Investigating Cybercrime in Nigeria

Investigating Cybercrime in Nigeria

Mufutau Temitayo Lamidi (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch069

Abstract

Advances in ICT have brought both joy and sadness to individuals and organizations. Cybercrime, a byproduct of advances in ICT, is a relatively new area where crime flourishes in Nigeria, and many such cases have been reported by victims at different social forums. This study investigates cybercrime as it affects individuals and the society at large with a view to exposing the tricks often used by fraudsters and offering possible solutions. Data were collected from personal experiences (phone calls and text messages), WhatsApp messages and stories posted on Facebook and Nairaland forums by victims. They were analysed descriptively. The article suggests that tougher legislative sanctions and strict law enforcement by government can curb this menace. Also, through grammatical competence, improved morality as dictated by culture, logical reasoning, and avoidance of greed, individuals can detect fraudulent proposals and escape cyberattacks.
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Background

Cybercrime is described as “crimes committed on the internet using the computer as either a tool or a targeted victim.” (Kamini, 2011: 240). The computer is a tool when it is used against a victim such as in theft, pornography and online gambling; and the computer is a target when its programme, software or structure is deliberately destroyed/vandalised.

Cybercrime can be targeted at organisations, individuals or the society at large. For organisations, governments, firms, companies or groups of individuals are usually targets. In this wise, there is unauthorised access to/control of computer system, possession of unauthorised information, cyber terrorism against government organisation and distribution of pirated software (Kamini, 2011). For instance, Symantec (2016: 81-82) reports that Nigeria has faced a daily increasing challenge in vulnerability User Datagram Protocols, UDP, up to 25%; botnet drones, 20%; web defacement of government websites, 3% increase, weekly average; and phishing, 4% daily average. Hence, it is no surprise that Nigeria has ranked third in four consecutive years (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) on the list of world cybercrime perpetrator countries (Dagaci et al., 2014).

For individuals, their person or property is the target. Individuals often get harassed through e-mail, cyber stalking, dissemination of obscene materials, defamation, indecent exposure, e-mail spoofing, cheating and fraud. Their properties may be vandalised, viruses may be introduced into their systems, and there may also be intellectual property thefts, Netrespass Internet time theft and unauthorised control/access over their computer systems.

For the society at large, cybercriminals target anyone and everyone indiscriminately. In this category are cybercrimes such as (child) pornography, polluting the youth through indecent exposure, trafficking, financial crimes, sale of illegal articles, online gambling and forgery.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Identity theft: Assuming the identity of another individual by using their photographs, profiles, or e-mail accounts to act in their capacity for nefarious activities.

Cyberattack: Any form of injury done to a network or individual through the internet (e.g., cyber stalking, cyber bullying, and malware).

Victim: The individual or entity that suffers the effect of cyberattacks.

Netrespass: Infiltrating another internet user’s space and carrying out unauthorised activities (e.g., trespass).

Cloning: Creating a replica of websites or cards with intent to defraud.

ICT: Information communication technology; involving the use of computer, phones, and the internet in managing information.

Cashless Policy: A policy that discourages the use of huge raw cash for transactions but encourages the use of bank transfer, ATM card, POS, and other financial instruments for transferring cash in transactions.

Cybercrime: Any crime committed using the ICT platform. These may be child pornography, phishing, cyber terrorism, etc.

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