Rapid technological growth and developments have provided vast areas of new opportunities and efficient sources for organizations of all sizes. Technological growth is majorly backed by the internet. The internet has brought distant objects closer, in other words, it makes the world small. The internet has now become a national asset, the whole national security is also dependent on it. But these new technologies have also brought unprecedented threats with them i.e. cybercrime. Cybercrime is a crime in which a computer is used for a crime like hacking, spamming, phishing, etc.
Introduction to Cybercrime:
Cybercriminals use the internet and computer technology to hack users’ personal computers, smartphone data, personal details from social media, business secrets, national secrets, etc. Criminals who perform these illegal activities through the internet are called – Hackers. Though law enforcement agencies are trying to tackle this problem, it is growing regularly and many people have become victims of identity theft, hacking, and malicious software. One of the best ways to stop these criminals and protect sensitive information is by making use of inscrutable security that uses a unified system of software and hardware to authenticate any information that is accessed over the Internet. Let’s find out more about cybercrimes.
Causes of Cybercrime
Cybercriminals always opt for an easy way to make big money. They target rich people or rich organizations like banks, casinos, and financial firms where a huge amount of money flows daily and hack sensitive information. Catching such criminals is difficult. Hence, that increases the number of cybercrimes across the globe. Computers are vulnerable, so laws are required to protect and safeguard them against cyber criminals. We could list the following reasons for the vulnerability of computers:
- Easy to access – The problem behind safeguarding a computer system from unauthorized access is that there are many possibilities of breach due to the complex technology. Hackers can steal access codes, retina images, advanced voice recorders, etc. that can fool biometric systems easily and bypass firewalls can be utilized to get past many security systems.
- Capacity to store data in comparatively small space – The computer has the unique characteristic of storing data in a very small space. This makes it a lot easier for people to steal data from any other storage and use it for their own profit.
- Complex – The computers run on operating systems and these operating systems are programmed with millions of codes. The human mind is imperfect, so it can do mistakes at any stage. Cybercriminals take advantage of these gaps.
- Negligence – Negligence is one of the characteristics of human conduct. So, there may be a possibility that in protecting the computer system we may make any negligence that provides cyber-criminal access and control over the computer system.
- Loss of evidence – The data related to the crime can be easily destroyed. So, Loss of evidence has become a very common & obvious problem that paralyzes the system behind the investigation of cybercrime.
Types of CyberCrimes
There are many types of cyber-crimes and the most common ones are explained below:
- Hacking: It is a simple term that defines sending illegal instructions to any other computer or network. In this case, a person’s computer is hacked so that his personal or sensitive information can be accessed. The criminal uses a variety of software to crack a person’s computer and the person may not be aware that his computer has been accessed from a remote location. Often, government websites are a hot target for hackers because it helps them gain notoriety which is further fuelled by aggressive media coverage. This is different from ethical hacking which is used by many organizations to check their Internet security protection.
- Child pornography and Abuse: The internet is being highly used to abuse children sexually worldwide. This is also a type of cybercrime wherein criminals solicit minors via chat rooms for the purpose of child pornography. The Cybersecurity department of every nation is spending a lot of time monitoring chat rooms frequented by children with the hopes of reducing and preventing child abuse and soliciting.
- Piracy or Theft: This crime occurs when a person violates copyrights and downloads music, movies, games, and software. There are even peer-sharing websites that encourage software piracy and many of these websites are now being targeted by the FBI. Today, the judicial system is addressing this cyber crime and there are laws that prevent people from illegally downloading. Film producers and directors often become victims of this crime.
- Cyber Stalking: This is a kind of online harassment wherein the victim is subjected to a barrage of online messages and emails. Typically, these stalkers know their victims and instead of resorting to offline stalking, they use the Internet to stalk. However, if they notice that cyberstalking is not having the desired effect, they begin offline stalking along with cyberstalking to make the victims’ lives more miserable.
- Cyber Terrorism: Cyber terrorism, also known as information wars, can be defined as an act of Internet terrorism that includes deliberate and large-scale attacks and disruptions of computer networks using computer viruses, or physical attacks using malware, to attack individuals, governments, and organizations. The goal of terrorism is to create a feeling of terror in the minds of the victims. Keeping this concept in mind, it becomes easier to differentiate cyber-attacks from a financial, or egotistical, gain from acts of cyberterrorism. Cyber terrorists operate with the goal of damage and destruction at the forefront of their activities.
- Identity Theft: This has become a major problem with people using the Internet for cash transactions and banking services. In this cybercrime, a criminal accesses data about a person’s bank account, credit cards, Social Security, debit card, and other sensitive information to siphon money or to buy things online in the victim’s name. It can result in major financial losses for the victim and even spoil the victim’s credit history.
- Computer Vandalism: Computer vandalism is a type of malicious behavior that involves damaging computers and data in various ways and potentially disrupting businesses. Typical computer vandalism involves the creation of malicious programs designed to perform harmful tasks such as erasing hard drive data or extracting login credentials. Computer vandalism differs from viruses, which attach themselves to existing programs.
- Malicious Software: These are Internet-based software or programs that are used to disrupt a network. The software is used to gain access to a system to steal sensitive information or data or cause damage to software present in the system.
- Fraud Calls/eMails: You must have heard a lot about this crime and you may have also received such a fraud call. It is called vishing, also known as voice phishing. In this type of crime, the criminal contacts you through fake messages, calls, or emails in which he declares himself to be an employee of a bank and he has called related to your bank account or cards. He asks for personal details like ATM card information, OTP, password, etc. or asks to click on the link sent by himself. If you mistakenly trust them and give them the details, you will lose the money kept in your account. Keep in mind that no information is ever asked from any bank that is sensitive and never shares any information related to your account on the internet or to an unknown person. Read about Phishing in detail.
- Fake news sharing in social media: Some cybercriminals simply work on social networking sites to spread social, religious, and political rumors. Impressed by this, common people inadvertently share links or posts shared by unknown people on their social media. This causes the user to face legal actions, keep in mind that sharing any illegal link or post on social media also comes under the category of cybercrime. So, avoid these things and do not do any work on social media under the pretext of someone, which may ruin your whole life.
- Online illegal selling (Dark Web): In this crime, a criminal sells illegal weapons, drugs, smuggled goods, or personal information to the person on an illegal online shopping platform and the transaction is also done via cryptocurrency. It promotes terrorism and black marketing. For example, such as the Dark web, is content from the World Wide Web that exists on Darknets, and networks but requires specific software, configuration, or authorization to access. Everything illegal is transacted on this web search. Now, you must be thinking that if it is illegal then very few people would be using it, then you are wrong, there are millions of users all over the world and the number is increasing daily.
How to tackle CyberCrime?
To tackle cybercrime effectively, establish multidimensional public-private collaborations between law enforcement agencies, the information technology industry, information security organizations, internet companies, and financial institutions. Unlike the real world, Cybercriminals do not fight one another for supremacy or control. Instead, they work together to improve their skills and even help out each other with new opportunities. Hence, the usual methods of fighting crime cannot be used against cyber criminals.
The best way to go about this is by using the solutions provided by Cross-Domain Solutions. This allows organizations to use a unified system comprising of software and hardware that authenticates both manual and automatic transfer and access to information when it takes place between different security classification levels. This allows seamless sharing and access of information within a specific security classification, but cannot be intercepted by or advertently revealed to the user who is not part of the security classification. This helps to keep the network and the systems using the network safe.
- Use Strong Passwords: Maintain different password and username combinations for each account and resist the temptation to write them down. Weak passwords can be easily cracked using certain attacking methods like Brute force attacks, Rainbow table attack,s etc. The following precautions can be taken to avoid your password getting hacked.
- Using keyboard patterns for passwords. e.g. – qwertyui
- Using easy combinations. e.g. – Raju1990, Feb1990
- Using Default passwords. e.g. – Welcome123, Ravi123
- Keeping the password the same as the username. e.g. – Raju/Raju
- Be social media savvy: Be sure to keep your social networking profiles (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) set to private. Be sure to check your security settings. Be careful of what information you post online. Once it is on the Internet it is there forever.
- Secure your Mobile Devices: Many people are not aware that their mobile devices are also vulnerable to malicious software, such as computer viruses and hackers. Be sure to download applications only from trusted sources. It is also crucial that you keep your operating system up-to-date. Be sure to install anti-virus software and use a secure lock screen as well. Otherwise, anyone can access all your personal information on your phone if you misplace it or even set it down for a few moments. Someone could even install malicious software that could track your every movement through your GPS.
- Protect your data: Protect your data by using encryption for your most sensitive files such as financial records and tax returns. A person can stay one step ahead of the hacker by getting information about the scams and hacking styles on the Internet. Fishing is a famous hacking method, but a person can get rid of all the frauds by taking information from the Internet about the latest fishing attacks. So, stay safe and tell your neighbors about these scams and make them aware.
- Protect your identity online: When it comes to protecting your identity online it is better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. It is critical that you be cautious when giving out personal ID such as your name, address, phone number, and/or financial information on the Internet. Be certain to make sure websites are secure when making online purchases, etc. This includes enabling your privacy settings when using/accessing social networking sites.
- Keep your computer current with the latest patches and updates: One of the best ways to keep attackers away from your computer is to apply patches and other software fixes when they become available. By regularly updating your computer, you block attackers from being able to take advantage of software flaws (vulnerabilities) that they could otherwise use to break into your system.
- Protect your computer with security software: Several types of security software are necessary for basic online security. Security software essentials include firewalls and antivirus programs. A firewall is usually your computer’s first line of defense. It controls who and what can communicate with your computer online. You could think of a firewall as a sort of “policeman” that watches all the data attempting to flow in and out of your computer on the Internet, allowing communications that it knows are safe and blocking “bad” traffic such as attacks from ever reaching your computer.
- Parental Control: In the era of online technology, parents should monitor all the activities of their children online. Giving adequate privacy to children would be problematic. Parents need to be cautious and should keep an eye on browser history and email accounts regularly. A better way of handling this is by enabling parental control in mobile apps, browsers, and at the router level so that they will be able to access only the secured sites. This will keep the children safe from online fraud. Many apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and youtube offer kids-only personalized content to protect children from wrongdoings.
- Call the right person for help: Try not to panic if you are a victim. If you encounter illegal online content, such as child exploitation, or if you suspect a cybercrime, identity theft, or a commercial scam, just like any other crime report this to your local police. There are many websites to get help on cybercrime. To name a few https://staysafeonline.org, https://digitalpolice.gov.in, www.usa.gov, https://cybercrime.gov.in
Other Interesting Articles on CyberSecurity
Today hackers are spread across the world in large quantities. Many government and private agencies like the FBI, CIA, and state police are working to detect these hackers, but we also have some duty to protect ourselves and our private data from online fraud. Apart from this, people who are illiterate should be given information about debit cards, credit cards, the internet, and computer. We know it is a bit difficult to catch these hackers because they sit in one country and hack the computer from another country, so the best way to avoid these things is that we have to be careful and alert and all IDs and Passwords on the Internet should always be unique and strong. Finally, I would like to say that if you use the internet properly and use secure websites, then it will be difficult for hackers to hack your data.
Thank you very much sir
You are welcome Rachael!
You are welcome Kushal.
You are welcome Mayank.
Excellent topic it helped me very much
Glad it helped you Nilesh. Thanks for the feedback.