Introduction

The word cyber crime conjures images of a shady man covered in a hoodie working furtively in a basement. But, well, that is not the reality. Cybercrime a very well-planned, organized, and professional crime. If you’re wondering- What is Cybercrime? -, A few short note examples would include- buying and selling illegal software and malware, hacking of servers, and corrupting systems that could cost billions to individuals, organizations, and governments. In a nutshell, Cybercrime refers to any crime carried out using a computer or an electronic device, primarily via the Internet. As the Internet has opened a plethora of opportunities and possibilities to consume and access information, and connect, the impact of Cybercrime has penetrated deeply with cybercriminals gaining from a broader surface to attack.

In this article we are going to look at:

  1. What is Cybercrime?
  2. Common Examples of Cybercrime
  3. Origin or History of Cybercrime?
  4. How to Prevent Cybercrime?
Cybercrime

1) What is Cybercrime?

What is meant by Cybercrime? What falls under the purview of Cybercrime, and what constitutes the crime? Cybercrime is a criminal activity that mainly targets or involves using a computer, network associated with a computer, or a connected device Cybercrime is not always conducted by individuals or hackers but could be done by organizations too. The primary aim of Cybercrime is to damage computers for-profit – personal or political. Cybercrime is a broad term that covers a range of illegal activities conducted via the computer or the Internet.

2) Common Examples of Cybercrime

Cybercrime varies with the kind of individuals conducting the crime and their intent. A single person can hack the US Stock Market, while an organization could hack insider information from a government- secured databases. There are a staggering number of crimes that can be conducted over the internet. Read on to learn more about what are the effects of cybercrime that are prevalent and the most common types.

A) Malware

Malware

A computer virus infects computer systems, corrupts files, and messes with the general functioning of the computer. It also replicates itself to corrupt other devices and systems. A virus is malware that encompasses malicious software, programs, or codes written to damage or corrupt data, steal it, and make money in the bargain. This also includes ransomware that will need you to pay a ransom to decrypt data that has been locked or adware that will spam you with unnecessary ads.

B) Phishing

Phishing

Phishing campaigns are ones where spam mails or any other forms of communication crowd inboxes and trick recipients into doing things that will put security at risk. These emails or communications contain infected attachments or links to sites or viruses. They may also ask for confidential information. In spear-phishing, campaigns trick specific targets into putting the individual or organizational security in jeopardy. Spear-phishing campaigns are crafted to look very trustworthy and do not contain any apparent clues to show they are a hoax.

C) Identity theft and fraud

Identity theft and fraud

To commit such crimes , access to personal data serves as the primary fuel. The dDifferent types of cybercrimes that help to get access are:

●    Phishing: Fraudulent messages and links are used as baits to lure victims to sites where they have to disclose personal information like usernames and, passwords.

●    Pharming: A more profound step, pharming uses malware to redirect users to fake websites where they pass their details  used for malicious activities.

●    Keylogging: It logs all the critical information you type and stores it for cybercriminals to access.

●    Sniffing: If you connect to an unsecured and unencrypted Wi-Fi(fore.g.-in a public space), hackers can steal data by sniffing through internet traffic with the help of special tools.

D) Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying

It includes all kinds of online harassment like sexual harassment, stalking, doxing, which means exposing personal information with consent and framing (hacking into someone’s social media account and creating fake posts).

E) Crypto Jacking

Crypto jacking

A tool that hackers use to break into a device and use it to mine cryptocurrency without consent or personal knowledge. JavaScript is used by crypto miners to infect a device after a user visits the infected website. The user will incur huge bills and also performance issues and, in the bargain, inflated profits for cybercriminals.

F) Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion

It is exactly what it sounds like-a a digitized version of money extortion. Ransomware is one of the most common forms to encrypt files and then extort money to unlock them. Blackmailing victims by revealing their personal information, photographs, videos, and threatening business by DDoS attacks (bringing down a system or network) are some other ways of cyber extortion.

G) Cyber Espionage

Cyber espionage

As mentioned earlier, cybercriminals are state-sponsored groups that penetrate the complicated matrix of networks of countries and renowned organizations to create war, conflict, differences and other frightening things in the world. 

3) Origin or History of Cybercrime?

Where does Cybercrime come from or where can one trace the origin? The Internet may be just 30 years old, two thieves in 1834 hacked the French Telegraph system and committed data fraud. Somewhere between the years 1800 -2000, telephone hacking was on the rise.

 In the 1940s, the first ethical hack was done in the Nazi data registry to thwart their attempts and track Jews. With the proliferation of the Internet, email and e-commerce, Cybercrime reached new heights and cybercriminals found  new ways to trick people. With the advent of electronic devices, new avenues opened to fraudsters and crooks.

As a regular user of the Internet, computers and mobile devices, you are vulnerable to cyberattacks of every kind. Emails are the most common delivery method for Cybercrime. Sites, forums, social media sites, e-shops are other ways of accessing information without using search engines. Over these platforms, a lot of information is exchanged, which can be accessed by cybercriminals. 

Unsafe websites, social media are all vulnerable platforms for cyberattacks and other cybercrimes.

Laws Governing Cybercrime

Upon committing a crime, individuals bear consequences and face severe punishments. So, What is the punishment for Cybercrime? Every country has its own set of rules, regulations, and standards for Cybercrime. Does it depend on the severity of the crime and the kind of damage involved? In most countries, Cybercrimes amount to a felony. Also, the penalty is severe for those found guilty. Governments, governing bodies, and authorities are constantly challenged to revisit the laws as cybercrimes seem to be evolving with the penetration of the Internet and other electronic devices in our lives.

Now that you can answer- what is Cybercrime? Let us try to find an answer to-, how can you report it? If you believe that you have been a victim, then it is essential to report to the relevant authorities with immediate effect. You could file a police complaint and follow the necessary procedures. If you have been a victim of identity theft, then it is essential to notify the relevant authorities.

4) How to Prevent Cybercrime?

The best way to protect one from Cybercrime is to exercise careful and sensible digital habits. A few everyday practices that will help you stay safe:

● Be careful when you open dodgy emails with undefined links or attachments. (sometimes they may have funny names, too!).

● Avoid downloading anything from an untrusted or unknown source.

● Make sure you are visiting a legitimate website.

● Make sure to update your computer with software updates.

● Avoid using Wi-Fi in public spaces as they are unsecured and unencrypted. Do not log in to your bank account in a public space or pay on an eCommerce site.

● Make sure you have strong, unique passwords that are a combination of letters, numerals and symbols.

● Boost your router security to guard the network at home.

● Always have an antivirus installed that will throw warnings and protect systems from attacks.

Conclusion

Cybercrime is the bane of the Internet. It is essential to guard yourself against being a victim of attacks or crimes of any kind over the Internet. The above information gives you an insight into the standard sort of crimes and tips to safeguard yourself from any malpractices too. Do you want to learn more about Cybercrimes but have no idea where to look for the right course? Jigsaw Academy’s Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) is all you truly need. It is a 600-hour-long live online session-based course.

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