Briefing Paper of Cyber Crime

Definitions of cyber crime

Briefing Paper of Cyber CrimeCyber crime also popularly known as computer crime is any criminal activity where computers or computer networks are used as tools, targets or points of facilitating criminal activities. The person who uses computers for the commission of illegal practices is known as a cyber criminal (Roshan, 2008).  Cyber criminals can easily be organised hackers, motivated criminals, cyber terrorists or discontented employees. Crimes under this could be anything from computer intrusions or rather hacking; abuse of intellectual property rights, espionage, as such, stealing of trade secrets, identity theft, extortion, money laundering and an endless growing list of other Internet-facilitated offenses.

In the recent years, this has grown to be acknowledged as the greatest threat in Information technology and a pressing issue to governments. Due to the numerous attacks and cases of cyber crimes, the term has become conversant to most but the urgency and behavior of persons in curbing it do not reflect a high level of awareness Creation of systems and running them is quite easy at this point but securing the information used in these systems is where the challenges lie.

Cyber crime is bent on compromising the components of the CIA triad that includes confidentiality, integrity and availability. A vulnerability to any these components provides an opportunity for a cyber criminal to execute a crime. The retaliation to this new wave of crime is by creating a counter towards through mitigation concepts known as cyber security. These concepts intend to define the on ways of curbing the crime in the cyber space by defining intrusion detection and prevention techniques, risk assessment and recovery procedures. (Majesty, 2010)

The greatest censor on cyber crime is mostly facilitated by governments due to the nature of information they hold that if landed on the wrong hands could be a threat to its operations especially in negotiation of terms on foreign policies and terrorism (Copeland & Thomas, 2000). In fact, cyber crime is that single most threat that could cripple a government hence the high levels of censorship. However, the area is still a developing area that comes with a lot of ambiguity that makes it hard to implement legislation meant for its control

Heavy dependency of IT by society

Although the majority of the populous consider the Internet as a safe environment and conveniently use it on a daily basis using computers and smart devices, the number of cyber attacks that are facilitated on a daily basis has been on the rise. Even more, the number of these attacks that go undetected is overwhelmingly high and no longer exceptions (Arora, Nandkumar, &Telang, 2006).

Therefore, this kind of dependency on technology gives avenues for executing attacks to unknowing users. This is because of an increased vulnerability and little awareness on the part of the users.

Malware

This is a short form for ‘malicious software’. This is a term used for the description of any computer programs that are developed and designed with the intent to cause harm to a computer or computer system hence the importance of protecting against. Malware can be with intent to commit a number of crimes such data theft, disruption such as Denial of Service (DoS).  Botnets on the other hand are computer networks created and infected with malware leaving devices vulnerable to control by the malicious users.

Growing risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure

This is the question of cyber terrorism. Currently, terrorist have left the classical way on causing destruction using physical weaponry. They now use sophisticated technology which sets the stage for what is now referred as modern warfare (Arquilla, John , Ronfeldt, & David, 1993).  This kind of warfare is dependent of information warfare by compromising an enemy’s information systems or fueling false narratives that cause internal divisions. Therefore, the threat now lie in information reserves in global networks which when exploited form an avenue for cyber attacks.

Types of Computer Crimes

  1. Computer assisted crimes – These crimes as the name suggests are crimes not carried out using a computer itself but criminal that uses his/her car to facilitate the crime. As such is luring children into child pornography.
  2. Computer specific or targeted crime – They are crimes directed at computers, networks, and information systems for instance DoS,password sniffers)
  • Computer is incidental – This is where a computer is incidental to a criminal activity.(Saini&Rao , 2012).

Types of cyber criminals

  1. Crackers: Their intent is based on causing a loss to satisfy a hidden motive or just as fun. These include those who create computer viruses and those that distribute them.
  2. Hackers: These are more dedicated with the intent of exploration  of  privately secured networks to get information as mere curiosity or to prove a point to peers.
  • Pranksters: These merely make play tricks on users on the internet just as short-term harm.
  1. Career criminals: These make their earnings part-time or full time by facilitating cyber crimes such as extortion..
  2. Cyber terrorists: These are experienced hackers with high-level technological know how that exploit governments’ information agencies. They can cause actual physical terror of spread malicious information and may even extort governments.
  3. Cyber bulls: These involve causing nuisance online by using fake information to stir chaos. They are characterized by cloning sites and profiles and using fake profiles to send insensitive messages.

Issues in cyber crime

  1. Cyber crime is a synonymous term to most people but there awareness of the attacks that actually take place undetected is very low. The culture of security in terms of gauging urgency is much minimized to individuals and organisation. This little awareness threatens the fight and provides avenues for more attacks.
  2. A fast changing technology

The incessant purge in cyber technology beats the progress of govt. sector so that they are not able to identify the origin of these cyber-crimes

  • Existence of paradoxes

This is happens when an attempt to choose a policy in the case of legislation calls for compromise of another policy. One such policy is with the controversial surveillance of citizens’ private communication in attempt to ensure cyber security.

Challenges in cyber crime

In the effort to fight cyber crime, there are several challenges that are very present as elaborated below (Elmaghraby&Losavio, 2014)

  1. Limited number of trained and qualified manpower to implement the counter measures.

A deficit of talent in cyber security talent poses a challenge to every industry sector. The lack of enough trained personnel aggravates an already difficult task of curbing cyber crimes.

  1. Lack of e-mail account policy for defense forces, police and the security agency personnel.

This seeks to establish policies and procedures for the setup and maintenance of email accounts. With no such policies for the security agencies, they can easily get compromised leading to leaks of classified information

  • Cyber attacks have come not only from terrorists but also from neighboring countries contrary to our National interests.

This happens in the case of sabotage by neighboring for economic gain. This put neighboring countries at very unhealthy relationships that can lead to conflict.

  1. Eligibility for police for qualification do not include computer knowledge.

The minimum necessary eligibility to join the police doesn’t include any knowledge of computers sector so that they are almost illiterate to cyber-crime.

  1. Security forces and Law enforcement personnel are not equipped to address high-tech crimes.

Most often than not, crimes involving cyber criminals require a combination of security agencies to even decipher and investigate a crime.

  1. Lack of enough budget allocation

This especially brews because of lack of awareness of the vitality of computer security and the role it has in stability of information systems.

Solutions to challenges facing cyber crime

  1. In order to curb an exponentially growing number of cybercrimes, more personnel in ICT need be trained in cyber security to counter an already existing deficit, Furthermore, emphasis  on importance of these professionals has to be put to encourage funding by governments
  2. Security , defense forces and security agencies need to be trained on security prevention and detection methods, IPS/IDS for them to be in a position to respond to cybercrimes
  • Basic qualification for police should include computer literacy so that they can be in a position to effectively handle cases related to cybercrimes as they would understand the stakes.
  1. Since security and police are ill equipped and untrained on handlingcyber crimes, special units such as the cybercrime units could be set up with qualified personnel to work hand in hand with the police.

Conclusion

Cyber crime as it stands is one of the largest threats not only to users of computing infrastructure but also to national security of a government. The fact that it is easy to commit with no physical evidence being in existence, makes it a challenge to detect and eliminate. The nature of ICT being border less does not help either as rigid regulations may be overwritten by international laws consequently challenging local laws. Policy making in this area still pose a challenge to possibly finding solutions to the current issues. From poor attitudes and pure ignorance by stakeholders in taking the matter with urgency drags down the process. Further, ambiguity still poses as a problem as comprehension of cyber crime is gray and needs a social-technical dependence that is yet to fully mature.

References

  1. Arora, A. Nandkumar, R. Telang, 2006. Does information security attack frequency increase with vulnerability disclosure? An empirical analysis

Information Systems Frontiers, 8 (5) ,pp. 350-362

Arquilla, John and Ronfeldt, David, (1993), “Cyberwar is Coming“, Comparative Strategy, Taylor & Francis, Vol 12, (2), pp. 141-165.

A.S. Elmaghraby, M.M. Losavio, 2014.  Cyber security challenges in smart cities: Safety, security and privacy Journal of Advanced Research, 5 (4) ,pp. 491-497. Order Now

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