Fighting Cybercrime and Protecting Privacy: DDoS, Spy Software, and Online Attacks

Fighting Cybercrime and Protecting Privacy: DDoS, Spy Software, and Online Attacks

Javier Valls-Prieto (University of Granada, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6324-4.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter is about the use of large-scale databases that has increased considerably in the last two years. It is a powerful tool to predict future situations that may affect society. The use of an environmental scanner to fight cybercrime—as an organized crime—is the project for using this technique of large-scale databases to try to guarantee the security against the risk of new, developing forms of criminal activities. On the other hand, the use of large-scale databases utilizes a great amount of personal data to try to predict where and how organized crime or new forms of criminality will develop. This means that we have to evaluate the interests of security of society and the privacy of the person, and we have to find the way to balance both in a democratic society. There are important ethical issues to be considered in the employment of this new and unregulated instrument.
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How The Botnets Work And Description Of A Few Cybercrime Types

Cybercrime has become an important topic for the police and security services. As has been pointed out by Clough the “rapid technological development continues, and will continue, to present new challenges” (Clough, 2012) and crime is not apart of these changes. According to Moore cybercrime covers plenty of crimes as intellectual property theft, child pornography, financial fraud, online harassment, identity theft, etc. (Moore, 2011) but some of them are only an online action with no a big difference to the offline world. That is why we are going to focus our work on the cybercrimes that all the process is online and has nearly nothing to do with the offline crime.

The three kinds of crimes that we are going to study (denying system attack, spy software and infrastructure online attacks) have points in common. Basically, the three of them involve the introduction of a malware in a computer that could be either the final-computer or a third part computer, from where the attack comes out but controlled by the botmaster.

Trying to explain the modus operandi is really complicated because it changes according to regions, groups of criminals and technology. Anyway, it is possible to identify some common points.

As we have said, these kinds of cyber attacks have to control computers to produce the result. The criminals use a botnet. ‘Botnets’ (a term derived from the words ‘robot’ and ‘network’) consist of a network of interconnected, remote-controlled computers generally infected with malicious software that turn the infected systems into so-called ‘bots’, ‘robots’, or ‘zombies’. The legitimate owners of such systems may often be unaware of the fact of infection. Zombies within the botnet connect to computers controlled by perpetrators (known as ‘command and control servers’ or C&Cs), or to other zombies in order to receive instructions, download additional software, and transmit back information harvested from the infected system (UNODC, Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Bootnets: A network of interconnected, remote-controlled computers generally infected with malicious software that turn the infected systems into so-called ‘bots’, ‘robots’, or ‘zombies’.

DDoS: An attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.

Data Subject: Means an identified natural person or a natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, by means reasonably likely to be used by the controller or by any other natural or legal person, in particular by reference to an identification number, location data, online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person.

Cybercrime: Crime committed using a computer or a network, where a computer may or may not have played an instrumental part in the commission of the crime.

Personal Data: Means any information relating to a data subject.

Spy Software: Any software that can send or record information from a computer without the consent of the owner of this information.

Privacy Right: Fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech.

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