What Is Cybercrime and How Can We Prevent It?
May 29, 2012
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As the Internet continues to challenge our ideas of intellectual property, privacy and censorship, the criminal justice system is attempting to keep pace and maintain order in the wild-west like frontier of cyberspace. As you can imagine, keeping tabs on the seemingly infinite reach of the web is an incredible challenge that criminal justice systems around the world grapple with.
One of the fundamental challenges for criminal justice systems to enforce cyber law is the problem of jurisdiction. Since the Internet isn’t limited by international borders, cyber criminals can gather private information across international lines in the attempt to evade capture and prosecution.
Virtually everyone with a computer has dealt with a virus at some time or another. These pesky tactics employed by hackers can not only damage and destroy your computer, they are also devised to steal sensitive, personal information.
Some of the malware – or malicious software – used by hackers is:
- Spyware – As the name suggests, spyware is designed to spy on and tabulate your online activity.
- Adware – Adware steals information, corrupts files and forces the display of pop-up advertisements.
- Root kits – This malware hides in the trenches of core start-up processes. As a result, it’s very difficult to detect and remove.
- Viruses – Viruses are designed to duplicate themselves and spread to other machines via email.
- Wabbits – Wabbits are like viruses only they have no instructions to duplicate and spread to other machines. Instead, they destroy the one machine they’ve been sent to.
- Trojans – Trojans primarily target sensitive information such as financial data.
- Backdoors – Backdoors create a “backdoor” passageway for other computers to connect with the host and distribute malware.
- Exploits – These are designed to attack specific security vulnerabilities, especially in operating systems like Microsoft.
- Keyloggers – Keyloggers keep track of your keystrokes.
- Dialers – Dialers use your computer’s modem to make calls at the owner’s expense.
- Hijackers – These “hijack” Web searches and display websites of their choice.
Cybercrime is most prevalent in countries with high concentrations of broadband connections. It’s no surprise then that the United States accounted for 23% of all malicious computer activity last year, followed by China and Germany.
What is the best defense against cyber criminals?
- Defragment your hard drive regularly.
- Back up and encrypt your files.
- Install a trusted firewall.
- Run regular system checks to find and wipe out malware.
If you’d like to find out more about the criminal justice system, look into a criminal justice degree program near you today.
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