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The Evolution Of Cyber Attacks Over The Past Years

2064 words - 8 pages

In the chapter regarding cybercrime, the author notes that connections between corporations and crime are mentioned in the media starting in the second half of the last century. Only since 1970, did computer criminals start to make an appearance in corporate crime. In the 60s, the crimes mostly related to physical damage of either computer or telephone networks. In the 70s, crimes in the United States involved mostly destruction of computers or computing equipment. (Gethackingsecurity, 2012) It took time for cyber crime to become prevalent because criminals did not have computer access, nor did they possess the expertise to use computers for criminal activities. There were no easy ways to interact with early computing environments. Cybercrime became prevalent when computers became less expensive to purchase and easier to use. (Shinder, 2002)

From the awareness of white collar criminal activities stemmed two different criminal professionals – insider attackers and outsider attackers. From here attention shifted to criminal organizations that use information technology for “fraud, money laundering, and concealing funds, trafficking in pedo-pornographic material.” (Raoul Chiesa, 2008) The use of information technology for fraudulent activities also includes espionage, terrorism and revenge. The use of technology has increased and become ubiquitous, and the use of technology for criminal activity is unique because the Internet and the digital world do not have borders. (Rogers, 2001)

The authors discuss the evolution of cybercrime over the past 20 years, as initially focusing on physical destruction to for-profit activities including information theft. In the 1990s, attacks evolved from computer or equipment destruction to hackers wanting notoriety and visibility for their exploits. From 2000 to the current time, while hackers use a variety of tactics that could end up damaging computers or information systems, many times the primary objective is to obtain information that can be used to gain more power or money. Also, cyber attacks are not always focused on corporations or small businesses; sometimes they are focused on a single individual. The focus on an individual may be to obtain information such as credit card data or banking passwords or it may be to harass or stalk the victim.

Currently, media refer to cyber criminals as “hackers,” but the original term did not have a negative connotation. Originally the word “hacker” referred to someone who was innovative and could figure out unique ways to solve issues. In 2014, there are many individuals who call themselves hackers who do not have computer science or programming backgrounds. Some are actually novices who are able to use tools that are readily available on the Internet. Some tools are free, and other tools are available for a fee. The level and complexity of attacks appears to be increasing, but the actual skill set of the cyber criminal appears to be decreasing due to the use of...

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