Different Methods of Cybercrime and
Their Effects on Modern Society
The world we live in is more technologically advanced than ever before, with newer developments coming every year. Men, women, and children worldwide rely on the Internet for work, school, play, socialization, and any number of other reasons. Yet, despite the great advantages technology gives to us, with our increased reliance and connectivity comes an increased risk of crime, namely cybercrime (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). Cybercrime encompasses illegal activities conducted through a computer and the internet by a hacker (Webopedia, 2013). A hacker is not an average criminal in the sense that he or she will break into your house and steal your brand new HD TV. A hacker breaks into your electronic devices and steals something even more valuable; your credit card info, or even your identity, right from the safety of their own home.
Cybercrime comes in many forms. The most common are personal or group crimes such as “hate crimes, telemarketing and internet frauds, identity theft, and credit card thefts” (Webopedia, 2013). Even more dangerous cybercrimes include “cyber-based terrorism and espionage”, which present national safety threats (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013). Cybercrime used to be a difficult act to commit, as hacking programs needed to be built from the base up, which required extensive knowledge in programming. However, cybercrime is easier to commit now than it was all those years ago, with the necessary tools being available to “anyone armed with a computer and a few dollars” (Ellyat, 2013). Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre, had this to say;
Now everybody can be a hacker. You don't need to be tech-savvy or to have a special education, you can simply just download a program…With the increasing number of people on the internet – which is set to reach 4 billion in a short amount of time – we will see much, much more crime and it will be facilitated by these cybercrime-as-a-service producers (2013).
Because of the ease of acquiring hacker programs, and the yearly growing population that is reliant on the Internet, cybercriminal activities have drastically increased in recent years. Threats are constantly evolving with new technology, and as more and more technology is produced, the risks just increase (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). Please refer to Appendix A to view how cybercrime has kept up with the advances of technology and the internet since the first PC. As of recent times, cybercrime has accounted for the loss of nearly 400 billion dollars annually, and the cybersecurity market is worth around 60 billion this year, with an annual increase of about 8% a year as more Internet users attempt to protect themselves from cybercrime (Ellyat, 2013). Saboteurs and terrorists aim for vital systems, disrupting and often times disabling the work of banks, hospitals, and 9-1-1 services worldwide (Federal Bureau of...