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Cybercrimes: Types, Definitions, & Examples

Cybercrime is a criminal offense that focuses on information stored on electronic media. The main types of cybercrime are hacking, computer viruses, malware, phishing, software piracy, and spam. In this post, we will describe each of these crimes in detail.

Hacking is the act of illegally accessing computers to commit crimes, such as stealing data, inserting viruses, or vandalizing.

Computer viruses are computer programs designed to secretly invade systems and modify the way they operate or alter the information they store. Viruses are destructive software programs that may effectively vandalize computers of all types and sizes.

Malware are malicious computer programs such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. An example is a virus that attaches to a Microsoft word file and infects other computers when the file is shared. Another example is ransom malware that requests money, or it would destroy the system.

Phishing relies on social engineering that is tricking people into giving important details or access to systems. Phishing is a relatively new form of high technology fraud that uses official-looking emails to elicit responses from victims, directing them to phony websites. Usually instruct recipients to update their information, such as user name, passwords, bank details, social security number, or credit card details.

Software piracy is the unauthorized duplication of software or the illegal transfer of data from one storage medium to another. An example is pirated copies of software, movies, or music. Another example is data sharing websites, where people can share copyrighted materials.

Spam is the unrequested commercial bulk email whose primary purpose is to advertise or promote a commercial product or service.

Challenges for criminal justice in fighting cybercrimes fall into two parts:

  • The first issue is cross-jurisdictional or international cybercrimes, which make the investigation and prosecuting complicated.
  • The other problem is that the high rate of technology advances makes it hard for law enforcement agencies to adapt to new types of cybercrimes quickly.

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