Alternatively referred to as cyber crime, e-crime, electronic crime, or hi-tech crime. Computer crime is an act performed by a knowledgeable computer user, sometimes referred to as a hacker that illegally browses or steals a company's or individual's private information. In some cases, this person or group of individuals may be malicious and destroy or otherwise corrupt the computer or data files.
Why do people commit computer crimes?
In most cases, someone commits a computer crime to obtain goods or money. Greed and desperation are powerful motivators for some people to try stealing by way of computer crimes. Some people may also commit a computer crime because they are pressured, or forced, to do so by another person.
Some people also commit a computer crime to prove they can do it. A person who can successfully execute a computer crime may find great personal satisfaction in doing so. These types of people, sometimes called black hat hackers, like to create chaos, wreak havoc on other people and companies.
Another reason computer crimes are sometimes committed is because people are bored. They want something to do and don't care if they commit a crime.
Examples of computer crimes
Below is a list of the different types of computer crimes today. Clicking any of the links gives further information about each crime.
- Child pornography - Making, distributing, storing, or viewing child pornography.
- Copyright violation - Stealing or using another person's Copyrighted material without permission.
- Cracking - Breaking or deciphering codes designed to protect data.
- Cyber terrorism - Hacking, threats, and blackmailing towards a business or person.
- Cyberbully or Cyberstalking - Harassing or stalking others online.
- Cybersquatting - Setting up a domain of another person or company with the sole intention of selling it to them later at a premium price.
- Creating Malware - Writing, creating, or distributing malware (e.g., viruses and spyware.)
- Data diddling - Computer fraud involving the intentional falsification of numbers in data entry.
- Denial of Service attack - Overloading a system with so many requests it cannot serve normal requests.
- Doxing - Releasing another person's personal information without their permission.
- Espionage - Spying on a person or business.
- Fraud - Manipulating data, e.g., changing banking records to transfer money to an account or participating in credit card fraud.
- Green Graffiti - A type of graffiti that uses projectors or lasers to project an image or message onto a building.
- Harvesting - Collect account or account-related information on other people.
- Human trafficking - Participating in the illegal act of buying or selling other humans.
- Identity theft - Pretending to be someone you are not.
- Illegal sales - Buying or selling illicit goods online, including drugs, guns, and psychotropic substances.
- Intellectual property theft - Stealing practical or conceptual information developed by another person or company.
- IPR violation - An intellectual property rights violation is any infringement of another's Copyright, patent, or trademark.
- Phishing or vishing - Deceiving individuals to gain private or personal information about that person.
- Salami slicing - Stealing tiny amounts of money from each transaction.
- Scam - Tricking people into believing something that is not true.
- Slander - Posting libel or slander against another person or company.
- Software piracy - Copying, distributing, or using software that was not purchased by the user of the software.
- Spamming - Distributed unsolicited e-mail to dozens or hundreds of different addresses.
- Spoofing - Deceiving a system into thinking you are someone you're not.
- Swatting - The act of calling in a false police report to someone else's home.
- Theft - Stealing or taking anything (e.g., hardware, software, or information) that doesn't belong to you.
- Typosquatting - Setting up a domain that is a misspelling of another domain.
- Unauthorized access - Gaining access to systems you have no permission to access.
- Vandalism - Damaging any hardware, software, website, or other object.
- Wiretapping - Connecting a device to a phone line to listen to conversations.