Emerging Cybercrime Variants in the Socio-Technical Space

Emerging Cybercrime Variants in the Socio-Technical Space

Wilson Huang (Valdosta State University, USA) and Shun-Yung Kevin Wang (Florida State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-264-0.ch014
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This chapter examines the gaps that arise between reactive social control systems and proactive technology systems. The authors further link these gaps to cybercrime patterns and growth, by a theoretical framework that depicts the role that cybercrime plays in different gaps. This further suggests a typology of cybercrime, based on instrumental vs. expressive differences between offenses. Recent and emerging criminal activities and formal and informal control responses are reviewed and evaluated to illustrate this cybercrime framework and typology. The result is proactive strategies that can help prevent cybercrime from occurring in the disjoints between social and technical systems.
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The world has become too dynamic, complex and diversified, too cross-linked by the global immediacies of modern communication, for stability of thought or dependability of behaviour to be successful.

—Timothy Leary (1920-1996).


Defining Cybercrime

The term cybercrime can be defined in a variety of ways depending on the perspective from which research is taken. The prefix “cyber” in Greek refers to navigation (Pangaro, 1991). Literally, cyber techniques are an art of steersmanship (Guilbaud, 1959). The cybernetics literature has built the foundation for the notion of a cyber system (Parsegian, 1972). In this cybernetic frame of reference, complex systems of technology, sociology, biology, psychology, communication, and many other fields can be combined to explain interconnectedness of human and machine. Cybercrime, as a member of the interrelated network, is thus confounded with numerous elements in the social and technical systems.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Cybercrime: criminal attacks against organizations via the Internet.

Identity theft: the act of obtaining another person’s identifying information and using it without the person’s knowledge to commit crimes.

Phishing: A scam using fraudulent emails and websites to steal personal information for financial gain.

Instrumental Cybercrime: an indication of how and to what extent Internet technology is used as an instrument for the pursuit of profit or gain from the crime.

Cybergap: the virtual discrepancy between the proactive technology and reactive social control systems.

Cybercrime: law violations involving abuse and misuse of information conducted on or through the Internet.

Internet Child Sexual Exploitation: the production, possession and/or distribution of digital child pornography and other sexual offenses against a minor through the Internet.

Expressive Cybercrime: a type of Internet crime committed mainly for gratification purposes such as fascination, revenge, ideology fulfillment, social justice, or other reasons for human expression.

Breed: to use without authorization identification means to generate and/or acquire additional fraudulent means of identification.

Social engineering: the design and implementation of logical procedures to persuade victims to supply confidential information to a spoofed entity.

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