Millions of people around the world use computers and the internet every day. We all use it in school, work even at home, computers have made us life easier, it has brought so many benefits to the society but it has also brought some problems and cybercrimes is one of them. “The times have really changed,” said Greg Garcia, the department’s assistant secretary for cyber security and communications. “We’re seeing now phishing, farming, botnets … war dialing and domain server spoofing. And we’re seeing coordinated cyber-attacks against nation states.” (Fowler 5) Cybercrime is one of the most prevalent and most popular rising crimes being committed today. This is criminal activity done using computers and the Internet. There are millions victims around the world everyday who face these problems. Most people become victims of these at one time or another, but there are ways to avoid or deal with cybercrime by protecting yourself appropriately. I also was one of those victims who faced a similar problem. This unfortunate truth forces me to understand that computers and the Internet have made our lives easier in many ways. However, it is unfortunate that people also use these technologies to take advantage of others through identity theft, hacking attempts, and malicious use of software.Order now
To be able to understand cybercrimes we need to know where it started. It all started with the birth of the internet. In the late 1960s, one of the authors (HMD) was a graduate student at MIT. His research at MIT’s project MAC (now the Laboratory for computer – the home of the World Wide Web Consortium) was funded by APRA – the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. Later on APRA proceeded to implement the APRANET, which eventually developed into today’s Internet. At the beginning Internet was limited to universities and research institutions later time the military began using the Internet. Eventually, the government decided to allow access to the Internet for commercial purposes; however it doesn’t stop there businesses rapidly realized that Internet can boost up their business where they provide better services for their clients. The result is that bandwidth on the Internet has increased tremendously and costs have decreased significantly. Now days we can’t imagine life without Internet because it makes our daily work easier. According to P.J. Deitel and H.M. Deitel “The Internet and the web are surely among humankind’s most profound creations” (Deitel 11). As the Internet increased access to increasing numbers of systems worldwide, criminals used unauthorized access to poorly protected systems for vandalism, political action and financial gain (Internet & World Wide Web : How to Program).
Identity theft via cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, costing billions of dollars each year. Identity theft is a form of theft in which the targets are bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards, social security numbers and information that is linked to a person’s identity. Identity theft is the worst of the cybercrimes against individuals. Moreover, it is not just a person who has high credit score need to be worry about it. According to Federal Trade Commission estimates (FTC) “more than four hundred thousand children have their identity stolen every year” (17). People who involved these kinds of cybercriminals they often obtain access to their birth certificates and run up debts in their names. The victims normally do not know anything about it until they denied for employment, student loans, or find themselves unable to get driver licenses because somebody already using their social security number. Sometimes even those innocent people get arrested for those crimes which they never committed. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has over 1,600 active investigations which are somehow related with identity theft. According to FBI, they opened 1,081 investigations related to identity theft in 2003, and 889 in 2004. Some of these cases are still pending to solve.
I am already a victim of identity theft. I moved here in 2005 from Canada. I went to buy a car in 2007, and they told me need to run my credit history before they can approve me for car loans. I never obtain my credit history before that, so I never know what is in my record. According to loan officers after run my credit history they found out I have one collection accounts on my record. I was really surprised and stunned what they are talking about I have no idea at all. They explained to me a debt collection is one of the worst entries on your credit report. Later, they found more information about this account and it was Visa credit card account from Bloomingdale’s and it was surprised me when they told me somebody opened this account in 2004. I was not even here around that time. After long investigation I found out somebody might be still my identity from Canada and they used it in USA. After long investigation they remove it from my credit report finally in 2006. It took almost one year to remove all those from my record and it’s disappointed me a lot. Before this incident occurred I heard about identity theft but never realized that I have to such a big price one day in my life. I learned important many important lessons through this whole process. I have found that in identity theft cases the burden of proving innocence rests on the shoulders of the victim.
Orrin Hatch argues that “Internet pirates illegally distribute billions of copies of valuable creative works” (Hatch, 51). Hatch says that, “This piracy poses a serious threat to the entertainment industry” (51). Cyber theft is illegally downloading movies, music, software, and games. Mostly teenager involved with this kind of activity; however, this is stealing which violates copyright laws. Internet makes downloading are surprisingly easy for everyone. Especially, people are using those file-sharing web sites. Illegally downloading somebody’s work is same as stealing any product from store which we called shoplifting. Sometimes these kids even don’t know why they can’t download from internet. Every parent’s has responsibility to talk about piracy to their kids. They should remind their kids it’s easy to download it doesn’t mean you should take somebody’s hard work. He puts lot of effort on it to make it. They should get paid for their hard work. They should tell them when you download a movie illegally from peer-to-peer sites, load an unauthorized copy of a software program on to your computer, or rip a music file from a friend; it’s against the law — even if you give it away for free. You can be fined lots of money or put in jail.
Illegal child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses on the Internet. Buckstein says that “the problem may be even more widespread, as only 10 percent of those who receive sexual solicitations on the Internet actually report the crime” (Buckstein 62). These days child pornography exist in multiple formats including print media, videotape, film, CD-ROM, or DVD. It is spread within Internet including newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat (chat rooms), Instant Message, File Transfer Protocol, e-mail, websites, and peer-to-peer technology. For example, recently in junior high school in Los Angeles, California a sixteen-years-old student whose name is Denise had an argument with her boyfriend and they broke up their relation. The rejected young man was angry, and he decided to expose Denise’s cell phone number, e-mail addresses, pictures, home addresses on several sex-oriented websites and those social network blogs. As a result of her former boyfriend’s actions, Denise was hounded for months by Instant messages, prank callers, and car horns of insensitive people who drove by her home to see whether or not they could catch a glimpse of her. In this case, her boyfriend’s identity was detected quickly. However, his apprehension didn’t eliminate the sustained sense of helplessness and embarrassment which Denise had experienced.
In “Newly Nasty”, a writer for The Economist reports that computer networks are extremely vulnerable to on-line attacks. Hacking means illegal access to somebody’s computer or government secure information which normally nobody has right to access except government people. It can be many ways possible most common one using one’s own programming abilities as also various programmers with malicious intent to gain unauthorized access to a computer or network. Hacking is a felony in the United States and is any form of unauthorized network use. “I know how it feels to have privacy violated because it has happened to me and the people around me,” Precedent Obama said in his announcement in 2008 when somebody hacked their system through e-mail. According to a survey the President cited, computer crime has cost Americans $8 billion over the past two years. Cybercrime is out of control at present time. For example, according to McAfee, a large security technology company, states that “law enforcement is not yet effective against it because the police in most areas have been unable to keep up with the digital age” (Engdahl 18).
Malicious software (malware) is any software that gives partial to full control of our computer to do whatever the malware creator wants. For example, computer viruses, also known as worms, are internet- born malicious programs meant to disrupt an aspect of a network. Viruses are programs that attach themselves to a computer or a file and then circulate themselves to other files and to other computers on a network. They usually affect the data on a computer, either by altering or deleting it. Computer programmers create those artificial programs to make significant damage to our computer system. Another main purpose behind create those programs is stealing somebody’s privacy and allow them to access their system. For example, love bug virus, which was affected at least 5 % of the computers of the globe. The losses were accounted to be $ 10 million. According to Cyber Insecurity article “Based on projections from our survey, virus infections prompted an estimated 2.6 million households to replace their computers in the past two years” (Cyber Insecurity 21). Legal action against those programmers who writes virus programs often isn’t effective because so many of them operate it from overseas. Many of them are from Russia, China, Pakistan, and India. According to Cyber Security article “In May, a Russian convicted of unleashing 4,000 computer viruses received slap on the wrist— a suspended two-year jail term and a year’s probation” (22).
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies spend countless time to prevent cyber-crime; however, everybody should come together to solve this problem. Each person has their own responsibility to avoid these kinds of problems. According to Danny Allan, director of research for IBM Rational, “From experience, without fail, we find there is less vulnerability for those who take a proactive approach” (McClure 17). Children sometimes don’t understand about the impact of cyber-crime. Therefore parents should educate them how to use internet and explain their bad effects and security. Installing all necessary software for example, antivirus, antispyware, firewall and keep current with software updates. Kathryn Sederquist said that “It’s up to you to be sure all your software is up to date, with automatic scanning functions turned on” (Cyber Insecurity 21). Each company should train their employee how to keep secure their system. We have to extra careful when setup our password and user id. They should be as complex as users will be able to remember and changes regularly. If company can afford stronger devices should be used for example, dynamic password generators, biometrics readers, especially for fingerprints. We should not send our credit card number to any site that is not secured, to guard against frauds. Always avoid sending any photograph online particularly to strangers and chat friends as there have been incidents of misuse of the photographs. Finally, we should remember that prevention is always better than cure. It is always better to take certain precaution while operating the net.
The Internet has brought enormous changes and benefits to the way organizations can do business and interact with other businesses, people, and government authorities. Each of us is confronted with cyber technologies every day in our life. It can be iPhone, GPS for driving direction or a computer. Those technologies have opened up opportunities that would be unthinkable without those. While progress has brought about many good things, the ease and accessibility of the Internet has also brought with it some concerning and serious disadvantages. Many of those disadvantages directly affect our children, our privacy, our Identity, and even threat to our nation. According to Cyber-crime people can commit a crime in the US while people sit comfortably in their apartment in China. However, Cyber-crime is only important to a few people, but I believe it should be important to everyone. If we become aware of the dangers of being online, the dangers will slowly disappear. If everyone watches out for viruses, they will not spread nearly as far or fast as they currently do. We don’t want to all those benefits which I mentioned earlier come risks. Therefore, this is time to work everybody together to prevent this problem.
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