Cybercrime is defined as any criminal act involving computers, network infrastructures, and/or communication devices.
In the early years of conception, cybercrime was not as wide spread as it is today. It was usually committed by a rogue individual or a small group of individuals just looking to snoop around some company or personal information. A majority of the intrusions where an attempt to see just how deep they could penetrate without being discovered. The intentions of those individuals were not always criminal, however, their actions where considered to be, even though there was usually no permanent damage other than acts of snooping.
In a short amount of time, cybercrime rapidly evolved from snoopers into those seeking to extract information or deploy viruses. When you consider the evolution of cybercrime, it’s similar to the evolution of the security of a bank. Early on, banks were far less complex then the banks of today so accessing them for information or financial gain was an easy process, i.e., banks from the early 1900’s would have been far easier to access then the complex banks of today.
Today cybercrime is one of the fastest growing areas of crime. The issues surrounding cybercrime are far more complex and organized. It is evolving and spreading at an alarming rate. Organized crime syndicates work together to cover a wide range of cybercrime activities for the sole purpose of financial gain. Their intentions are criminal, and this pool of individuals continues to grow rapidly.
Because cybercrime is a faceless method of performing criminal acts, an increased number of criminals exploit the accessibility and anonymity that technology offers, and unlike most normal criminal activity, the challenges we face with cybercrime wont be met just at the local level. The global nature of the internet has provided the flexibility for criminals to perform nearly any illegal cybercrime, to anyone they choose, from any location around the world. This is a bad combination for a society that is becoming more interconnected through technology by the day.
Some modern methods of cybercrime include hacking, cracking, identity theft, internet fraud, cyber intrusions, bank fraud, corporate security breaches, spearfishing, and email fraud. Setting up defenses against cyber criminals will become increasingly harder for companies to keep up with demand. In fact many experts today believe we are not winning the battle against cybercrime, and that the amount of criminal hackers exceeds the amount of ethical hackers. A trend that does not seem to be changing anytime in the foreseeable future.