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Hackers: who is who?

By Vladimir Golubev
Date: June 10, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime More than 80 thousand cases of cyberattacks have been fixed in 2002 (hackers' attacks, information thefts, etc.). Their number has sharply increased in comparison with 2001, by then it has been fixed about 58 thousand such infringements (hardly more than 20 thousand - in 2000). The piracy copying music, software, video and texts from the Internet are expected to bring in an illegal income 112 billion dollars by 2005. Unfortunately, the current official statistics do not allow to get authentic data on criminals attacking computer systems.

The studies of Computer Crime Research Center have shown that the main purposes and motives of cybercrimes are mercenariness (56,8 %), hooliganism (17,1 %), revenge (12,7 %), commercial espionage or diversion (9,1 %). Menfolk perpetrate computer crimes 5 times oftener than women do. The majority of offenders have higher technical education (53,7 %), and other higher education (19,2 %). As a rule, they are persons of 30- 45 years old (46,5 %) and 16-30 years old (37,8 %).

In spite of the fact that all originators of computer attacks are used to be named "hackers", they are various and have different ability^; and the damage caused by their activity can be various as well.

Depending on the kind of activity subjects of illegal access to computer information can be divided into:

- Frickers people specialized in using telephone systems to avoid the payment for telecommunication services^;

- Carders pay their expenses with other's credit cards^;

- Collectors collect and use computer program products, intercept various passwords and also phone call codes and numbers of phone companies having an access to computer networks of general application for example Internet^;

- Cyber-crows deliberate offenders specialized in penetrating into computer systems of financial, banking payments. They use computer technologies to get numbers of credit cads and other valuable information for the purpose of profits. They often sell obtained information to third persons^;

- Computer pirates are specialized in illegally breaking protective systems of licensed computer program products distributed then at prices, which are noticeably lower than those of legal manufacturers.

Obviously, IT are introduced into all fields of social and economic activity. This process results in occurrence of new virtual transnational criminal groups, which use the great opportunities of the Internet in their illegal activity.

Computer Crime Research Center

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