Computer Crime Research Center


Types of computer crime

Date: November 25, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Scott Charney, Kent Alexander

... which amounted to $1.8 billion.

12 Id. at 2.

13 See David L. Carter &Andra J. Katz, A National Survey on Computer-Related and Technology Crime 1 (Oct. 1995) (unpublished summary findings of survey, Michigan State University).

14 Power, supra note 11, at 3.


16 Computer Anomaly Detection Systems (CADS) are computer programs being developed by both the government and the private sector. A simple example is a program that monitors when individuals log on to a computer system. Assuming a certain user logs on every day between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., the computer can notify a system administrator whenever that user's password is entered at any other time. Thus, a hacker who uses that password at 3 a.m. will be "spotted" by the computer.

17 Katie Hafner, Computer Crimes and Misdemeanors—Morris Code, NEW REPUBLIC, Feb. 19, 1990, at 15. See also Peter Stephenson &Martin Kratz, Managers Can Take Steps to Stop Virus Attacks, INFOWORLD, Jan. 9, 1989, at 51.

18 Watch Out! There's a Computer Criminal About, FINANCIAL TIMES, Mar. 6, 1991, (citing statistics compiled by the Confederation of British Industry and PA Consulting).

19 Power, supra note 11, at 2.

20 Carter &Katz, supra note 13, at 7.

21 See STOLL, supra note 2.

22 Hardy, Firms Are Hurt by Break-Ins at Computers, WALL ST. J., Nov. 21, 1996, at B4.

23 Christopher Elliot, Experts to Classify Computer Viruses, DAILY TELEGRAPH, Mar. 10, 1991, at 2.

24 Laura DiDio, A Menace to Society (Computer Viruses May Begin to Take Their Toll in Lives as Well as Dollars), NETWORK WORLD, Feb. 6, 1989, at 71, 84.

25 Jail Sentence Following Virus Scam, COMPUTER FRAUD &SEC. BULL., June 1, 1993.

26 See supra note 8 and accompanying text.

27 For example, "compression" is the use of formulas to reduce the size of documents by replacing repeating patterns with shorter representations. "Encryption" is the use of mathematical algorithms to scramble data to protect its confidentiality.

28 For example, programs that can find hidden or deleted files.

29 See discussion on the need for legislative reform, infra Part VI.

30 816 F. Supp. 432 (W.D. Tex. 1993).

31 The Internet was originally named ARPANET because it was funded by ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency. See supra note 7.

32 Today, such anonymity is possible. In fact, new technological enhancements may even allow for anonymous commerce (for example, digital cash). See John K. Halvey, The Virtual Marketplace, 45 EMORY L.J. 959 (1996).

33 See United States v. Riggs, 967 F.2d 561 (11th Cir. 1992); United States v. Morris, 928 F.2d 504 (2d Cir. 1991). See also STOLL, supra note 2.

34 The Secret Service, which is part of the Treasury Department, also has a dedicated high-tech unit, the Electronic Crimes Branch.

35 The FBI has recently created two more high-tech units, one in San Francisco and the other in New York City.

36 TCP/IP protocols are the transmission control protocol/Internet protocols used for Internet communications. SS7 stands for Signalling System 7.

37 Riggs, 967 F.2d at 561.

38 Audit trails are records which contain, for example, who signed on, what time, and from where.

39 Large computer systems often have many phone lines through which users can access the system. Each path of entry connects the user to a specific port.

40 "Circuit-switched network" generally refers to the traditional telephone network. "Public data networks" are package-switched networks where messages are broken into small packets and independently routed to their destination.

41 See 18 U.S.C. 1030(d) (1994).

42 Laura DiDio, Viruses Plague Networks, Jeopardize System Health, NETWORK WORLD, July 4, 1988, at 1, 30.

43 Susan Watts, Police Launch Search for Computer Virus Criminals, INDEPENDENT, Apr. 5, 1991, available in LEXIS.


45 Bulgarian Avenger Infects West's Computers, CJ INT'L, Mar.-Apr. 1991, at 12.

46 The earliest known case dates back to 1970. See Power, supra note 11, at 1.

47 Id.

48 See STOLL, supra note 2.

49 These countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the U.K.


51 Council Recommendation for Problems of Criminal Procedural Law Connected with Information Technology, 1995 (R 95) 9, 12.

52 See 18 U.S.C. 1343 (1994).

53 See 18 U.S.C. 641.

54 18 U.S.C. 1030 (1996).

55 1030(a)(1).

56 1030(a)(2).

57 1030(c)(2).

58 1030(a)(3).

59 1030(a)(4).

60 1030(e)(2).

61 1030(a)(5)(A).

62 1030(e)(8).

63 1030(a)(5)(B).

64 1030(a)(5)(C).

65 1030(a)(6).

66 1030(a)(7).


68 United States v. Fernandez, No. 1:92-Cr-563 (S.D.N.Y. indictment filed July 8, 1992).

69 The United States Sentencing Commission's Computer Fraud Working Group was established to review the propriety of computer crime sentences under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

70 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4).

71 1030(a)(5).

72 1030(a)(1). It requires the government to prove that the classified information was obtained "with the intent or reason to believe that such information . . . is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation." Id.

73 793(e) (1994) (relating to unauthorized possession and disclosure of information concerning the national defense of the United States).

74 925 F.2d 1301 (10th Cir. 1991).

75 18 U.S.C. 2314 (1994).

76 Brown, 925 F.2d at 1307-09.

77 Id.

78 See, e.g., STOLL, supra note 2.

79 "Malicious programming code" is code that causes damage to computer systems. A "trap door" is code that allows a user to enter a system without authorization. A "Trojan horse" is a program which, on its face, has a legitimate purpose, but also has a hidden feature, such as a trap door.

80 United States v. Morris, 928 F.2d 504, 506 (2d Cir. 1991).

81 18 U.S.C. 5031-5042 (1994).

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