High-tech crime (computer crime)

High-tech crime (computer crime) is the use of technology to commit a crime. It is the biggest tech related threat to the society. According to the 2011 Norton Cybercrime Report, in 2010 more than 430 million adults were victimized at a cost of US$388-billion in direct and indirect losses from computer crime world wide. The direct financial losses from cybercrime stood at US$114 billion, while US$274 billion was the value of time that victims spent in solving the crimes [1]. High-tech crimes include identity theft, cyber-stalking, hacking confidential systems, pyramid schemes, planting harmful viruses, and many others.

Identity theft is a form of fraud in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity. There are five types of identity theft criminal, financial, medical, child, and identity cloning. Criminal identity theft is when a criminal identifies himself as another person when the police arrest him. Not only does the criminal escape, but also he victim may encounter problems for months and even years because of the incorrect criminal records. Financial identity theft is using another person’s identity credit, goods, and services.

Medical Identity theft is using a person’s name or insurance information to get medical services/goods or just to make false claims. Child identity theft on the other hand is using a child’s Security Number for personal gains. Identity cloning on the other hand is to assume the identity of another person for daily life. Cyber-bullying is the use of modern technology (mostly the internet) to harm people on purpose. New bullying statistics revealed that around half of teens with Internet access have been the victims of cyber bullying [2].

Cyber-bullying can lead to depression and even suicide. Unlike physical bullying, cyber-bullies can remain anonymous and the bullying can continue all day every day. Many think cyber-bullying only happens to children, but it also happens to adults, which is known as cyber-stalking. Cyber-stalking includes making threats, gathering information about the victim, encouraging others to harass, false accusations, requesting minors for sex, false victimization, and ordering good/services in the victim’s name. Hacking is when a person accesses a computer or a network without the owner’s consent.

The most common hacker targets are government agencies, business networks, bank security systems, insurance providers, and hospital networks. Some hack personal/organization computers to plant harmful viruses that can destroy entire systems. While some hack private computers to obtain personal information such as pictures and credit card number. Others hack bank security systems to illegally obtain money (also known as defrauding). Other reasons for hacking are creating public attention for oneself, illegal subscription, and altering or obtaining classified information. And even though security systems are being improved, so is hacking.

Other major high tech-crimes include drug trafficking, cyber terrorism, and cyber warfare. Drug dealers are taking advantage of the Internet and other technologies to sell illegal drugs. And the lack of face-to-face communication causes an increase of Internet drug trade. Cyber terrorism is the act of terrorism through the use of cyberspace. Cyber warfare, which is considered one of the most controversial and threatening high-tech crimes, is the act of sabotage and espionage through politically motivated hacking. These examples and many more are the reason why high-tech crime is the biggest threat to society when it comes to technology.


1. 1. http://business.financialpost.com/2011/09/07/cyber-crime-cost-canadians-5-5-billion-in-2010-study-finds/

1. 2. http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html