lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2011

Computer crimes

Computer crime, or cybercrime, refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Netcrime refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Such crimes may threaten a nation’s security and financial health Issues surrounding this type of crime have become high-profile, particularly those surroundingcracking, copyright infringement, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is lost or intercepted, lawfully or otherwise.

Internationally, both governmental and non-state actors engage in cybercrimes, including espionage, financial theft, and other cross-border crimes. Activity crossing international borders and involving the interests of at least one nationstate is sometimes referred to as cyber warfare. The international legal system is attempting to hold actors accountable for their actions through the International Criminal Court.

Computer crime encompasses a broad range of activities. Generally, however, it may be divided into two categories: (1) crimes that target computers and directly; (2) crimes facilitated by computer networks or devices, the primary target of which is independent of the computer network or device.[citation needed]
Crimes that primarily target computer networks or devices include:
Computer viruses
Denial-of-service attacks
Malware (malicious code)
Crimes that use computer networks or devices to advance other ends include:
Fraud and identity theft
Information warfare
Phishing scams

Spam, or the unsolicited sending of bulk email for commercial purposes, is unlawful in some jurisdictions. While anti-spam laws are relatively new, limits on unsolicited electronic communications have existed for some time.

Main article: Computer fraud
Computer fraud is any dishonest misrepresentation of fact intended to let another to do or refrain from doing something which causes loss.[citation needed] In this context, the fraud will result in obtaining a benefit by:
Altering computer input in an unauthorized way. This requires little technical expertise and is not an uncommon form of theft by employees altering the data before entry or entering false data, or by entering unauthorized instructions or using unauthorized processes;
Altering, destroying, suppressing, or stealing output, usually to conceal unauthorized transactions: this is difficult to detect;
Altering or deleting stored data;
Altering or misusing existing system tools or software packages, or altering or writing code for fraudulent purposes.
Other forms of fraud may be facilitated using computer systems, including bank fraud, identity theft, extortion, and theft of classified information.
A variety of Internet scams target consumers direct.

Obscene or offensive content
The content of websites and other electronic communications may be distasteful, obscene or offensive for a variety of reasons. In some instances these communications may be illegal.
Over 25 jurisdictions place limits on certain speech and ban racist, blasphemous, politically subversive, libelous or slanderous, seditious, or inflammatory material that tends to incite hate crimes.
The extent to which these communications are unlawful varies greatly between countries, and even within nations. It is a sensitive area in which the courts can become involved in arbitrating between groups with strong beliefs.
One area of Internet pornography that has been the target of the strongest efforts at curtailment is child pornography.

Whereas content may be offensive in a non-specific way, harassment directs obscenities and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing for example on gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation. This often occurs in chat rooms, through newsgroups, and by sending hate e-mail to interested parties (see cyber bullying, cyber stalking, harassment by computer, hate crime, Online predator, andstalking). Any comment that may be found derogatory or offensive is considered harassment.
Drug Traficking
Drug traffickers are increasingly taking advantage of the Internet to sell their illegal substances through encrypted e-mail and other Internet Technology.Some drug traffickers arrange deals at internet cafes, use courier Web sites to track illegal packages of pills, and swap recipes for amphetamines in restricted-access chat rooms.
The rise in Internet drug trades could also be attributed to the lack of face-to-face communication. These virtual exchanges allow more intimidated individuals to more comfortably purchase illegal drugs. The sketchy effects that are often associated with drug trades are severely minimized and the filtering process that comes with physical interaction fades away.

Cyber terrorism
Government officials and Information Technology security specialists have documented a significant increase in Internet problems and server scans since early 2001. But there is a growing concern among federal officials[who?] that such intrusions are part of an organized effort bycyberterrorists, foreign intelligence services, or other groups to map potential security holes in critical systems. A cyberterrorist is someone who intimidates or coerces a government or organization to advance his or her political or social objectives by launching computer-based attack against computers, network, and the information stored on them.
Cyber terrorism in general, can be defined as an act of terrorism committed through the use of cyberspace or computer resources (Parker 1983). As such, a simple propaganda in the Internet, that there will be bomb attacks during the holidays can be considered cyberterrorism. As well there are also hacking activities directed towards individuals, families, organized by groups within networks, tending to cause fear among people, demonstrate power, collecting information relevant for ruining peoples' lives, robberies, blackmailing etc.
Cyberextortion is a form of cyberterrorism in which a website, e-mail server, or computer system is subjected to repeated denial of service or other attacks by malicious hackers, who demand money in return for promising to stop the attacks. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberextortionists are increasingly attacking corporate websites and networks, crippling their ability to operate and demanding payments to restore their service. More than 20 cases are reported each month to the FBI and many go unreported in order to keep the victim's name out of the domain. Perpetrators typically use a distributed denial-of-service attack.

Cyber Warfare
Main article: Cyber warfare
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) notes that cyberspace has emerged as a national-level concern through several recent events of geo-strategic significance. Among those are included the attack on Estonia's infrastructure in 2007, allegedly by Russian hackers. "In August 2008, Russia again allegedly conducted cyber attacks, this time in a coordinated and synchronized kinetic and non-kinetic campaign against the country of Georgia. Fearing that such attacks may become the norm in future warfare among nation-states, the concept of cyberspace operations impacts and will be adapted by warfighting military commanders in the future.