Computer Crime Research Center


E-Legal: Fighting Internet Crime

Date: May 11, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

According to most experts, today Internet Crimes poses greater cyber security threat than 5 years ago. In spite of law enforcement and special services efforts directed to fighting Internet crimes, their quantity, unfortunately, is not reducing, and vice versa their social danger is constantly growing.

New opportunities of the Internet transformed many legal forms of activity, having cut down terms, simplified procedures of arranging deals and reduced distance between contracting parties along with increasing attendant costs. Almost no one controls modern computer networks. At the beginning, almost no one could foresee that it was possible to attack, steal data or money through the Internet. Information security became one of the most crucial social tasks. Topicality of the given article is conditioned by thousands of revealed annually attempts to illegally interfere with bank, military and corporative networks.

Crimes related to the computer network are increasing at the same speed and breadth as the expansion of computer networks. The emergence of international computer networks, like the Internet, enables users in one country to engage in all kinds of communications and transactions with other users all over the world in an instant. However, it also provides opportunities to commit various crimes, such as criminal attacks on the proper functioning of computer systems or against the data contained therein, dishonest methods to obtain access to those systems and data, as well as content-related illegal activities including computer fraud and child pornography.

Number of crimes committed in cyber space is growing impetuously. Now we have 60 thousand of known different virus programs, the number of data bases and network breaches is increasing. According to estimation of many analysts, the character of hackings is changed now fundamentally. Earlier hackers acted generally alone, now we should speak about hacker groups.

Special attention should be drawn to the following cyber-crimes:

Sabotage of systems
Attacks such as "mail bombings" or denial-of-service attacks can send repeated or multiple messages to an e-mail address or website, denying legitimate users access to it, or concealing more sophisticated attempts at penetration.

Sabotage or vandalism of data
Websites or databases can be accessed and data erased or changed, causing both direct damage to the data itself, and further harm if incorrect data is later used for other purposes.

Password "fishing" and Password "sniffers"
Passwords are generally the first line of defence against cyber criminals, but they can be defeated. Offenders often dupe new and unsophisticated Internet users into disclosing their passwords by pretending to be law enforcement officials or agents of the new user's service-provider. Password sniffers use software to accomplish the same goal.

This is used by offenders to conceal their true identities. Various techniques are used to convince e-mail recipients and computer security systems that the computer which is actually sending a message or seeking access to the system is that of someone other than the real sender.

Internet paedophile
Communication by e-mail or the Internet effectively conceals the true nature of the individuals involved. There is growing concern that the internet is being used by paedophiles to exploit and, in some cases, even to abduct children.

Preventive measures and control over cyber criminality is a complex problem. Today laws should meet requirements made by modern technologies development. Law enforcement, special services and judicial system cooperation, their efforts coordination and their material security are priority directions. None of the countries is able to prevent cyber crime independently and international cooperation in this field is vital.

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2009-04-18 00:35:08 - Internet crime must be dealt with to the... Stephen Rimington
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