Computer Crime Research Center

Cybercrime definition

Date: June 28, 2006
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Aghatise E. Joseph

... one’s physical image. Ridiculous products such as “cheap, effective breast enlargements” etc. claim to boost their self-esteem at minimum cost. This explains why there are so many of such emails in circulation these days. These adverts are almost certainly nothing more than means to extract credit card numbers and render the reader bankrupt.

3. Unskilled and Inexperienced
There are a lot of people in the world today whose knowledge of the Net is just enough to chat with their friends and maybe get information from here and there. They are ignorant of the fact that most people they meet online are criminals who hide under the shades of the internet to perpetrate different crimes. Lots of people have been raped by sex seeking individuals on the internet. That’s reminds me, I remember an instance during my work in one of the most populous cyber café in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, a particular lady would come to the café and request for private system, when I monitored her activities, I discovered she was just an unskilled and inexperienced lady who was deceived by an American guy to always go naked for him and show herself in a web cam and she always did. What a shame!

4. Unlucky people
There are also people who fulfill none of these categories but are just unlucky enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, in cyberspace that is. These categories of victims believe they are meeting legitimate business associates only to be deceived by the variants. Also, a full-scale of attack or a self-replicating and highly advanced virus can cause great damage to networks or PCs and the individual may not in anyway be blame.

Apart from his own mentality and the strength of his motivations, the criminal also needs to see the path of crime ahead of him clear of obstacles. If every single individual were to put up obstacles of their own, no matter how small, the crime path will seem to be far less lucrative in the eyes of even the most desperate criminal. The fight against cybercrime must start with preventing it in the first place.

The individual should be proactive, not reactive. You do not have to remain at the receiving end of crime forever. The fight against cybercrime starts in your very own home. Individuals should not reply any e-mail from unknown persons, they should learn to report spam mails to the e-mail server or any know cybercrime research sites. If there is one thing that makes committing cybercrime lucrative, it is the fact that victims rarely have the required knowledge or presence of mind to handle the situation.

Law update
One of the biggest challenges the African government and other nations faced is the enactment of adequate cyberspace laws. For instance, the government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, has gone a long way to fighting cybercrimes and offline crimes. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria since its establishment has been on top of the game of fighting crimes. Several of these criminals have been trapped down by the EFCC and many are also declared wanted by the commission. But the EFCC should be fast in the cybercrime laws they earlier sent to the National Assembly for review. Another major challenge faced by government bodies today with regard to cybercrime is the fact that laws and statutes are by nature rigid and long-standing. Cybercrime is evolving every single day and even if new laws are created to tackle a particular crime, it can be circumvented in a matter of weeks. But some countries have made a head start in this area, Australia for example have updated laws that include cyber crimes.

The Nigerian Cybercrime facts
When efforts are being made to remove the rebellious shoot of the proverbial tump, it obstinately sprouts another. So is cybercrime, which has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, just as the government frantically keeps on fighting financial crimes. Cybercrime has continued to dent the image of Nigeria abroad. When the internet was been introduced some years back, we were told of great opportunities it will bring to Nigeria and Nigerians, but now we only see and read in papers how the internet has reduced Nigeria reputable internationally. Recently a report indicated that Nigeria is losing about $80 million (N11.2 billion) yearly to software piracy. When you come across phrases like “Nigerian scam”, the assumption that crosses your mind is that all (or conservatively, most) scam email originate from Nigeria or Nigerians. It is even alarming to know that 80% of perpetrators in Nigeria are students in various Higher Institutions who maybe were distracted by some hidden factors. I noticed one common characteristic among most of the cybercriminals I interviewed (indirectly) during the period of gathering materials for this work… it is their desire for “cars” and “powerful camera phones”.

Like I do teach people, the best way to fight crime is to be at the scene of crime. Cybercrime is not “armed robbery”, not “pen and paper crime” and should not be handle as such. Fighting Cybercrime requires intelligent knowledge and that has to be IT intelligence. What I mean is this, men of the regular Police force should not be allowed to investigate crimes committed over the internet. IT experts should be recruited into law enforcement agencies to assist in the fight.
Finally, apart from updating laws of nations, I advocate that if United Nations could set millennium goals for countries in the world, the same should be done in the areas of cybercrime. UN should make it mandatory for countries affected by cybercrimes to update their laws to include cybercrimes and other internet (high-tech) related misconducts. It should now be publicly acknowledged by academics, participating law enforcement officials and business representatives that a range of threats including specific kinds of malicious activities undertaken by insiders, hackers, virus writers need to be globally criminalized. More importantly, this range of criminalized activity has to be extended to organized crime and internal corruption within the law enforcement itself. It is always important to take note of the fact that the best of laws are useless and can even be counterproductive and dangerous if they are not fairly and effectively enforced. United Nations and other organizations should support laws that could be implemented across national borders.

Cybercrime is indeed getting the recognition it deserves. Internet (cybercrime) seems to be yielding much to developing nations, so it is not going to be curbed that easily. Offline crime rates have reduced in most developing nations because the offline criminals have gone high-tech and are making “huge money” from the business. In fact, it is highly likely that cybercrime and its perpetrators will continue developing and upgrading to stay ahead of the law.

Aghatise E. Joseph is a final year (HND II) Computer Science student of Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria, the founder of the group “JUST iT TEAM” a campus based IT group. His HND project work was entitled “Level of awareness of Internet Intermediary Liability”. He has worked with several cyber cafes in his state and has experience in a number of cybercrimes. He lectures (Part-Time) computing at OSE-ICTi Ltd, Nigeria. His research areas include: Information Systems Security, Networking, and Web Technologies.

Aghatise E. J. (2006): Level of Awareness of Internet Intermediaries Liability. (HND Project work) Unpublished. Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria.

Longe, O.B. (2004): Proprietary Software Protection and Copyright issues in contemporary Information Technology. (M.Sc Thesis) Unpublished. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.

Smith, R. G., Holmes, M. N. &Kaufmann, P. (1999): Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud., Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 121, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra (republished in The Reformer February 2000, pp. 17-19).

Sylvester, Linn (2001): The Importance of Victimology in Criminal Profiling. Available online at:

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2009-06-30 19:15:36 - please make internet sales companies... bertha
2008-07-05 10:42:36 - asdfa asdf fasd ss ade asdf fadf fawe fa... asdf
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2007-02-12 00:57:02 - ziferugnc ewnpvbl hstq pwmtdrl ajsm... xrdfvomja jqxupsyw
2007-02-12 00:56:56 - jwmpvb shmaykcte rswt kwaldemno kjxyiow... qlfukys ceiod
2007-02-12 00:56:03 - avyidswq kbcfnx amsicdj texphc fwuxqdmy... dlhfbvj cvtdygps
2006-09-28 13:14:40 - One would ask "why do people go into scam... Aghatise Joseph
2006-06-29 20:45:36 - I would like to add that cybercrime... Mohamed Chawki
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