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Cybercrime

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Introduction

The current digital age allows most of the organisations around the world to have the information and communication technologies to have the business model of the organisations. The high amount of advancements in the digital sector has caused the individuals around the world to have the information and communication technological devices as a very important part of their lives. The heavy involvement of the information and communication systems in the various aspects of the individuals’ lives and operations of the business model of the organisation has also increased the risks of attacks. The information and communication technological systems implemented in various industries and organisations are based on the management and usage of the information and data. The storage and security of data are the most important agenda in the implementation and usage of the various information and communication technologies (Wall, 2007). There are a number of sources of the attacks on the data being processed and utilised in the information and communication technological systems. All of these sources of the threats against the data and information being used in the various information and communication technologies cause people to attack them intentionally with the aim of damaging the system. The act of cybercrime is defined as the activities done by individuals or groups across the world to damage or occupy various facts and information without proper authentication and authorisation. The process of cybercrime involves the criminal activities via the digital media. This literature review focuses on the various reasons of cybercrime and the various types of cybercrime along with the various methodologies used by the organisations and individuals around the world to prevent the data against these threats (Yar 2005, p407-427).

 

Types of cybercrime

There are a number of types of cybercrime in the current digital age depending on the situation, source and impact of the attack on the information and data being utilised in any of the information and communication technologies around the world. Some of the most common types of cybercrime are mentioned in this section.

Identity theft

In this type of cybercrime, the criminal steals the identity of the victim. The identity of the victim defines the various types of information of the victim such as credit card information, banking information, social security number, debit card information, bank account information etc. The usage of these information in a wrong way allows the criminal to misuse the information to damage the economic condition of the victim.

Hacking

This type of cybercrime includes the attempts of a programmer to find out loop holes and back doors in the programming of an application. This programmer tries to bypass the security of the application to get access to restricted contents, which in turn allows the programmer to have unauthorised access into the application (Thomas, 2000).

Cyber stalking

The process of cyber stalking involves an individual or a group of individuals harassing a person via a number of digital media. The process of cyber stalking includes the activities of the criminal to exploit the victim in a number of ways.

Piracy

This type of cybercrime is one of the most important and increasing cybercrimes in the entire world, which is also being frowned upon by the law and regulations. The process of piracy involves the steps of downloading various digital content from the internet without proper authorisation and without paying for them (Williams 2001, p22-26).

 

Sources of cybercrime

The process of cybercrime involves a large number of sources which allow the threats to be originated from a number of points against the data and information being utilised by the information and communication technological systems used in the various industries and organisations. Some of the sources of cybercrimes are mentioned in this section.

Disgruntled employees

Some of the previous employees of an organisation who is disgruntled, follows a number of steps to carry out the process of cybercrime through a number of media. The criminal in this situation, tries to get into the security and ICT application to get access into the various facts and information being managed and maintained in the system (Yar, 2013).

Antisocial people

Some of the antisocial people in the societies focus on exploiting a number of potential victims in the internet which causes them to attack on the weak individuals and carry out the process of cyber stalking.

Need for money

This is one of the most important sources of the number of cybercrimes happening in the current societies.  A number of individuals and groups of individuals plan and execute a number of such activities which allows them to gain a large amount of monetary resources through the acts of cybercrime.

Behaviour and perception

Some of the people in the societies around the world have the behaviour and nature of messing around in the internet. This leads to the people of the societies to be affected negatively due to the attacks on the data and information managed and stored by the information and communication systems used in the various industries and institutions (Shinder, 2008).

 

Major issues

There are a number of major issues involved in the activities of cybercrime, which causes the institutions and individuals to be cautious regarding the attacks on the data being processed and maintained by the information and communication systems implemented in the various organisations and institutions across the world. Some of the major issues and impacts of the process of cybercrime are mentioned in this section.

Loss of information

As discussed earlier, the information and data held and managed by the various information and communication systems implemented in the various organisations and institutions is the most important resources. The attacks of cybercrime activities on the information and communication systems causes the loss of information, which in turn leads to loss in the total profits to the organisation (Zheng 2003, p59-73).

Destruction of information

Some of the cybercriminal activities focus on the destruction of the information being handled, stored and used by the information and communication systems. So some of the information and communication systems are vulnerable to the various types of attacks destroying the data and information being stored and managed by the systems.

Distribution of information

One of the most important impacts of the cybercrimes in the current society is the process of sending the information and data being maintained by the ICT system to the people not authorised to use it. This in turn compromises the integrity of the data (Holt 2008, p1-25).

Manipulation of information

Some of the cybercrime attacks on the various data and information leads to manipulation of the correct information to create compromised and erroneous data. This in turn leads to the failure of effective usage of the stored data.

 

Theories

The process of cybercrime can be defined in a theory named Routine activities theory which was one of the biggest changes in the criminological thoughts of the time. This Routine Activities Theory (RAT) is situational theory which assesses the current situation to analyse the facts and information. This theory assesses the situation related to the criminal activities and tries to identify the root cause of the criminal activities (McQuade, 2006). This theory allows an individual to assess the current and past situations to analyse and understand the reasons behind the criminal activities. This theory is derived from the Human ecology theory which defines three basic factors which are responsible for the changes in the behaviours of the people in the societies. The Routine Activities Theory allows the identification and analysis of three factors which encourages or discourages criminal behaviour in the societies. There have been a number of enhancements to the Routine Activities Theory, which allows the theory to be utilised in various aspects of the societies in the entire world. One of the best enhancements to the theory allows the usage of the theory to prevent criminal activities in a number of situations (Anderson, 2012). This enhancement of the theory is known as Situational Crime Prevention, which includes the process of identification of the target and the process of preventing any kind of the criminal activities in the corresponding situation. This theory also defines a number of factors associated to the target which are responsible for the changes in the behaviour in favour or against of the criminal activities or criminal mind-set. These theories are accompanied by a number of complementary theories which allows greater insight into the situation of the criminal activities. Still there is an issue of applying the various criminology theories to any situation of crime. The involvement of internet in the process causes the factors associated to the criminal and the entire situation to be very high, which in turn causes the application of the criminological theories to the analysis of the crime situations a bit difficult. Another issue in the application of the criminological theories to the actual situation is due to the large number of factors affecting the mind-set of the individuals involved in the situation (Furnell, 2002).

 

Conclusion

The process of cybercrime involves the criminal activities via a number of digital media. The process involves the attacks on the various information and communication technological systems implemented in the various industries and institutions across the world. The process of cybercrime includes a large number of sources of attacks on the information being stored and managed by a number of information and communication technologies across the world. This literature review allows us to identify and analyse the various types of cybercriminal activities possible in various aspects of the various institutions and industries. These various types of the cybercriminal activities have various types of impacts associated with them, which in turn causes the information and communication systems to be damaged and affected in negative ways (McQuade, 2006). The review also involved the analysis of the Routine Activities Theory as the theory applicable to most of the cybercriminal situations and for the situational analysis of these conditions. All of these sources of attacks on the information and data along with the various types of impacts of such activities has caused most of the institutions across the world to have effective and efficient strategies implemented to handle these cybercriminal activities. These institutions could be the societies across the world or the organisations operating in the various industries around the world. The government of the various countries are also trying to implement various strategies to handle the various cybercriminal activities done over the internet (Ciardhuáin 2004, p1-22). There are a number of rules and regulations established by the governments of the countries to manage and prevent such situations which can lead to any type of cybercriminal activities. The processes of various organisations and institutions around the world include the usage of the information and data to achieve various results. The establishment and application of various cybercriminal theories and strategies around the world allows these data and information to be safe and secure.

 

References

Anderson, R., Barton, C., Böhme, R., Clayton, R., van Eeten, M., Levi, M., ... & Savage, S. 2012, June. Measuring the Cost of Cybercrime. In WEIS.

Ciardhuáin, S. Ó. 2004. An extended model of cybercrime investigations. International Journal of Digital Evidence, 3(1), 1-22.

Furnell, S. 2002. Cybercrime: Vandalizing the information society. London: Addison-Wesley.

Holt, T. J., & Bossler, A. M. 2008. Examining the applicability of lifestyle-routine activities theory for cybercrime victimization. Deviant Behavior, 30(1), 1-25.

McQuade, S. C. 2006. Understanding and managing cybercrime. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Shinder, D. L., & Cross, M. 2008. Scene of the Cybercrime. Syngress.

Thomas, D., Douglas, T., & Loader, B. (Eds.). 2000. Cybercrime: Law enforcement, security and surveillance in the information age. Psychology Press.

Wall, D. 2007. Cybercrime: The transformation of crime in the information age (Vol. 4). Polity.

Williams, P. 2001. Organized crime and cybercrime: Synergies, trends, and responses. Global Issues, 6(2), 22-26.

Yar, M. 2013. Cybercrime and society. Sage.

Yar, M. 2005. The novelty of ‘cybercrime’an assessment in light of routine activity theory. European Journal of Criminology, 2(4), 407-427.

Zheng, R., Qin, Y., Huang, Z., & Chen, H. 2003. Authorship analysis in cybercrime investigation. In Intelligence and Security Informatics (pp. 59-73). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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