The number of online security breaches is increasing day by day. For instance, with the Sony Playstation data breaches to millions of small breaches; something must be done to protect the online security of citizens as well as our own government (Sony Playstation System Hacking). The question then becomes who is going to do it? Can the American citizens trust the United States government to ensure their security and thereby their very safety? In light of the fact that the Michigan police force has recently been found to use a forensic cell phone reader or Cellebrite upon routine traffic stops, the ACLU has called into question the ethics of seizing such information without probable cause. Are cell phones merely a tracking device as far as the police force is concerned? Does this not violate the Constitutional right we are guaranteed by our government? Most recently a back door was found in the iPhone that allows anyone who knows about to track the person who owns the phone or whoever is carrying that phone (Reynolds). "Powerful, new technologies are creating new challenges to security online" (Marshal). Through my research I hope to explain how serious of a problem we as Americans are facing. Who will be our just protector? Is our government strong enough to protect us little guys and them as well? The benefits of this research paper are to give people knowledge and hopefully a small sense of outrage that will bring about a change in thinking. With great success it can help people to make themselves knowledgeable and aware that these problems exist and possibly prod them into taking action. The Playstation incident, iPhone backdoor, as well as the Michigan PD should all be enough cause for anyone to think critically about this. Americans must take steps to ensure their cyber safety against threats foreign and domestic and the United States government must do the same to protect its citizens and the whole world. Education and government action can both play a critical role in this, and these aspects will be outlined in this paper.
In Dan Brown's Novel The Digital Fortress, many of these issues are addressed through fiction; especially writing backdoors in codes because they think no one will notice. This is not fiction and people should not always behave and accept what is told to them; they should not always treat it as gospel and take a small step in returning to use the brain that God gave them. Dan Brown's novel addresses the basic issues faced by all computer users; that of computer and Internet crime. There are still so many different crimes that can be committed through the internet, as anyone can access it. Because the internet has a wide range of scope, the government is having a hard time enforcing laws regarding access. This is the reason why non-profit organizations specializing in computer crimes are of great benefit these days. They can provide support, solutions, and other resources to help fight against these illegal acts. Education and correct information regarding these problems and activities can also avoid complicated situations in the future.
Software developers are creating new ways to detect and eliminate viruses from our computers. When compared to other computer crimes, this can be the least cause of worry because there have been a lot of solutions in the market for viruses today. Even if encountered and the virus causes serious damage, computers can always be replaced and data can and should always be stored in its hard form or in a storage device. The only major difficulty viruses can bring is when a business or establishment has to stop its function because all hardware and systems are broken and cannot be used. This can lead to loss of income and quality of work (Hanson). These types of crimes should be taken seriously by everybody, as well as by the government. Awareness and education should be provided to every community so as not to worsen the problems. The longer it is ignored or taken for granted, the more that the situation can become complicated. Computer safety should always be done, especially the young adults who are the ones who spend more time using it.
A worm replicates and slithers itself in network connections. It affects all machines connected to the network taking up space, which in turn slows the machine or computer down. Fortunately, this does not change or delete files. It is also not a virus because it does not depend on applications or programs to spread. In 2001, the worm Code Red caused a big fuss in the industry. It works by replicating within Microsoft's Internet Information Services and Microsoft Index Server 2.0 or the Windows 2000 Indexing Service. Another type of virus is the Trojan horse. It disguises itself as something that is not harmful but when loaded, it has the ability to obtain information like passwords or it can provide access to a hacker. Some types of Trojans are remote access Trojans (RAT), backdoor Trojans (backdoors), IRC Trojans (IRCbots), and keylogging Trojans. There are numerous other viruses out there but it is fortunate that software companies have developed programs that can scan, detect, and delete these malicious viruses. It is always safe to install an anti-virus software, which are readily sold in the market by their respective developers. Aside from this, being extra careful can also help. When a program is from an unknown source, it is better to avoid it. Electronic mail attachments, which contain an executable program should not be downloaded, especially if it looks suspicious or if the sender is not known. Another thing that should not be done is to avoid forwarding e-mails that can be considered as junk because this is where the spreading of viruses can start. Nobody is safe from these types of attacks; not even the government. For instance, "attempted attacks on Pentagon computers can number tens of thousands every year" (Marshall)
There are numerous ways established for preventing malicious computer programs as a cyber crime activity. The most common measure is the creation of awareness among the general public and institutions on how to identify and mitigate being affected malicious computer programs (Katel). To realize this preventive measure, network software scientists have engaged in numerous researches; developing highly intelligent network security software. Indeed, some software such as antivirus are commonly found free in the internet. Such are serving the crucial purpose of mitigating infection of computer networks by malicious computer codes such as virus and worm among others.
Still, this intelligent network security software brings with them the ability to identify and deny access of systems by unauthorized users. According to available research findings on the effectives of malicious computer programs, it is clearly established that some forms of these programs which are hard to control. In a move to protect the integrity of information technology in the society, it is a common practice for highly sensitive institutions to close down their networks upon realizing any errant behaviors. It is worth noting that such moves are instrumental in ensuring the continued illegal access of networks by hackers. This is usually followed by a change of the overall access security codes and other check requirements. Indeed, for security codes of highly sensitive institutional networks, constant changing is recommended to reduce access chances by hackers.
The process of detecting and prosecuting cyber crimes is quite complex. This has been closely attributed to the fact that offenders in these crimes employ high sophisticated technologies. It is commonly claimed that thieves are usually ahead of technology. Another problem compromising the process of detecting and prosecuting malicious computer programs crime offenders is low rates of reporting such crimes by the victims (McDowell). Such have also been associated by the failure of network company providers to cooperate with the law enforcement in identifying such incidences. Despite these drawbacks, the war on malicious computer programs as a cyber crime activity has employed a number of methods (Hansen).
First is the use of computer forensic investigation practices to qualify evidence of suspect malicious computer program offender. This process involves technological analysis of collected data by forensic computer scientists. It is to be underscored that according to existing laws such as the Intellectual Property Law and Electronic Communication Privacy Law provides for legal suits against the programmers and distributors of malicious computer programs. Another commonly used measure in detecting cyber crimes is the tapping of communication networks by law enforcement agents. Although this method has received heavy critics for interfering with the privacy and confidentiality of communication, it serves great purpose in mitigating unwarranted access of sensitive networks.
The Patriotic Act of 2001, which allows for government surveillance of the internet, is aimed at mitigating terrorist activities. "Massive internet-accessible databases are making it corporate and government online snooping at a scale unprecedented before." (Clemmett). There are benefits to this snooping, though, as far as protection is concerned. According to the provisions of the…