Before digging into Cyber Crime, Computer crime can be categorized in three ways:
- The computer as a target – attacking other computers (e.g. infecting viruses & spreading malware, etc.).
- The computer as a weapon – using a computer to commit “traditional crime” that we see & experience in the physical world (such as fraud or illegal gambling).
- The computer as an accessory – using a computer as a “fancy filing cabinet” to store illegal or stolen information or data
There is no internationally unanimous single definition of “cyber crime.” Generally speaking, it refers to illegal internet-mediated activities that often take place in global electronic networks. Cyber crime can be “domestic” or “international” or “transnational” – there are ‘no cyber-borders between countries.’ International cyber crimes often challenge the effectiveness of domestic and international law and law enforcement. Because existing laws in many countries are not tailored to deal with cybercrime, criminals increasingly conduct crimes on the Internet in order to take advantages of the less severe punishments or difficulties of being traced.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) plays an important role in helping ensure interoperability and security based on global standards. As computer crime refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network, cyber crime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet.
Cyber Crime Definition
Halder and Jaishankar (2011) defines Cybercrimes as:
“Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (SMS/MMS).”
Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health. Issues surrounding this type of crime have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding cracking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is lost or intercepted, lawfully or otherwise. The international legal system is attempting to hold actors accountable for their actions through the International Criminal Court (ICC).
[ image source: http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2011/03/germanys-cyber-security-strategy/ ]