Cyber Crime Purpose & Audience Literature Review

Excerpt from Literature Review :

Part of the problem is that America's national crime reporting systems, such as the National Incident-Based Crime Reporting System and the Uniform Crime Report Program managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in cooperation with thousands of U.S. law enforcement agencies, do not specifically identify or distinguish between many forms of online crimes. Nor do they effectively distinguish between traditional in-person forms of crime that are substantially facilitated by online activities of offenders.

Victimization surveys also generally do not ask questions about specific computing and telecommunication technologies involved in crimes that have been committed, though this is beginning to change. Since 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice has conducted specific studies of cybercrime against business and identity theft. Results of this research suggest that millions of businesses and households are affected by online crimes each year. For example, of 7,818 businesses surveyed in National Computer Security Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 67% identified one or more cybercrimes in 2005, nearly 60% detected one or more attacks against their information systems, 11% discovered a cyber theft of data, and 24% experienced other types of information security events. (McQuade 2009)

The Computer Security Institute based in San Francisco and New York City, in partnership with the FBI, issues annual reports of cyber crimes and information security issues of concern to security professionals employed in large firms, academic and health institutions, and government agencies. The National White Collar Crime Center, also in partnership with the FBI, provides the annual Internet Fraud and Crime Reportbased on complaints received by consumers through the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Studies consistently reveal that cyber and Internet crimes threaten many organizations, families, and individual users of computers and other types of it devices and information systems.

Likely Victims of Cyber and Internet Scam

Cyber crimes can directly or indirectly harm anyone. Indeed, everyone who connects to the Internet via unprotected information systems or it devices. The great variety of online Scam methods also means that thousands, even millions of victims, can be harmed anywhere they happen to be connected to the Web while browsing, chatting via instant or text messaging, emailing, blogging and uploading or downloading any form of content (e.g., text, pictures, video, or audio recordings). The greatest potential danger rests on using unprotected systems and it devices, along with having confidential information discovered and used or manipulated for illicit purposes. (McQuade 2006)

Four primary types of victims likely to be targeted by cyber offenders include youth, elderly people, financial institutions, and government, health care, and academic organizations.


Millions of youth now use computers and it devices to game online, for other social computing purposes, for schoolwork, and to shop. In the process, many "friend" other youth online via personal profiles on Web sites like MySpace and Facebook. They exchange personal information about themselves and their friends and family. If they are not extremely careful, they may be "socially engineered" by online offenders who pretend to be someone they know or betray them later, as when cyberbullies create and spread rumors that cause embarrassment. Youth who are never taught about Internet safety, information security practices, andcyber ethics are especially vulnerable. Many youth do not regularly patch up their operating systems and software applications or backup their valuable data. Combined mobile and social computing abilities along with willingness to share personal information make youth extremely vulnerable to being manipulated and victimized online.

In a major study of more than 40,000 K -- 12 students in 14 New York State school districts, researchers discovered important facts about cyber Scam and victimization experiences of youth, including:

Cyberbullying begins in the second grade when children first report "being mean" to each other online.

Of students surveyed in second and third grades, 35% reported...
...(Rantala 2005)

Researchers also discovered online promiscuity among seventh- through twelfth-grade students, some of whom reported taking nude photos of themselves or each other and distributing them via the Internet. Youth also reported that they send and receive from each other unwanted pornography and solicitations for sex, and also chat online about things of a sexual nature. By middle school, students are exposed to all known forms of online Scam and abuse and begin to specialize in the types of Scam they commit. This trend continues into high school and college and has serious implications for the policing of high-tech crimes by adults.

Elderly People

People who grew up prior to the widespread use of the Internet (beginning in about 1993) often do not understand the risks being online. Many, though not all, elderly people have limited savvy when it comes to using computers or other types of it devices. As a group, elderly people tend to be very trusting and consequently may be susceptible to being manipulated online. Many older people also have a limited or fixed income, are worried about their health and financial futures, and therefore are more vulnerable to being conned into "get rich" schemes. Conversely, many elderly people are proportionately quite wealthy. In fact, they naturally possess or control most of the most money in society. This combination of factors makes them attractive victims to cyber criminals. (McQuade & Sampat 2008)

Financial Institutions

Banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other types of financial institutions that manage large amounts of money online are also often targeted for online and Internet crimes. This happens despite the fact that financial institutions employ the best policies, practices, and technology for keeping money safe. Special laws and government regulations specify the kinds of protections they need to have in place. Yet the vast sums of electronic currency and volume of financial transactions processed by banks and similar institutions is so large, in the trillions of dollars each day, that they remain very attractive targets forcyber thieves.

Government, Health Care, and Academic Organizations

These kinds of organizations are responsible for protecting massive amounts of sensitive and personal data.Cyber offenders recognize the value of such data for committing crimes like identity theft. Some offenders will go to great lengths to steal an identity. Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, most government, health care, and academic organizations were unregulated with regard to the provisions for data protection they afforded citizens, patients, and students. Much has changed, with new laws and regulations now requiring organizations to ensure more protections. Mishaps continue to occur with alarming frequency, however, resulting in the personal data of thousands of people being used in various kinds of online crimes. (McQuade 2009)

Summary of Recommendations

In the article "The Seven Scam Types: Mapping the Terrain of Cybercrime" Stabek et al. suggests that the primary strategies that people can use to prevent becoming a victim of cyber and Internet scams include buying computer and telecommunications products and services from reputable firms; regularly patching up operating systems, software applications, and drivers like those that enable printing functions with security updates; and backing up data on storage devices not always connected to a primary computer or other it device as well as automatically to off-site locations. Users should also interact online only with people and organizations they trust and be wary of sharing personal or confidential information. Shredding documents containing personal information, using strong nonalphanumeric passwords (that do not spell a name or word in a dictionary in any language), and not sharing passwords along with changing passwords regularly can also help to prevent cybercrimes.

Since the user-friendly nature of CCF, it can be easily passed from small to large enterprises and industry consistent and effective management and communication cybercrime experience, to the relevant authorities. Individual institutions can be mapped to their existing plans known, country cooperation frameworks and the relevant authorities within the country cooperation framework can be used to further establish clear procedures for prosecution, and the use of country cooperation frameworks, in order to strengthen cross-border cooperation and harmonization of terms.

Many government and nonprofit organizations now provide Internet safety and information security tips for consumers. The OnGuard Online Web site of the U.S. Department of Commerce Federal Trade Commission is a great example. This resource provides cybercrime prevention content for consumers of all ages and for businesses that perform various kinds of online services.

The latest and most ambitious efforts in the United States to prevent cyber and Internet scams and provide victims with…

Sources Used in Documents:


Amber Stabek, Paul Watters and Robert Layton, (2010). The Seven Scam Types: Mapping the Terrain of Cybercrime. Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, University of Ballarat, Mt Helen, Australia.

McQuade, S.C. (2006). Understanding and managing cybercrime. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

McQuade, S.C. (2009). The Seven Scam Types: Mapping the Terrain of Cybercrime. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

McQuade, S.C., & Sampat, N.M. (2008). RIT survey of internet and at-risk behaviors. Rochester, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology.

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