Cybercrimein modern times
Threeof the greatest human achievements in the 20thcentury have to be computers, the internet and the worldwide web. Theinternet, described as an interconnection of millions of computersglobally has literally revolutionized the world in terms ofsocialization, communication, business and education among others.The World Wide Web, simply called WWW or just the web, whichcomprises of billions of hypertext document from various sourcesaccessed through the internet, has been instrumental in makingcomputers and the internet more useful. These developments,recognized as cyberspace, have also brought in a new dimension incrime popularly named cybercrime. With billions of people on thecyberspace at any given moment and given the wide reach it hascompare to conventional crime, cybercrime is the highest form ofcrime. The speed, convenience and anonymity that the cyberspaceoffers to criminals have increased frequency to alarming levels asthis paper discusses.
Theinternet offers unparalleled speed when it comes to committing crime.With the invention of broad band internet that allows high speedtransfer of huge data files from one corner to the globe to the otherat the speed of light, cybercrime is the easiest form for theexperienced criminal. Compare cybercrime to conventional crime wheretransfer of huge data files will require meticulous planning, spyingand the actual transportation of data in whatever form from one placeto another (Interpol, 2014). This sluggish speed in traditional crimeallows victims and legal authorities to respond and possiblyapprehend criminals in the act. On the other hand, cyber-crime allowscriminals milliseconds to steal billions, steal identity, accesspersonal information, sabotage operations, and engage in terrorismactivities etc. at the blink of an eye. This has drawn in hordes ofcriminals who love the speed that the internet offers.
Asharp mind, a high speed internet connection, a fast computer and acriminal internet are fundamentally the basic tools of cybercrime.This offers great convenience because the criminal can carry out hiscrime from anywhere around the world. A criminal with the above basictools can commit the US in real time milliseconds undetected whileholed up in a slum in south Africa, India, China or wherever. Noother form of crime offers such convenience in this world. With therange of internet enabled devices growing by the day to includevehicles, mobile phones, cameras laptops and tablets, the criminalcan attack a larger population on the internet which has beenidentified as Call it unlimited operation (Broadhurst, et al. 2014:13).
Increaseduse of the internet by the common people also offers convenience ofthe masses. The ability to target millions of people simultaneouslycan hardly be replicated in other forms of crime. The internethowever, makes this a reality in diverse ways. Banks, governments,stores, hospitals, schools and other institutions hold private andsensitive information about millions of people (Interpol, 2014).These can be accessed by criminals through the internet if they havethe means. Where individuals are involved, many do not take thenecessary precautions to avert cybercrime. This is akin to leaving abox of money on the driveway expecting no curious eye will see it andits contents and steal it. While it is hard to imagine two or threeneighbors doing that at any time all over the world, the internet hasmillions of such cases at any one time where people access sensitivewebpages and documents over unsecured lines. This exposes theseinnocent people to prying eyes on the internet.
Theinternet offers great ease in concealing one’s identity. Thisencourages even more criminals to be involved. In fact, ordinaryindividuals who have not even one criminal record have been luredinto the vice (Interpol, 2014). Take for instance bullies on socialmedia who use pseudonyms and fake names to target other people. Evenin some cases, people steal identity especially for celebrities andinteract with people and in some cases engage in criminal behavior. Anumber of cases have been reported where innocent individuals luredby the anonymity offered by the internet to engage in criminalbehavior. A good example is the recent case where a Dutch 14- yearold girl was arrested after threatening American airlines on Twitter.The girl, using the Twitter handle @queendemetriax_Sarah had posted“‘@AmericanAir hello my name`s Ibrahim and I`m from Afghanistan.I`m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I`m gonna do something reallybig bye’" (Sikander & Berkowitz, 2014). Unfortunately, hersupposed anonymity did not last. There are numerous cases where theveil of anonymity has been abused even by the innocent keen to gainpopularity and have fun at the expense of others.
Itis clear that as technology improves, so will cybercrime increase.Fortunately, the same technology is being employed to fightcybercrime. The fight has achieved considerable success as severalcriminals have been identified and arrested. Governments andorganizations continue to invest in technology to fight cybercrime asmillions shift to the internet to handle a wider range of activitiessuch as TV streaming, e-business and others. What is clear is thatspeed, convenience and anonymity are the some of the greatest factorsdriving cybercrime. Interestingly, these are the factors that havedriven internet usage up. Proper regulation and technology however,will allow increase internet use and protect t users fromcybercriminals better.
Broadhurst,R., Grabosky, P., Alazab, M. & Chon, S. (2014). Organizations andCyber crime: An
Analysisof the Nature of Groups engaged in Cyber Crime. InternationalJournal of Cyber Criminology8(1): 1–20.
Interpol(2014). Cybercrime. Retrieved online on 9thAug 2014 from
Sikander& Berkowitz, 2014). Teenager arrested for threatening tweet toAmerican Airlines.
Retrievedonline on 9thAug 2014 fromhttp://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/teenager-arrested-threatening-tweet-american-airlines-n80006