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Beware! Check This List of the Different Types of Computer Crimes

Types of Computer Crimes
Computer crimes involve the unauthorized use of computer technology to manipulate critical user data. To know about the various types of computer crimes, read this Techspirited article.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Computer crimes are criminal activities which involve the use of information technology to gain an illegal or unauthorized access to a computer system with the intent of damaging, deleting, or altering computer data. They also include activities such as electronic frauds, misuse of devices, identity theft, and data as well as system interference.
Computer crimes may not necessarily involve damage to physical property. They rather include the manipulation of confidential data and critical information. They involve activities like software theft, wherein the privacy of users is hampered. These criminal activities involve the breach of human and information privacy, as also the theft and illegal alteration of system-critical information. The different types of computer crimes have necessitated the introduction and use of newer and more effective security measures.
Hacking
It is the activity of breaking into a computer system to gain unauthorized access to data, or the act of defeating the security capabilities of a computer system to obtain illegal access to the information stored on it. Examples include, an unauthorized revelation of passwords with the intent to gain unauthorized access to the private communication of an organization or user, or the use of IP addresses to hack a computer and transact with a false identity, thus remaining anonymous.
Phishing
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy source. Phishing is carried out through emails or by luring the users to enter personal information through fake websites. Criminals often use websites that have a look and feel of some popular website, which makes the users feel safe to enter their details there.
Computer Viruses
They are computer programs that can replicate and harm computer systems on a network without the knowledge of system users. They spread to other computers through the network file system, the network, Internet, or via removable devices like USB drives and CDs. Computer viruses are forms of malicious codes written with an aim to harm a computer system and destroy information. Writing computer viruses is a criminal activity as virus infections can crash computer systems and destroy critical data.
Cyberstalking
The use of communication technology, mainly the Internet, to torture individuals is known as cyberstalking. False accusations, transmission of threats, and damage to data and equipment fall under this. Cyberstalkers often target users over chat rooms, online forums, and social networking websites to gather user information and harass them on the basis of what's gathered. Obscene emails, abusive phone calls, and other such serious effects of cyberstalking have made it a type of computer crime.
Identity Theft
It is one of the most serious frauds as it involves stealing money and obtaining other benefits with the use of a false identity. It is the act of pretending to be someone else by using someone else's identity as one's own. Illegal migration, terrorism, and blackmail are often made possible by means of identity theft.
Financial identity theft involves the use of a false identity to obtain goods and services. A commercial identity theft is the use of someone else's business name or credit card details for commercial purposes. Identity cloning is the use of another user's information to pose as a false user.
Cyberextortion
When hackers threaten or harm a website, server, or a computer system using denial of service (DOS) or other attacks, the affected system is said to be under cyberextortion. Many corporate websites and networks are being attacked by cyberextortionists. FBI receives around 20 cases every month, and many others go unreported.
Cyberwarfare
Security expert Richard A. Clarke defines cyberwarfare as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption. It can be in the form of cyber espionage, wherein computer systems or networks are used to obtain secrets critical to a nation's security. The motive behind obtaining confidential information could be political, military, or economic. Disrupting transport or communication systems in a nation or state by exploiting computer or satellite technology is also a form of cyberwarfare. Cyber attacks may be used to cripple financial transactions in a country, thus threatening its economy. Recognized as the fourth-generation warfare, many countries have included defense from cyberwarfare in their military strategy.
Electronic Spamming
It refers to the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited messages to users. Malicious websites send repeated messages to multiple users, over email, instant messengers, newsgroups, forums, blogs, etc. The messages may contain malware in the form of executable files or scripts, or clicking on the emails may direct a user to suspicious websites.
Others
Computers, or rather the Internet may be used to carry out wrong practices like drug trafficking. Internet communication systems like email are used to send encoded messages related to drug deals. Drug delivery and payments are managed over the web. As using the Internet does not require face-to-face communication, people may find it as a convenient way to be sell or purchase drugs online.
Cyberbullying makes use of social networking and other websites to harass users, specifically kids and teenagers. It may involve spreading false information about something, or defaming someone on purpose to create hatred or negative feelings about him among people. It may involve abuse in the form of sending profane content, humiliating messages, obscene images or videos, etc.
Jamming of networks with the intention of disabling security or economic systems is a criminal offense. Communication systems may be rendered non-functional, networks over which financial transactions are carried out may be attacked, or computer systems that store critical data could be damaged or attacked. These activities use computer systems as tools for offenses. They are a part of information
warfare.
In salami slicing/penny shaving, an attacker starts with small attacks which eventually lead to greater damage. The attacker may start by gaining unauthorized access to critical information and start manipulating it in bits, or begin deducting small amounts from user bank accounts. These actions may ultimately lead to a huge manipulation of information or a fraud.
Computer crimes involve the illegal exploitation of computer and communication technology for criminal activities. While the advancing technology has served as a boon to mankind, the destructively directed human intellect is all set to turn technology into a curse.