Computer crime is any crime that has to do with a computer and a network. Computer crimes are criminal activities, which involve the use of information technology to get illegal, or unauthorized access to a computer system with the mind set of damaging, deleting, and altering computer data. Computer crimes are included but are not limited to electronic frauds, misuse of devices, identity theft and data (Carter, 2007). Computer crimes do not necessarily have to involve damage to physical property. The computer could have participated in the crime or may have been the target. There are for common types of computer crimes computer as the target, the computer as an instrument of a crime, the computer as incidental to a crime, and crimes associated with the prevalence of computers.
Categories of Computer Crime
There are four common types of computer crimes. Computers can be used as an target. Crimes were the computer is the can include offenses like theft of intellectual property, theft of marketing information or blackmail based on information gained from computerized files (Jaishankar, 2011). Crimes of this nature can sabotage intellectual property, marketing, pricing, or personnel data or can even sabotage of operating systems and programs with the thought of creating chaos in a business operations. There are many ways computers can be targeted unlawful access to criminal justice and other government record is another crime that targets the computer directly. This type of crime you could change a criminal history, modifying warrant information, creating a driver’s license, passport, or another document for identification purposes. Damage to computer files and programs are called techno vandalism it occurs when a person get unauthorized access to a computer. Techno trespass is another crime in this category. Techno-techno trespass is basically just walking through a computer just to explore what is in it (Jaishankar, 2011). A person might just look at files on a computer but even doing this simple takes invades a person’s privacy like trespassing.
Computers can be used as an instrument in a crime. In common law instrumentality is known for diversion of a lawfully possessed item, which is an instrument to facilitate committing a crime. In this category the use of the computer is the crime not what is on it. Criminals manipulate the computer’s analytical processed which facilitating the crime. Crimes in this category include fraudulent use of ATM, theft of money from accrual, conversion, or transfer accounts, credit card fraud, fraud from computer transactions, and telecommunications fraud. Using an ATM machine you can fall victim to crime ATM machines can be converted to facilitate a crime.
Another category in computer crime is computer is incidental to other crimes. In this category computer is no necessarily the intended target but is related to the criminal act. The computer helps the crime by making the crime occur faster, permits processing of greater amounts of information, and makes the crime more difficult to identify and trace. Crimes that might occur in this category are money laundering and unlawful banking transaction, organized crime records or books, and bookmaking.
There are crimes that are associated with microcomputers, generate new versions of traditional crimes, which fall into the category of crimes associated with the prevalence of computers. Crimes in this category have a technological growth that creates new crime targets. Crimes that fall into this category are software piracy counterfeiting, copyright violation of computer programs, counterfeit equipment, black market computer equipment and programs, and theft of technological equipment.
Software counterfeiting, copyright violation of computer programs, counterfeit equipment, black market computer equipment and programs, and theft of technological equipment fall into this category of computer crime.
Out of the four common computer crimes would be the computer as a target. Computers as a target can be very dangerous because criminal can actually get into the computer and change information (Jaishankar, 2011). Data can be altered if a computer is altered. If a computer network is targeted it can cause harm to the network owner or even the operation of the business. A government computer can be targeted and important information can be leaked out or even changed. (Jaishankar, 2011).
Computer crime affects millions of businesses and people across the world. The federal government attempts to tackle computer crimes by establishing agencies to investigate and prosecute it. In 2008 President Bush started the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative, or CNCI. The goal of this was to secure the United States from cyberspace, it helped from terrorist attacks, and to secure the federal, state and local government networks. (Carson, 2009)
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