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)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7492-7.ch013

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors provide a position-based discussion in reference to selective cyberthreats to devices and data breaches (which include malware, phishing, social engineering, data communication interception, malicious insider actions, just to name a few), and further provide information on applicable defenses and their legal implications. Although the authors do not assess the different threats and defenses in order to help prevent future vulnerability towards hacking for consumers, they do provide a conceptual understanding of the growing threats of such attacks and the inability of current legal safeguards to counter such threats. Particularly vulnerable are mobile systems, which are more prone to loss and theft once intercepted.
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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).

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