Articles Tagged with cybercrime

markus-spiske-153537-200x300Terrorism is the current concern of the cyber security community. The key legal principles are laid out at a national level. However, there are many other forms of cybercrime which are largely downgraded yet quite capable of harming people. This is not just a problem for Chicago, but for the entire world at large. As is often the case in these instances, the argument is about establishing the right parameters for upgrading a simple cybercrime into cyberterrorism or cyberwar. For example, internet trolling is rarely capable of meeting the standards of terrorism, yet it is also a serious crime that is often prosecuted by the authorities. Others have decided to define cyberterrorism as any form of cyber crime that involves nations or entire communities.

Some of the worst offenders under this law are not pariah states but individuals who have used their expertise in order to hack into government agency databases before strategically leaking the resultant data in order to cause maximum embarrassment to the government. Although WikiLeaks and Snowden might argue that they do not meet this criteria, the reality is that the US government considers their actions to be a threat to the state. Therefore, the prosecution process and the indicative sentencing might be a lot harsher than would be the case for other types of cybercrime. We might then argue that it is the state that determines the fine line between cybercrime and cyberterrorism.  

Investigating and Classifying the Crime

benjamin-voros-160962-300x200The computer has been used to commit crimes, right from its inception. More recently, the city of Chicago has had to contend with the reality of cyber extortion. The state has certain duties and liabilities which include investigation and prosecutorial powers. The essential ingredients of the crime are that the offender gets the victim to do or not do certain things in order to avoid being harmed. The internet is then the conduit through which they make the threats, agree the illegal contracts and collect on them. Hackers have found the computer to be perfect for blackmail and ransom notes. One of their favorite tricks is to obtain sensitive information from an organization and then threaten to publish it unless their demands are fully met.

The demands invariably include monetary compensation but the standards of the crime can still be met even if money does not exchange hands. At other times the hackers will plant malicious information or programs for which only they have the key. That means that unless the victim accepts their demands, they will let the program wreak havoc. That havoc might involve wiping out the entire database of company information. Hackers may even deny an organization access to its own files in order to ensure that they can comply with the extortion demands. The range of victims is startling including municipalities, hospitals, government agencies and even private individuals.

A Violation of Privacy and Property