targeting the United States intellectual property, and dismantle national and transnational organized criminal enterprises (Snow, 2010). There are cyber squads in 56 field offices in the United States that consists of over 1,000 specialized trained individuals, analysts, and digital forensic examiners. The FBI’s best tool to combat cyber crimes is to establish long-standing partnerships with law enforcement agencies locally, statewide, federally, and internationally. The partnerships also extend to the private sectors and academia (Snow, 2010). The FBI has also partnering with not-for-profit organizations such as the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), National Cyber-Forensic and Training Alliance (NCFTA), InfraGard National Member Alliance, Financial Services Information Sharing & Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) (Snow, 2010).
An example of the close partnership in action is when the Romanian police and prosecutors perform its largest investigation in history to investigate an organized crime group of individuals partaking in Internet Fraud. Over 700 law enforcement personnel were deployed to search 103 locations of activity, with 34 arrests. Over 600 of the Romanian crime victims were in the United States. The take down of this operation is due to a strong relationship between the United States and Romanian law enforcement from domestic levels to federal. By working closely together can only provide leverage and a multitude of available resources and expertise to continue to make significant strides to combat cyber crimes (Snow, 2010).
Let’s not leave out the victims of cyber crimes, a 2011 Norton Cyber Crimes report, released in September, 2011 illustrates 19,636 respondents from 24 countries (Charette, 2011). From the survey results Norton calculates an approximate total of 431 million adults have been victim to cyber crimes in the past 12 months. To break this down further, this is 14 cyber crime victims per second, 820 victims per minute, and approximately 50,000 victims per hour (Charette, 2011).
Charette (2011) quotes from Norton,
The figures shouldn't be a total surprise, Norton says. For example, "... 74 percent of respondents say they are always aware of cyber crime, many are not taking the necessary precautions. Forty-one percent of adults indicated they don't have an up to date security software suite to protect their personal information online. In addition, less than half review credit card statements regularly for fraud (47 percent), and 61 percent don't use complex passwords or change them regularly. Among those who access the Internet via their mobile phone, only 16 percent install the most up to date mobile security." (para. 4)
Cyber crimes have become a major issue and government priority; thus establishing stricter and more serious penalties and consequences from the hefty fine to jail time. Penalties will vary around the world but not all are up-to-date. The United States and the Philippines have the strongest penalties than several other countries (Penalty for cyber crime, 2011). Under the Computer Fraud Act, if individual accesses government computers without proper authorization, this will be a federal crime is punishable with a fine or a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. If gaining unauthorized access to national security, this is punishable with a fine and imprisonment up to 20 years (Penalty for cyber crime, 2011). Wiretapping is a breach of privacy and considered a Category D felony with five year imprisonment and up to a 250,000 fine. Identity Theft is serious and the penalties are a fine, forfeiture of property and maximum 15 year imprisonment. These are only a few; however more than likely there will be a fine and the possibility of jail time for the individual desiring to commit a cyber crime.
To conclude cyber crimes are definitely on the rise and extremely difficult to detect because cyber crimes can be very well hidden and has no boundaries. Despite progress to combat cyber crimes, many countries will still depend on terrestrial law(s) to prosecute the cyber criminal. Countries around the world must strengthen penalties and ensure criminal statutes are up-to-date. Cyber-crimes occur every day and have gained significant growth over the past decade. Cyber-crimes will have a devastating impact on the victim(s). With the United State government working close with other countries, there can be better protection and assist with deterring cyber-crime behaviors. Everyone must to sure to be aware that cyber-crimes can happen and to protect oneself as much as possible. The government can only do so much; the end users must take precautionary measures to always protect his or her self and children from the cyber criminal.

References

Charette, R. (2011). Over 1 million cyber crime victims a day in 2010. Retrieved from http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/telecom/security/over-1-million-cyber-crime-victims-a-day-in-2010-
Global law enforcement solidarity to combat cyber crime. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.govtech.com/security/Global-Law-Enforcement-Solidarity-to-Combat.html?topic=117671
Internet crime Trends. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/february/internet_022411/internet_022411
Pati, P. (n. d.). Cyber crime. Retrieved from http://www.naavi.org/pati/pati_cybercrimes_dec03.htm
Penalty for cyber crimes. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_6810661_penalty-cyber-crimes.html
Shinder, D. (2010). Profiling and categorizing cybercriminals. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/profiling-and-categorizing-cybercriminals/4069
Snow, G. M. (2010). Statement before the house judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/the-fbi2019s-efforts-to-combat-cyber-crime-on-social-networking-sites
Sridhar, S. (2006). Cyber crime - age no bar. Retrieved from http://digitaloman.blogspot.com/2006/10/cyber-crime-age-no-bar.html
Walker, J. (2008). Survey of the incidence and cost of cybercrime. Retrieved from http://johnwalkercrimetrendsanalysis.com.au/Cybercrimesurvey.htm

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