Cyber crime is criminal activity done using computers and the Internet. This involves any one of the following three activities,
- Computer as a target – attacking the computers of others (spreading viruses is an example).
- Use of computer as a weapon – using a computer to commit “traditional crime” that we see in the physical world (such as fraud or illegal gambling).
- The computer as an accessory – using a computer as a “fancy filing cabinet” to store illegal or stolen information.
The Cybercrime includes anything from downloading illegal music files to stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts.
Cybercrime also includes non-monetary offenses, such as creating and distributing viruses on other computers or posting confidential business information on the Internet.
Cyber crime involves online acts such as:
- Black-hat hacking / Cracking
- Child sex offences (pornography and grooming)
- Crimes in virtual worlds
- Cyberactivism / Hacktivism
- Virus writing and malware
- Identity theft / Fraud
- Illegal financial transactions / Money laundering
- Copyright infringement
- Serious acts of cyberbullying
- Denial of service attacks
- Rogue botnets
The most prominent form of cyber crime is identity theft, in which criminals use the Internet to steal personal information from other users. Two of the most common ways this is done is through phishing and pharming.
Both of these methods lure users to fake websites (that appear to be legitimate), where they are asked to enter personal information.
This includes login information, such as usernames and passwords, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other information criminals can use to “steal” another person’s identity.
Because cybercrime covers such a broad scope of criminal activity, the examples above are only a few of the thousands of crimes that are considered cybercrimes.
Cyber crime is also expected to expand to new technologies: cell phones, personal digital assistants, music players, and embedded hardware can give rise to new vulnerabilities and risks.
Though Cyber Crime is a broader term involving Cyber Attacks, Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare activities, Cyber Crime is generally equated more with individual criminal activities whereas Cyber Attacks and Cyber Terrorism are individual/ institutional in nature and Cyber Warfare is State Sponsored activity.
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