Computer Crime Research Center


E-crime dangers on rise

Date: February 08, 2008

Almost 100,000 Kiwis have been victims of electronic identity theft and thousands more have been sent offensive or threatening emails.

Most Internet users have had equipment infiltrated by computer viruses, worms or spyware and could unknowingly be part of a "zombie army", sending spam to thousands of other computers.

The findings are revealed in a Justice Ministry survey on e-crime.

Internet watchdog groups say the study highlights growing dangers around Internet use, identity theft and cyber bullying, and the need for people to act to protect themselves and their families.

"They get your personal files, they can impersonate you, they can use your computer for stuff. That's certainly a concern," technology commentator David Farrar said.

Cellphone users have also been hit by e-criminals. Many had received offensive calls or texts, threatening messages and offensive or pornographic pictures.

About half of all Internet users say they fear credit-card fraud as much as they do being burgled or hit by a drunk driver.

The Crime and Safety Survey quizzed 5400 people, aged 15 and over, during 2006, asking if they had been victims of different forms of e-crime in the past 18 months.

Based on the results, 93,000 (3 per cent of respondents) had suffered identify theft such as personal data being accessed and misused.

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo