Almost everyone everywhere in the world has either used or owned a computer. If there was an Internet connection, then they have all been connected together across that medium. But when you are just browsing the Internet or looking at your choice of social media site, did you know that you are getting attacked by some sort of malware or could be verbally assaulted by an individual? In Cyber Criminology: Exploring Internet Crimes and Criminal Behavior by K. Jaishankar, he describes all the ways people across the world are attacked everyday by some sort of malware or by an individual, such as a pedophile. Certain topics that will be discussed are subcultures in cyberspace, types of hackers/crackers, virtual sex offenders along with pedophiles, digital piracy, cyber victimization, and legal circumstances that occur when cyber crimes have been committed. We will dive deep into the secrets behind these attacks, the reasons for them, and statistics taken from researchers to show who commits these crimes and why they did so.Order now
In the first section of Cyber Criminology, is the subject matter of individuals going away from acceptable standards of what one normal person would take and the subculture behind these people in cyberspace. The Internet is used for personal gains or destruction of others by people described as hackers, web criminals, and cyber fraudsters. One particular type of individuals who do this that were taken in a study are people from Nigeria, and are known by the name of yahooboys (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4). Yahooboys consists of mainly young boys and girls whom use the Internet to partake in criminal activity (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4). Some of the criminal activities they try to accomplish are scams, selling false goods or services, and hacking into people’s accounts and computers (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4). As described by Jaishankar and Adeniran, “the yahooboys do all of these criminal activities as a café culture” (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4). Poverty is very high in Nigeria, so these yahooboys seek to spend their lives online in order to con or trick people in order to make an income for themselves so they can try to escape poverty in their country/village (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4-5). The three main aspects that effect the growth and population of yahooboyism are the political government, the economics, and social factors of Nigeria (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 4-5).
The political government in Nigeria is very corrupt, which makes it hard for the individuals who live there to make money for themselves in order to get out of poverty. The economics and social features fall hand in hand with the corrupted political government, for it is hard to get a country together and growing when the government is trying to overrun all the people with its power to become unstoppable. With the government being corrupted as it is, this would lead the people to think that “café culture” would be acceptable and allows more and more people in Nigeria to join into this lifestyle of Internet hacking/scams (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 5-6). In order to fix this, the government needs to improve regulations on the Internet, they need to make special programs/activities for the youth to keep them off the Internet, and to give unemployment checks in order to make corruption and hacking unattractive (Adeniran & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 11-12).
One form of Internet crime does not involve hacking/cracking, but has to deal with people using the Internet to seek sexual contact with children. These people are known as child predators, or on the web they are known as “travelers” (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 53). Jaishankar and Young stated that the FBI states, “They open six new cases for child predators every week.
There is an offender arrested everyday in the United States and most offenders are in the upper-income class and are law abiding citizens (except in this case of being accused of being a child predator)” (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 53-54). In a study of people convicted of being a child predator, the individuals did not have a criminal record or sexual history with children (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p.56). In this study, the following results were achieved: Clients ages ranged from 34-48, 58 percent were white-collar workers, 17 percent were blue-collar workers, 15 percent were unemployed, and 10 percent were on disability (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 56). The study showed that at the time of arrest of these child predators that the following information was obtained from them: 47 percent had depression or anxiety, 39 percent had alcoholism or drug dependence, 19 percent had a sex addiction, and 10 percent had a history of sexual abuse (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 56). With child predators comes child pornography on the Internet. Child pornography is becoming more known and more wide spread on the Internet today for the fact that it is harder to catch who is putting up the pictures of the children and who is viewing them. Now they have these online communities where people can get on to talk about or to children in a sexual way and get away with it. They can get away with it for the fact that they have this “wall” of a computer screen to hide behind, and also these communities can say they are just pretend and it is all just a fantasy, not real life because users have to verify they are 18 years or older to be on the site (Young & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 62). Thus it is becoming harder to convict many child predators online, unless they can get concrete evidence of them trying to meet a person under the age of 18 years.
To go back and describe people using the Internet for their own personal and financial gains, the best members of this are known as “hackers” and “crackers.” The bad hackers are more known for being called crackers than hackers. Bad hackers see themselves as gifted people and do the things they do because they were bad people since they were children (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 40-41). They do not always want to take something for someone, sometimes they just like to show off their computer hacking skills or do what the government won’t to some individuals (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 41-42). Such as doing a denial of service attack to someone that is corrupt because the government will not do anything about it so they feel like they are doing a duty for the country. Some bad hackers are sometimes called phreaks or pirates. Phreaks are hackers who acquire someone else’s credit card number or they use technology to avoid getting charged for long-distance calls (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 32). Pirates are people who illegally acquire and distribute copyrighted software. The good hackers are known simply as hackers; at least they were when that was a job back a few years ago. The older/good hackers hacked into systems in order to see the weak points, then letting the company know so they can make their systems better for their users (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 38-39). In a study of good hackers, the following information was obtained: Many were young, educated, single, earning above-average income, and where of either European or American origin (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p.35). Not all good hackers did this as a job and a source of income, rather some of them did it as a hobby and for the greater good of others (Turgeman-Goldschmidt & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 39).
One major form of cyber security many people think of is security from terrorist. The Internet allows terrorist to group together across the world to more efficiently run their operations. It gives them a bit of security for themselves to hide their location if they know how to do so, which reduces the chances of being detected and arrested (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.127-128). On the Internet, terrorist can reach out to their supporters from every area of the world, and can even gain more supporters this way. When using the Internet for cyber terrorism, many terrorist use it for recruitment for their actions and plans, training for their supporters, and to help spread propaganda (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.128). Since terrorism has spread on the Internet, many people have started up counterterrorism websites that will take away youths that would possibly be interested in joining the terrorist side (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.135-136). These websites would show youths that the counterterrorist site wants them to side with them and be apart of their family (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.135-136). The main logic behind this is because the terrorist seek the youths that seek companionship and say how they want to recruit them to carry out violent acts on their behalf for all the pain people have caused to them both (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.129-130). Most of the youths they do end up recruiting have one of the following symptoms: suffer from the feeling of isolation, disconnectedness, or loneliness (Freiburger, Crane, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.136).
There is a top growing type of cyber crime in which many people do not know they are violating or do not think it is really a crime. This cyber crime is digital piracy. Digital piracy is the act of downloading or sharing copyrighted digital goods, software, digital documents, and digital audio without the permission from the owner or without paying for it (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.141). Digital piracy became illegal when the 1974 Copyright Act was made and established (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2001, p.141). This act was then followed by the making of the No Electronic Theft Act (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.141). The people who download any of the previous material illegally are known as “Pirates.” According to a study, digital piracy has cost the software industry billions of dollars in lost revenue, a large number of jobs were lost, and caused a lost in government revenue (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.142). In a recent study, the largest group of people to commit digital piracy are college students. This is thought due to the high price of software and the necessity to have it to pass college (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.142). “Self-Control Theory” is a group they categorize Pirates in that have little self control over themselves to not commit this crime (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.143). It is believe this low self-control is from bad parenting when the person was below the age of eight years old (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.142-143). Another reason is of the individual getting a thrill out of committing a crime in digital piracy and also depend of the person’s view of the worth of what they are illegally downloading (Higgins & Jaishankar, 2011, p.143). There can be many different reasons for individuals illegally downloading material of the Internet, but in the end, it is still illegal no matter the content they are downloading.
The RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America, has tried to crack down on Peer-to-Peer platforms to stop illegal downloading of music (Bachmann & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 156-157). The downloading of illegal music has been on a constant rise and began with the file sharing network system of Napster. Napster evenly got shutdown for having a Peer-to-Peer site with a central server (Bachmann & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 156-157). In 2009, a woman was caught with sharing 24 songs on a P2P site and was sued for $1.92 million dollars and lost (Bachmann & Jaishankar, 2011, p.155). This large amount of money was likely just to be a deterant to other offenders to stop downloading and sharing music illegally (Bachmann & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 156). There were three main reasons to believe people have stopped downloading as much music: they were afraid to get in trouble with the RIAA and get sued, they decided it was wrong, or they were getting too many viruses or pop-up ads (Bachmann & Jaishankar, 2011, p.162). One main reason people begin to commit these crimes is through association with others and how they commit similar cyber crimes. According to Jaishankar and Gunter, “people with peers that take part of piracy or have parents who support piracy, are more likely to commit piracy themselves” (Gunter & Jaishankar, 2011, p.175). Many of these individuals who commit digital piracy seem to have the effect of neutralization when doing so (Gunter & Jaishankar, 2011, p. 195). Neutralization is when an individual is about to commit a crime, then they believe what they are about to do is not a crime and thus feel free to break the law (Higgins, Wolfe, Marcum, & Jaishankar, 2011, p.195). Thus making the individual fear no bad outcomes or involvement in a crime they took place in. Since there are millions of people committing digital piracy, the RIAA and MPAA can only do so much with lawsuits against people. Therefore they are trying to find the reasons behind why people commit digital piracy, in which they believe is due to neutralization (Moore & Jaishankar , 2011, p.211). In order for these two organizations to get a hold of all the digital piracy crimes going on, they will need to complete many more tests and studies to try to get a grasp on the reality of the subject.
When you go back to the “big picture” of cyber crime, it truly affects everyone that has a computer and an Internet connection. Out of most of the individuals who get hacked, the most affected are banking and financial industries, where computers send and receive funds/business transactions daily (Choi & Jaishankar, 2011, p.230). There would be more evidence and studies on how to help stop certain attacks, but most attacks go undetected or are not reported at all (Choi & Jaishankar, 2011, p.230). Crimes on a computer can be separated into two different categories: cyber crime and computer crime. Cyber crime is a crime that involves computers and networks and does not rely solely on computers (Choi & Jaishankar, 2011, p.230). Computer crime is when a hacker requires no special computer skills; they can go through either chat-rooms, MSN, or email. All they need to do is to gain your trust or trick you to get towards your valuable information for their own personal gains (Choi & Jaishankar, 2011, p.230).
There is another subject of cyber crime which is similar to an online predator, but not quite in the same category. They are called Internet Stalkers, and are becoming more and more relevant with social media sites becoming more popular. But there is something called the Routine Activities Theory, in which three elements must be present in order for a crime to occur. The three elements are as follows: exposure to motivated offenders, a suitable target, and lack of capable guardianship, all of these are tested to see if children are safe online (Marcum & Jaishankar, 2011, p.254). In most cases, the person is contacted with unwanted conversation, in which makes the individual uncomfortable and violated (Marcum & Jaishankar, 2011, p.254). These Internet stalkers can also become Internet bullies and harass an individual for whatever reason they seek. With all of this going on for an individual, the victim may fear to go online again or to even go out in public if they feel their life is in danger. There has been an attempt to make cyber bullying and cyber stalking illegal under the Stalking and Domestic Violence Act that was initiated in Reno of the year 1999 (Pittaro & Jaishankar, 2011, p.295). Hopefully in the future all people will stop with the cyber stalking and bullying since it is a form of harassment and can be punishable under law.
The last section of Cyber Criminology writes of where cyber crimes are saw as a good thing for a person’s country. Then there is a part of human rights infringement in the new digital era of today. In Islam, they stated that cyber vandalism is religiously permitted because it can be used as a weapon against the enemy of Islam who are defaming Islam, the prophet Mohammad, and Muslims (Maghaireh & Jaishankar, 2011, p.347). There have been websites created for the greater good of Islam in which they teach hacking techniques to Muslim youths (Maghaireh & Jaishankar, 2011, p.356). Since Islam is supportive of Muslims using the Internet as a potential weapon, more and more Muslim youths commit cyber vandalism which is giving them a bad reputation on the Internet across the whole world (Maghaireh & Jaishankar, 2011, p.356). With things like this and other cyber terrorism/crimes going on around the world, there are people who scope the Internet looking for potential law breakers. Advances in information and communication technology have helped with the involvement of prevention and detection of crime either being committed or about to be committed (Smith & Jaishankar, 2011, p.393). These new advancement have helped with investigations, prosecution, and the punishments of crimes to law breaking individuals from across the world (Smith & Jaishankar, 2011, p.393). Some are asking whether this is an infringement to our human rights that they are invading our privacy in order to see if anyone is committing a crime. Many authorities use this technology to identify suspects and risks online, to present clear evidence in courtrooms, and to monitor offenders who are under home detention (Smith & Jaishankar, 2011, p.394). What many people look at is that the ability of individuals to monitor their computer usage creates multiple human rights concerns, which include violation to their human freedom, freedom of thought and expression, and the main one is the right to privacy (Smith & Jaishankar, 2011, p.398). Many may be shown that whatever they put on the Internet is considered to be in the public domain and viewable by everyone, but what to be sought after in the future is whether what you search and look at should be able to be seen by others.
In conclusion, Cyber Criminology: Exploring Internet Crimes and Criminal Behavior goes over many different aspects of what could possibly go wrong with law breakers and law abiding citizens on the Internet. Different things can happen to you or others on the Internet, such as criminal subcultures/hacking in cyberspace, child predators, digital piracy, and cyber stalking/bullying. All of these things make the Internet a scary and dangerous place to be for individuals. With that, I agree with what many associations, like the MPAA, RIAA, and NSA, are doing in order to try to make the Internet a safer place for people across the world. While some of it may be an invasion to privacy, in the end picture they are just trying to help make the real world and cyber world a safer place for everyone. This in which is the Act-Utilitarianism ethical way of thinking for wanting the greater good for all the people. Jaishankar goes over many different researches that have been done to see what type of people commit what type of cyber crime and with many more researches like this, we can hopefully narrow down who might be the next criminal on the Internet before they even commit the crime. Everything that Jaishankar is going over in this book shows that you need to be careful online and never trust everything you see at first glance. The Internet can be a dark place with many criminals hiding behind screens, so whenever you suspect something is wrong, either get off the computer or alert the proper authorities so they can look into the matter. This way you can help yourself and others on the Internet and help it be a safer place against cyber criminals.
Young, K., & Jaishankar, K. (2011). Cyber Criminology: Exploring Internet Crimes and Criminal Behavior. Boca Raton, Florida: Taylor & Francis Group.