Cyber Crime

1.0 Introduction

Since the internet had been introduced to public during the mid-1990s, it had changed the human’s lifestyle. Until now, with the finger clip at home, we can buy all the things we need, enjoy the music and movie without going to cinema, and also contact with friends and families whose are staying at other countries. Computer and internet have brought a lot of convenience to us. They make our life easier and complete. But just like a Chinese proverb mentioned: “water can carry a boat, can also capsize it.” Internet and computer can bring many benefits when we use it wisely and vice versa, it also giving the chance to the criminals to use it to prey on unsuspecting victims who are IT-savvy.

Thus, in this paper, we will discuss about the criminal that happen by using internet and computer that is cybercrime. Before we discussed further about the cybercrime, we need to know the definition of cybercrime first. According to the definition of Symantec Company which produce Norton antivirus, cybercrime can be defined as “any crime that is committed using a computer or network, or hardware device”. The computer or device may be the agent of the crime, the facilitator of the crime or the target of the crime. has given us the clearer view about the cyber crime. According to the website, when a user downloads the songs from illegal website without paying the fee, it was considered as a kind of cybercrime. Some other example of cybercrime includes creating and spreading the virus to others’ computer via internet.

2.1 Classification of cyber crimes When we talked about the cybercrime, we may only know that cybercrime refer to the crime that related to the computer and internet. But what exactly is the cybercrime? How much we know about the cybercrime and how are we going to classify the cybercrime? According to Prashant Mali (specialize in Cyber Law Consulting), cybercrime can be classified into 4 major groups and the examples of each group of cybercrime will be included also.

2.1.1 Cyber crime against Individual From the terms individual, we can guess that this kind of crimes are mainly focus on personal. Cyber crimes against individual include email spoofing, spamming on e-mail, cyber defamation and cyber stalking. Email spoofing referred to the e-mail which header is faked or forged so that mail seems to originate from the address that victims know but actually has been sent from another address. Usually the mail header is attractive so that the victims will open the mail. We should have such experience – found a lot of mails from unknown sender or source when open our mail account. Spamming always mean sending multiple copies of unsolicited mails or mass e-mails such as chain letters.

Don’t doubt it, spamming on e-mail also can considered as kind of cyber crime. On the other hand, cyber defamation occurs when it takes place with the assist of computer tools and the Internet. Nowadays, people always publish defamatory matter about someone on a social website like Facebook or Myspace and it always caused huge impact to the person who was defamed. No matter the defamation was real or fake, this kind of behavior is totally discouraged. Government seems don’t have effective way to resist the defamation on web happen. The last one is cyber stalking. Cyber Stalking means following the progress of an individual daily’s’ activity over internet. With the help of many technologies available now such as e- mail, chat rooms or user’s social group like Facebook or twitter, it can be done easily. People is always leaving down their moves or updating their status on the social network. It is giving the chance for the offenders to do something.

2.1.2 Cyber crime Against Property This kind of crime was aiming on the property of somebody or some company. It is included: crecit card fraud, intellectual property crimes and internet time theft. Credit card fraud usually means theft and fraud committed by using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. (wikipedia, 2011) Intellectual property sounds might be sounds unfamiliar to us as we don’t have much knowledge about the intellectual property- Look at the piracy of songs, movies and software around the shopping centre and supermarket in Malaysia. Generally, intellectual properties crimes always refer to software piracy include illegal copying of programs or distribution of copies of software. Internet time theft refers to the usage of the Internet surfing hours without authorization from the owner of internet. This kind of crime usually happen when the owner didn’t set the password for his or her network usage.

2.1.3 Cyber crime Against Organization Quite a number of crimes can be included in this category. For example, unauthorized accessing of computer, denial of service, virus attack against computer, email bombing, salami attack, Trojan horse and data diddling. What is meant by unauthorized accessing of computer? In this crime, offenders try to access the computer or network without the permission from the owner. The criminals will change or delete data after reads or copies the confidential or proprietary information without the authorization from owner. Denial of service was happen when Internet server is flooded with continuous fake requests to deny authorizing users to use the server. We should familiar to the virus attack and nearly every computer users will know that we need to install an antivirus program to prevent the attack of viruses.

A computer virus is a computer program that can infect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way as to include a (possibly evolved) copy of it. Viruses can be file infecting or affecting boot sector of the computer. Email bombing was happened when somebody was sending huge amount of mails to the individual or company or mail servers to cause a crashing. Salami attack was often associated with electronic banking or electronic data interchange fraud. Trojan horse can conceal itself from being detecting by antivirus program or other protecting software. It is an unauthorized program which functions in the window and seems to be an authorized program. While data diddling involves altering raw data just before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after the processing is completed.

2.1.4 Cyber crime Against Society The last category of cyber crime was cyber crime against society. It is included forgery of valuable, cyber terrorism and web jacking. Valuable here means currency notes or revenue stamps that are valuable. Currency notes, revenue stamps, mark sheets can be forged by using computers and high quality scanners and printers. While cyber terrorism means that the criminals intimidate or coerce others people by using the computer resources. On the other hand, web jacking means hackers gain access and control over the website of another; even they change the content of website for fulfilling political objective or for money.

2.2 Comparison of cybercrimes in Malaysia and USA According to Cyber security Malaysia chief executive officer, Lt Col (Rtd) Prof Datuk Husin Jazri, there has 10406 cases regarding of cyber crime was reported to the Cyber999 Help Centre from January until August 2011. This amount was greatly increased if we compare the cases reported at last year which was only 8090 cases. This statistics have clearly showed that the cyber crime has been increased hugely and some actions should be taking to prevent it. If we look to the cases of cyber crime reported in our country overalls, we can found that the cases about fraud consist most percentage of cases reported this year, that is 36%.

The table above showed the cases of cyber crime which was reported to Cyber999 Help Centre. But if we referred to the summary of cyber security incident in Malaysia which was made by Cyber Security, the actual cases of cyber crime that were detected by Cyber Early Warning System are nearly 5 million cases. 5 million of cases were definitely a huge number and it just showed how seriously the cyber crime was. Many people may think that cyber crime won’t be happen on him/her but according to the research, nearly 69% of people who surf internet will be the victim of cyber crime for at least once in their life time.

Sometime, the cyber crime may just happen simultaneously. For examples, email spamming or fraud attempt from the criminals. Here is one of the examples of fraud attempt that happen in Malaysia at 14 January, 2011. A cyber criminal has allegedly hacked into constitutional law expert e-mail account in an attempt to cheat people of their money. The forwarded e-mail was entitled “I Need Your Help” and it was sent to all the victims’ contacts. In the e-mail, criminals try to ask for the help for a loan of a huge amount of money to help him go back to Malaysia as he was being trapped in the Spain. In the end, the victim has reported this cyber crime to police.(

On the other hand, Malaysian seem still do not have enough knowledge about the intellectual property. We still do not know how to respect the intellectual property and use the proper way to use others’ intellectual property. This phenomenon can be seemed with the piracy of songs, movies or software at the shopping centre. Besides that, we were also used to download the songs, movies or software from the unauthorized website. We may not realize that we have helped to increase the number of cyber crimes.

If comparing the cyber crimes in Malaysia and USA, we will find that USA has more cyber crimes cases on intellectual property. In the congressional report of FBI for year 2010, we can notice that they were focusing on the cyber crimes that involve intellectual property. The case below was one of the FBI investigate case highlight: The FBI conducted an investigation of an employee of a company that made electronic sensors. The employee, who was scheduled to retire from the company and had made plans to work for a competitor, was observed using a flash drive to download files from the corporate network.

A search of the flash drive revealed several files related to sensor technology, the assembly process, blueprints, and pictures of tooling operations. If these files had been made available outside of the company it would have compromised the company’s competitiveness and profitability in the marketplace. Further internal investigation by the victim company revealed that the employee maintained contact with the competitor, which had provided him with a list of intellectual property material to steal prior to his departure. The employee pled guilty on January 26, 2010 and was sentenced on June 15, 2010.

At Malaysia, we can find that the cyber crimes were mainly related to the fraud and spamming. But at USA, the cyber crimes included more areas like intellectual property and it was always the main target for FBI and government to cope with. They are more focusing on the intellectual property if comparing to our country.

2.3 Suggestion

The cyber crimes won’t be decreased if we just do nothing to the crime or keep escaping from them. To curb the crimes effectively, it needs the co-operation from both government and individual site. First of all, the government will need to setup an effective security management system against the cyber crimes that always happened in our country like fraud, spamming or phishing. The security management system should be able to manage and always supervise the online activities in our country. Once it detected the dangerous activities like phishing, the system should be able to clear it or control the activities.

But the government needs to make sure that the management system only be used for supervising the phishing activities but not regulating the online activities. Secondly, the government should restrict or modify the current cyber law so that it can help to resist the increase of cyber crimes activities. People might not know the appearance of cyber law. Thus, when they are involved in the cyber crimes activities, they might not know that they are actually under the protection of cyber law. Until now, the government still cannot settle the problems with piracy music, videos and movies effectively.

The government might not too emphasize on the importance of intellectual property yet. Thus we still need more laws to limit the piracy of other people’s intellectual property and also other harmful cyber crimes. It was very important if we wish to become the advanced country at the coming future. Third, government should include the awareness to cyber crime into the syllabus during primary schools. Through the education since primary students, they will have more firm concept about the cyber crimes and also the proper way to prevent them to become the victims of cyber crime.

Many cyber crimes were happened because of the victims didn’t realize or aware about the dangerous of cyber crime. If they can recognize the symptom of cyber crime, people can prevent from being trapped into the cyber crime. Furthermore, government can co-operate with private sector to organize some camp or talk about the proper way to prevent cyber crimes. These camps and talks will help the people to be clearer about the concept of cyber crimes and they will know what they should do when they faced the cyber crimes. Through the camp or talks, public will also know what their role to decrease the cyber crimes in our country. At last, for the individual, we should always aware when we surfing the internet.

We should not open the e-mail with unknown address or spamming e-mail. On the other hand, people should not be greedy with the “offer” that was given by criminals. Sometime, the fraud will happen just because of the greediness of somebody. Furthermore, we should try to join more talks or camps that share about the cyber crimes so that we can know more about the cyber crimes and know how to protect ourself from being cheating. Besides that, we can download the home made security tools from Cybersecurity Malaysia such as DontPhishMe, DNSwatch and MyPHPiPs that protects users from cybercriminals which can be downloaded for free. These software or tools will protect us from being attacked by the cyber criminals. But the most important thing is, we need to have the awareness by ourselves so that we will always beware of stepping into the trap of cyber crimes.


We should not think that the cyber crime won’t be happen on us or overconfidence that we can handle with the cyber crime easily. People nowadays especially young generation are facing the computer for long time, thus they have the higher chances to face with cyber crimes.

As the generation that living in this modern world, we need to prepare ourselves to face the challenge of different kinds of cyber crimes. We need to have some basic knowledge about the different types of cyber crimes so that we will know how to deal with them when we face the cyber crimes. On the other hand, we should try to attempt more talks about the cyber crimes and share with our friends and family if necessary. We should always be aware and alert of the cyber crimes around us and should not give the chance to criminals.

We may not able to prevent the cyber crimes by our own ability, but if we can stick to our own role and play our role wisely, we can prevent the increase of cyber crime cases. As cyber crimes will affect our country’s image, we need to try to reduce the cyber crimes and make internet a safer place to go and surf!