Computer Related Crimes
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The rapid growth and globalization of information technologies has dramatically changed the way people communicate. Millions of people pay bills, consulte professionals, conducte research and make connections with family and friends in cyberspace. As cyberspace continues to become an integral part of life, cybercrime or computer crime poses new challenges to the criminal justice system. The global nature of cybercrime raises difficult legislative problems of jurisdiction as criminals use offshore servers and Internet sites to avoid domestic regulations. Crime in cyberspace, such as cyberterrorism, cyber-money-laundering, cybergambling, Internet fraud and cyberstalking, can occur instantaneously, and offenders targete victims in other countries where the offence is not easily detected. The seriousness of cybercrime is reflected in the fact that cyberspace has become the target of terrorists and organized crime groups. Fifteen years ago, cartoonist Peter Steiner drew two dogs sitting in front of a computer, one saying to the other, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." This iconic adage, cute in its day, is now a warning. Cybercrime is estimated to be a $600 billion market and looks set to grow in 2009 as the complexity of cybercrimes intensifies. The year 2008 concluded to be a year of an exponential increase in the activities of cyber criminals. Every day, criminals are invading countless homes and offices across the world—not by breaking down windows and doors, but by breaking into laptops, personal computers, and wireless devices via hacks and bits of malicious code. Billions of dollars are lost every year repairing systems hit by such attacks. Some take down vital systems, disrupting and sometimes disabling the work of hospitals, banks, and 9-1-1 services around the world. The capabilities and opportunities provided by the Internet have transformed many legitimate business activities, augmenting the speed, ease, and range with which transactions can be conducted while also lowering many of the costs. Criminals have also discovered that the Internet can provide new opportunities and multiplier benefits for illicit business. The dark side of the Internet involves not only fraud and theft, pervasive pornography and pedophile rings, but also drug trafficking and criminal organizations that are more concerned about exploitation than the kind of disruption that is the focus of the intruder community.