Note on Cyber Crime

  • Note
  • Things to remember

INTRODUCTION

Anyone who wants to invade or harm a computer system can make use of the variety of tools and tricks. These tricks related to unauthorized access. The unauthorized access mechanism and other methods by which an intruder accesses the database are given in coming sections.

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Source:propakistani.pk

Computer Crime is an illegal activities carried out by the use of computers by the individuals who has a good knowledge about the computer. Alternatively, computer crime is also known ascyber crime, e-crime, electronic crimeor hi-tech crime.Computer crime is an act performed by a knowledgeable computer user, sometimes referred to as a hackerthat illegally browses or steals a company's or individual's private information.

As the number of computer's users are increasing, the computer crime are also increasing. Due to the increment of computer crime, cyber law was made to control or minimize these crimes but the crimes has not be fully controlled by cyber law. Different types of computer crimes that has been in practice are as follows:

  • Cyber terrorism - Hacking, threats and blackmailing towards a business or person
  • Creating Malware - Writing, creating, or distributing malware (e.g. virusesandspyware)
  • Denial of Service Attack - Overloading a system with so many requests it cannot serve normal requests
  • Espionage - Spying on a person or business
  • Fraud - Manipulating data, e.g. changing banking records to transfer money to an account
  • Harvesting - Collect account or other account related information on other people
  • Identity Theft - Pretending to be someone you are not
  • Intellectual property theft - Stealing another persons or companies intellectual property like copyright, patent rights, etc.
  • Phishing - Deceiving individuals to gain private or personal information about that person
  • Scam - Tricking people into believing something that is not true
  • Spamming - Distributed unsolicited e-mail to dozens or hundreds of different addresses
  • Spoofing - Deceiving a system into thinking you are someone you really are not
  • Unauthorized Access- Gaining access to systems you have no permission to access

So, in simple words, we can define computer crime as the unethical or illegal acts like fraud, unauthorized access, phishing, identity theft, etc., done by the knowledgeable computer user by the use of computer.

Password Guessing

The computers usually use some type of authentication technique using plain text passwords to protect the system from uninvited guests. But, some people can penetrate or break the authentication and access the computer resources. The activity can be carried out by the following methods:

  1. Password guessing
  2. Shoulder surfing (look from shoulder for someone using a password)
  3. Packet sniffers (A program that checks all the traffic on a section of a network)
  4. Dumpster diving (look in dumped documents for password)
  5. Social Engineering (False call for a password das if you are the user)
  6. Superuser status (provide facility to access all the files and documents protected like in UNIX or Windows NT)

Salami Saving and Data Diddling

Most of the computer crimes are generated from inside the job. In salami shaving, a programmer alters a program so that it subtracts a very small amount of money from each account and diverts the funds to the embezzler’s account.

In the case of Data Diddling, insiders modify data so that it is difficult to tell that they have stolen funds. In some cases, data diddling requires little more expertise than altering accounts or database records to disguise illegal activities.

Forgery

Basic shortcomings in the Internet’s technical design enable knowledgeable users to make data appear to come from one place when it is really coming from another.

Pranksters can easily originate forged e-mail messages, which can do such things. Spammers (marketers who send unsolicited e-mail) use this technique to disguise the origin of their messages.

Security Loophole Detection Programs

There are some programs that can detect security loopholes. Intruders can use a variety of programs that automatically search for unprotected or poorly protected computer systems and notify them when a target is found.

They can also use SATAN, a security loophole analysis program designed for use by system administrators. The program can tell how to get into a poorly secured system.

Computer Viruses

Computer Viruses resemble a living virus in frightening ways. The computer viruses require a host and they are designed to make copies of themselves. There are varieties of viruses like file infector virus, boot sector virus, macro virus, time bombs, logic bombs, Trojan horse, etc.

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Source: werehumans.com

Hackers, Crackers, Cyber Gangs and Virus Author

Hackers are computer hobbyists who enjoy pushing computer system to their limits. They experiment with a program to try to discover undocumented features, capabilities that are not mentioned in the system’s manuals. Sometimes, they try track down all the weaknesses and loopholes in a system’s security.

Hackers are those individuals who are technically proficient and attempted to access to any system in unauthorized ways. They are also known as ' Ethical Hackers' or 'White Hat Hackers'. So, hackers are those individuals who are technically proficient andare intensely interested in exploring the things and recondite workings of any computer operating system by discovering the holes within the system but never intentionally damage data.Hackers are most often programmers and they obtain advanced knowledge of operating systems and programming languages.

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Source:www.phxnews.com

Crackers (also called black hats) are hackers who like Darth Vader in George Luca’s Star Wars trilogy, have turned to the dark side. They become obsessed with gaining entry to highly secure computer systems.

Crackers, who are also known as 'black hat', are those individuals who breaks into any system or violates the system integrity with malicious content. Having gained unauthorized access, crackers destroy vital data, deny legitimate users service or cause problems for their targets. Crackers can easily be identified because their actions are malicious.

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Source:www.gohacking.com

Cyber Gangs brings crackers together by means of the Internet and physical meetings. The group dynamics reinforce their immature and often destructive aims.

Computer virus authors typically want to see how far they can push the boundaries of virus software.

Effects of Computer Crime

Breaches of computer security can be costly. As our entire economy and infrastructure move to the networked information systems, the potential costs grow higher every day due to the breaches of computer security.

The following are the consequences due to an attempt in the computer crime caused by hackers, intruders, crackers, and viruses.

  1. Consumption of time of staff member in detecting intruders and managing safety methods.
  2. Physical theft of the computer and other equipment cause a lot of damage to the companies.
  3. Due to the attackers, the banks, and financial companies get adverse publicity.
  4. Vandalize the original web page with the different contents.
  5. The privacy of public can be lost due to unauthorized access of data and programs.

Safety of Computer Crime

We are going to discuss some methods of protecting our computer from above mentioned possible damages to the computer and databases. None of them are 100% safe but they will definitely reduce the risk damage.

The following are the safety measures of computers.

  1. Protection of computers from power-related problems such as power surges and power outages.
  2. Using call back system which helps to identify the intruder’s location and phone number.
  3. Using firewall which protects the computer from receiving unknown e-mail messages.
  4. Using encryption method for the databases for its access.
  5. Using antivirus programs to protect from virus infection.
  6. Using backups regularly with safe and virus free hard disks.

Unauthorized Access

Most of the computer systems use some type of authentication technique. They may be plaintext passwords which help to protect the system from uninvited guests. It isn’t difficult, though, to guess or obtain a password. In fact, many unauthorized access attempts target password lists.

Computer Related Legal Problems

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offense. It is the presentations of somebody else work as it were your own. Plagiarism may cause legal problems. Plagiarizing copyrighted material is called copyright infringement.

If you are tempted to copy anything from the Web, you need to bear in mind that there are U.S is a signatory to international copyright regulations.

Hence, an author’s does not need to include an explicit copyright notice to be protected under the law. Don’t copy anything from the Web page without first asking permission.

Software piracy

Imagine that you have copied a computer program. It works perfectly on your friend’s computer. Maybe, you are interested in making money by selling it. Such actions which violate the copyright law is known as software piracy. There are some sites and some domains available for the free copy of software and trial versions to use.

But, you are restricted to use the full version of commercial software, which if you use and sell will affect the author directly or indirectly. The following actions are illegal:

  1. Incorporating all or part of a General Public License (GPL) program in a commercial program that you offer for sale.
  2. Continuing to use a shareware program past the evaluation program’s expiration date, even though you didn’t pay the registration fee.
  3. Violating the terms of a software license, even if you have paid for the program. For example, many licenses forbid you to install and use more than one copy at a time, so you are guilty of an infringement.
  4. Making copies of site-licensed programs for your personal use at home.
  5. Giving or selling copies of commercial programs to others.

Adult sites and obscenity

Adult sites are those sites which contain pornography. They are full of nude pictures and explicitly sexual outrages. Some people access these sites during the office hours which is hampers the regular work of the office.

References:

Khanal, R.C. Khanal, R.C. Computer Concept for XII. Pashupatigriha Marga, Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal: Ekta Books Distributors Pvt. Ltd., 2010. 103-107.

Adhikari, Deepak Kumar.,et.al., Computer Science XII,Asia Publication Pvt.Ltd

  1. The term cyber crime is often used to describe crimes carried out by means of the Internet and a new legal field called the cyber law, is developing in order to track developments in this and related areas.
  2. Cyber law is the legal field that maintains the order of track in the Internet access and communication.
  3. Password guessing, Salami saving and data diddling, forgery, Security loophole detection programs, Hackers, Crackers, Cyber Gangs and Virus Authors are the terms related to Cyber crimes.
  4. Consumption of time of staff member in detecting intruders and managing safety methods and physical theft of the computer and other equipment cause lot of damage to the companies.
  5. Due to the attackers, the banks, and financial companies get adverse publicity this one adverse effect of the computer crimes.
  6. Protection of computers from power-related problems such as power surge and power outages and controlling the access of computer and database with authentication systems such as password are the safety measures of computer crime.
  7. Using good antivirus programs to protect from virus infection should make backups regularly with safe and virus free hard disks are also the safety measures of computer crime. 
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