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A Survey of Cybercrimes, Investigations and Penal Laws Imposed on the Criminals

Journal: International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing - IJCSMC (Vol.8, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 131-143

Keywords : Cybercrimes; Investigations; Penal Laws; Criminals;

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Cyber-crime, once the domain of disaffected genius teenagers as portrayed in the movies "War Games" and "Hackers," has grown into a mature and sophisticated threat to the open nature of the Internet. "Cyber-criminals," like their non-virtual traditional criminal counterparts, seek opportunity and are attracted to vacuums in law enforcement. The news media is filled with reports of debilitating denial of service attacks, defaced web sites, and new computer viruses worming their way through the nation's computers. However, there are countless other cyber-crimes that are not made public due to private industry's reluctance to publicize its vulnerability and the government's concern for security. Along with the phenomenal growth of the Internet has come the growth of cyber-crime opportunities. As a result of rapid adoption of the Internet globally, computer crimes include not only hacking and cracking, but now also include extortion, child pornography, money laundering, fraud, software pirating, and corporate espionage, to name a few. Law enforcement officials have been frustrated by the inability of legislators to keep cyber-crime legislation ahead of the fast-moving technological curve. At the same time, legislators face the need to balance the competing interests between individual rights, such as privacy and free speech, and the need to protect the integrity of the world's public and private networks. Further complicating cyber-crime enforcement is the area of legal jurisdiction. Like pollution control legislation, one country cannot by itself effectively enact laws that comprehensively address the problem of Internet crimes without cooperation from other nations. While the major international organizations, like the OECD and the G-8, are seriously discussing cooperative schemes, many countries do not share the urgency to combat cyber-crime for many reasons, including different values concerning piracy and espionage or the need to 132 address more pressing social problems. These countries, inadvertently or not, present the cyber-criminal with a safe haven to operate. Never before has it been so easy to commit a crime in one jurisdiction while hiding behind the jurisdiction of another. In section II of this article, we begin by providing an overview of cyber-crimes, the state of the law, and cyber-crime perpetrators and their motivations. Then, in section III we discuss in detail three major computer crimes and analyze how the different statutory subsections are applied depending upon the technical details of the crime itself. Just as a murder prosecution is dependent on how the crime was committed, different hacking techniques trigger different federal anti-computer crime subsections. We begin with a discussion of the various denial of service attacks and the applicable statutes. Next we discuss the technical details of several hacking techniques and apply the relevant statutory subsections to the specific techniques. Finally, we explore the various types of computer viruses and how viral "payloads" and the class of the targeted computer will determine which federal subsection can be applied to the crime. In section IV, we discuss proposed legislative changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and related privacy concerns.

Last modified: 2019-06-04 17:25:36