Computer Fraud Challenges and Its Legal Implications

Computer Fraud Challenges and Its Legal Implications

Amber A. Smith-Ditizio (Texas Woman's University, USA) and Alan D. Smith (Robert Morris University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch419
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Introduction

Computer Fraud

Computer fraud and hacking attempts have been publicized for more than a century. Although customers only think of computers and smartphones being hacked, there are examples in the early 19th century where phone lines were hacked. Cybercrime is a fast growing area and has drastically increased over the years. Its business model is evolving and the market is profitable for criminals. New activities have emerged as technology advances. Traditionally, consumers and businesses were lax with security as hackers could easily encrypt and infect any technological device. Hence, cybercriminal activities grew rampant in the global economy. Security protection, government involvement, and leading software companies have become strategic partners in combating cybercriminal activities. However, despite all these efforts, cybercrime is still growing. There are many strategic solutions to this growing epidemic, such as investing in anti-virus software and commonsense approaches to password protection. In order to reduce the amount of cybercriminal activity occurring globally, action needs to be taken immediately.

The targets are computers or anything device connected to the Internet, such as tablets or smartphones (Sundarambal, Dhivya, & Anbalagan, 2010). Hackers affect the cybersecurity of large companies, government agencies and regular customers, especially if competitive or personal information is stolen for ransom or extortion purposes. In the majority of incidents, it is relatively simple to trace back to the hacker, as many are nonprofessionals with little experience. However, it has become increasing difficult to catch more sophisticated hackers. Although, if and when they are caught, there are significant penalties that come with hacking and computer fraud, many have argued that these penalties are not severe enough to deter such activities (Beldona & Tsatsoulis, 2010; Mohanty, et al., 2010; Smith, 2007). Some have suggested that such crimes as inevitable as IT systems become increasing complex and globally interconnected (Dharni, 2014; Latha & Suganthi, 2015; Chand, et al., 2015; Han, et al., 2015; Soon, et al., 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Zero-Day Attack: This term has been used in various forms and meaning. It terms of this chapter, this term refers to exploitable software or hardware vulnerabilities that have been attacked when there has been no previous information of a system flaw by the general information security community. In such a situation, unfortunately, there is no vendor fix or software security patch that have been developed or made available to the public to correct or protect against such an attack.

Remote Access Trojan (RAT): In basic terms, Remote Access Trojans (RATs) are essential tools available to cyberthieves with unrestricted limited access to computers. By using stolen access privileges through properly submitted passwords, all important business and personal data, the entire customer’s or company’s information can be readily accessed and retrieved.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Personally identifiable information (PII) refers to all information, including personal financial and healthcare information that can be traced to an individual customer or patient.

Direct Cyberattack: Direct cyberattack causes data communications interception at the hands of a specific hacker who may have located a specific person or Wi-Fi area in order to perform such cybercrime. A type of direct attach is direct access, where the criminal gains physical access to either the computer or its network in order to compromise security by loading worms, Trojans, compromising data, etc.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APT): Advanced Persistent Threats typically employs a number of phases and techniques to break into a network, avoid detection, and gather customers’ or companies’ information over an extended time period. Unfortunately, such well-planned and extensive strategy is difficult to detect, as it many techniques and phases may be extremely complex and expensive to develop a counteroffensive that is successful.

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