Cyber crime articles are useful because they serve to illustrate exactly what is happening in terms of the violations committed in cyberspace. So far, articles commonly center on several topics that remind Internet users to exercise caution as they surf or transact business over the Internet. These articles serve to drive home several important points that all Internet users must keep in mind every time they log on.
Although laws have been made regarding cyber crimes many feel that many of these start with faulty definitions which in some cases run in conflict with certain freedoms. At the same time, laws on spam and DoS (denial-of-service) attacks are not uniform and what is defined as illegal in one jurisdiction may continue to be legal in another.
Some legal experts say that there are enough laws to cover just about every cyber crime possible. However, successfully prosecuting these crimes may be a totally different story. For one thing, technology has advanced so much that it is possible for evidence to be erased in minutes. Also, added to the issues of anonymity, jurisdiction and public awareness on how to protect digital evidence, cyber crimes come with constantly changing programs.
Cyber crime articles tell us that smartphones, iPads and tablets have become cyber crime targets and the number of mobile threats is growing substantially faster than threats for PCs ever did. Malware (most of which is designed for the Android operating system) has zeroed in on these modern telecommunication devices. Cyber crimes now use new and highly sophisticated tools; moreover, tools like Zeus and SpyEye are now available from online cyber criminal markets even for run-of-the-mill attackers. Zeus is a type of malware that drops malicious payload and often opens a backdoor which allow unauthorized access to the computer being targeted.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype have become sources of victims for cyber criminals. Often, entry is gained by Blackhole malware disguised as licenses for Windows and account verification emails.
Some institutions made an estimate of the average annual cost of cyber crime for 38 organizations and pegged this at 2.1 million British pounds (3.252 million US dollars). Resolving a cyber attack in itself already costs around 500,000 US dollars. Added to the cost of down time, such expense could actually spell the doom of some businesses which in turn could impact on production and employment.
Several developments in technology and the workplace have made hacking easier to accomplish.
• The high speed of Internet communication. The tremendous increase in the capacity of Internet lines has made it more easily possible for hackers to do their cyber crimes: DoS (denial-of-service) attacks, fraud, intrusion, and malware.
• Homogeneity in software used. At present, Microsoft is used by more than 90 percent of companies and individuals. This monoculture has made users more vulnerable to viruses and cyber attacks.
• Invention of sophisticated computer programs and software. As programs and software become increasingly complex with new capabilities, PC users become more vulnerable to intrusion and attacks.
• Widespread and common use of email. Many viruses are spread through email communication and attachment use. As more and more users share files through attachments, cyber criminals with malware programs find fertile ground.
Cyber crime articles not only apprise the public of what is happening in terms of hacking and fraud through the Internet. One of their most important uses is that they remind all Internet users to learn how to use their computers carefully and securely.