Cyber Crime Is a Serious Issue Term Paper

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Cyber Crime is a serious issue that has become more severe in recent years. There are many ways in which people and organizations can be victimized by cyber criminals. The purpose of this discussion is to investigate various aspects of cyber crime. The research will investigate the prevalence of cyber crime, Successes and Failures of Law Enforcement Agencies, Essential Investigative Elements, Cost of Computer Security, Hacking Techniques and Current legislation. The research will also focus on the future of cyber crime. Let us Begin our discussion with an overview of the current prevalence of cyber crime.

Prevalence of Cyber Crime

The prevalence of Cyber crime throughout the world has frustrated law enforcement agents and legislators alike. According to an article published in the American Criminal Law Review, at least half of all businesses in the United States alone have been the victims of cyber crime or some sort of security breach. Cyber Crime is such a detrimental type of offense not only because of the type of damage that it can do to individuals and businesses but also because of the costs involved in cyber crime. These costs are most often associated with the repair of a computer system or network. There are also costs associated with the compromise of data that often occurs. This is particularly costly because of the damage that it can do to the reputation of a business and organizations. Customers can become more apprehensive about shopping at a franchise that has experienced computer security problems or going to a bank that has been the victim of cyber crime. For this very reason, the article points out that some businesses and organizations that have been affected by Cyber Crime do not report breaches in security.

In addition the businesses individuals have been the victims of numerous cyber crimes. Such crimes are inclusive of worms, viruses and dialers. They can also be inclusive of identity theft, one of the most widespread aspects of cyber crime. Identity theft involves a criminal stealing sensitive information such as a social security number or a credit card and using the information to purchase items. In some cases identity thieves steal information and go on shopping sprees. In other cases thieves steel information and sell it to other people and they use the information to make purchases.

Successes and Failures of Law Enforcement Agencies

In recent years, Law enforcement agencies have attempted to crack down on cyber crime and cyber criminals. In many cases the successes of law enforcement agencies have taken place as a result of law enforcement agencies working together across state lines. In some cases, law enforcement agents in different countries have been successful at catching cyber criminals or thwarting cyber attacks.

One of the greatest successes and failure of law enforcement has experienced was in finding the individual that created the I Love You virus, one of the most destructive viruses of all time. It originated in the Philippines and was created by Onel de Guzman (Landler). This was a success because it took very little time for law enforcement agents to track him down. Once he was identified he clainmed that he relased the bug by accident and did not intend for it to spread and cause the havoc it created. His capture was also a failure because authorities and the Philipines dropped the charges against him (Landler).

Law enforcement agents have also experienced other faliures as it pertains to catching cyber criminals. In many cases law enforcement has experienced a great deal of difficulty in catching child sexual predators. Some of this failure has to do with the fact that some countries do not have laws that protect children from sexual exploitation.

Essential Investigative Elements

In an effort to combat cyber crime certain investigative tools have been created. One of the most prominent tools involves tracing crimes back to specific networks and specific computers (Lang). This is sometimes referred to as forensic analysis (Brenner). This investigative element consists of tracking the IP addresses of the perpetrators. In many cases the tracing of an IP address leads directly to the cyber criminal (Brenner). However in other cases the tracing of the IP address may only lead to a cyber cafe. In cases of the former law enforcement agencies may be able to easily find the perpetrator. In cases of the later law enforcement agents may only gather enough information to know where the attack came from but not who perpetrated the attack. As such it may be more difficult to find the perpetrator.

In addition some organizations have even hired hackers for investigative purposes and also to develop better security. This is a very common practice for financial institutions who want to make certain that they information is secure in every way. Hackers aid these organizations as it pertains to investigations because they may be able to determine where the threat is coming from and how it can be stopped.

Other investigative tools involve cooperation with law enforcement agencies across state lines and even on the international level. In many cases cyber crimes are carried out using computers in other countries. When this is the case it is vitally important that law enforcement agencies work together to find the cyber criminal. Finding a cyber criminal in another country can at times be difficult because different countries have different laws as it pertains to privacy and what constitutes cyber crime.

One article entitled Catching Cyber Criminals explains that investigative tools are difficult to use over time because cyber criminals simply adjust to the tools and learn how not to get caught. The article explains that this makes it very difficult for law enforcement to find cyber criminals because they have grown quite savvy.

Cost of Computer Security

As a result of the prevalence of cyber crime there is a great need for security measures. These security measures can get extremely expensive depending on the size of the computer system or network. According to the Network Security Journal, businesses in the United States and Europe are spending around 10% of their it budgets on computer security (Waxer). The Journal also reports that this percentage increases each year (Waxer).

The need for computer security is present for individuals on home computers or laptops, as well as for businesses and organizations. As it pertains to individuals that which to protect their computers from cyber criminals, software can be purchased and installed by the user. This software usually comes installed in many PC's. The computer user or the company is responsible for updating the security.

Because technology has grown and changed over the years there are several security measures that must be taken into account including host security, server security and client security (Andress). Another security measure is Wireless network Security. Wireless network security is vitally important because it is quite easy to access wireless networks when they are unsecured (Andress).

As it pertains to organizations, within the Information technology department of any organization, particularly large ones, there are security specialists. These specialists are specifically trained in the area of computer security and they are expected to keep the network safe from intrusions and compromise. This is done through software, hardware and observation of the network.

Overall the securing of computer networks can be quite costly. This is particularly true for organizations that are responsible for securing sensitive information, such as financial institutions. The costs for thee organizations is substantial because they are forced to use various layers of security to reduce the chances of the network becoming compromised. This means security exists at every level from the software to the hardware. This layered security is also inclusive of monitoring that is conducting by a single person or a group of people. All these security measure are essential but they are also very costly.

Hacking Techniques

Individuals who engage in hacking into computers have usually mastered several skills. In fact hackers have a worldwide network and often meet at designated places in the world to hold conventions. Hackers can be particularly bold and in many ways they view hacking as a sport.

The techniques of hackers can be inclusive of hacking through the programming codes of software and hacking into networks. In many hacking incidences involving organization's the goals of the hacker is to gain access to the network and steal valuable data or information. This information may include trade secrets or the personal information of customers. An increasing threat from hackers has to d with cyber terrorism. This type of attack by Hackers can be inclusive of steeling information on how to build weapons from Pentagon computers or even gaining access to electricity grids and causing massive power outages. Regardless of the motivation Hackers can do serious damage to computer systems and networks.

One of the techniques that hackers use is known as stepping stones. An article found in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology explains that "It is common for online attackers to use "stepping stones" -- computers the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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