Twitter Accounts of Apple, Uber, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Former Presidents, and Other Celebrities Compromised

Twitter Continues to Face Scrutiny Amidst Political Backlash Due to High-Profile Hack

By IGI Global on Oct 22, 2020

Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.

books In addition to the recent backlash on Twitter for blocking a New York Post story about former Vice President and current U.S. Presidential Candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, many are questioning the power of the social media giant and the government's role in its regulation, as the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released an investigation report on Twitter. This report outlines the high profile attack that overtook popular celebrity accounts (including former U.S. president Barack Obama, celebrity and businesswoman Kim Kardashian West, Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos, and other notable celebrities) and led to the theft of US$ 118,000 in bitcoin.  According to an NBC News article, this attack was conducted by a 17-year-old teenager from Florida, USA, and two others, causing great concern that the US$ 37 billion technology company with over 330 million international active users was so easily hacked.

Due to this, DFS has called on the U.S. government to regulate social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, on cybersecurity, along with antitrust and content moderation. The DFS explains “The Twitter Hack demonstrates, more than anything, the risk to society when systemically important institutions are left to regulate themselves. Protecting systemically important social media against misuse is crucial for all of us–consumers, voters, government, and industry. The time for government action is now.”

Understanding the importance of this topic and in honor of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Month, Prof. Sachin Tiwari, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, analyzes the meaning and nature of cybercrime legislation as well as the scope of policy formation in the global narrative of cybersecurity in his article, “Cyber Crime Regulation, Challenges, and Response,” sourced from the  Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web (IGI Global).

Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web
Copyright: 2020 | Pages: 1,162 | ISBN: 9781522597155 | EISBN: 1522597158

This is is a three-volume set that includes comprehensive articles covering multidisciplinary research and expert insights provided by hundreds of leading researchers from 30 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, South Korea, Malaysia, and more...Learn More.

The cyberspace emergence has created a new reality with transnational connection providing a venue for growth and also for contestation (Chourci, 2012). Defining the characteristics of the cyberspace includes various attributes such as diffusion of power, ease of accessibility, low cost of entry, attribution, i.e., anonymity (Nye, 2011). The cyber domain position is characterized as a “transnational domain for information and economic exchange, which contemplates the transnational nature of the internet and the problem of global governance” (Kiggins, 2014). Definition of cybersecurity has constantly shifted to reveal the growing number of threats and new areas affected by the attacks. The case of UNGA resolution 53/70 where the modification of definition from the phrase ‘may adversely affect the security of the state’ in 1999 to ‘may adversely affect States in both civil and military fields’ in 2002 reflects the change in definition due to evolving nature and increased threats (Radu, 2014). Effectively, cybercrime was seen majorly as a technical issue, however, the course changed with the increase in incidents and the need for regulating it. The effective cost of cybercrime has increased with sophisticated tools being employed for a criminal purpose especially with the rise of ransomware as an industry. The concern arises from the fact that the average cost for the enterprises was $11.7 million of cybersecurity due to cybercrime, with an increase of 27.4 percent each year (Accenture, 2017). Platforms like Convention on Cybercrime in 2001, World Information Society in 2003, have pushed for a ‘global culture of cybersecurity’ and laid the foundation for the effective policymaking at the international, regional, and national level. Moreover, the international scenario is constantly molded by the sophisticated cyberattacks, global geopolitical shifts, and social media empowered by political move with the divergent position of the states. The variance is visible in the cyber legislation with varying definitions, development with one paternalistic group of countries advocating state sovereignty while other members promoting freedom of internet and role of private companies

In this perspective, the article aims at presenting and analyzing the state of the growing threat of cybercrime and the resultant laws being enacted at the international, regional, and national level by the countries to counter it. The first section includes the background, including an overview of cybercrime being defined in the various literature. The second section includes various efforts presented on cybercrime legislation including the multilateral instruments such as the convention on cybercrime by Council of Europe, United Nations resolution apart from regional and national efforts. The third section analyzes the challenges of jurisdiction, sovereignty, and privacy and the various responses in the form of legislation being laid out. The fourth section proposes a model for the effective cooperation in the form of balanced multi-stakeholder in light of growing internationalization of the cybercrime.

Literature Review

The research on the cybercrime has focused on analyzing it from various perspective, including the technological, sociological, criminology, psychology, and economic perspective. David Wall (2001, 2007) in one of the early analysis puts cybercrime on the basis of behavior lists (i) Cybertrespass/ hacking (ii) Cyberpiracy (theft of intellectual property) (iii) Cyberpornography (iv) Cyber violence (harassment/ hate speech) as the problem exists on the nature and extent. Later an addition was made to the computer-assisted crime by Susan Brenner (2010) as a social practice with the addition of the cyberspace to all aspects of crime. Due to this addition; cybercrimes are defined on the basis of the “computer enabled” and “computer facilitated” activities. It is similar to the difference earlier categorized by Brenner (2007) of traditional crimes and more specifically defined cyber offenses. The UK investigation agencies make the distinction between the cyber-dependent crimes committed through computers directed against computers and other as cyber-enabled crimes (Wall 2007). Similarly, (McGuire, 2012) described the cybercriminal groups in the form of “swarms and aggregators” with three types, ranging from the almost virtual conducting illicit activities, hybrid criminal groups and as facilitators mainly traditional organization criminal groups involving in trafficking, gambling, etc.

The definition includes the cybercrime as a form of social practice, which was further articulated by Yar (2013) considers the debates cybercrime not as a single crime but as a broad range of illegal and illicit activities that have effects on societal, political, economic effect. Emilio Viano (2015) in evaluating cybercrime from a societal perspective, considers it as a vastly unregulated field presenting the challenge among policymakers for effective cybercrime regulation. Holt and Bossler et al. (2016) make the distinction that the early computer crime till the 1990s was referred to computer misuse and later with the development of computer and internet, the focus is on offenses in an online environment. What is constructed as an association of crime with cyber is related to the usage of this emerging domain for the traditional criminal activities plus some emerging from the cyber domain. The term “cybercrime” is used to describe a range of offenses, including traditional computer crimes, as well as network crimes (ITU, 2014). Gabriel Weimann (2015) considers the association of terrorism with the cybercrime, where the terrorist has exploited the internet for various means ranging from propagating radical messages to financial gains. Many authors have attempted to look at the extent of the harm caused by the cybercrime empirically which have varied across the reports and limited the real extent in the policy-making (Klahr 2017; Markus Rieke, Rainer Bohme 2018). From a psychological perspective (Kirwan, 2018) in quantifying cybercrimes and propose the effective policing, deterrence means and introduction of a capable guardian to deter the criminal activities. Susan Brenner (2012) identifies the association of the migration of the traditional crime into the cyberspace along with new distinct cybercrime and the need for developing new law for it. Several national laws globally are outdated and face the unique challenge to prosecute them.

Cybercrime Development and Law

The cybercrime originated early on with the spread of networked computers and the legislation for the prevention of it. One of the first legislation was enacted in the US was the Access device fraud Act of 1984 for stopping counterfeiting using electronic devices, including computers. The first major cybercrime incident originated in form of Morris Worm which affected computer system in 1988 in the US was prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act passed in 1986 which led to the criminalization of the acts of illegal use of computer. Later sophistication of criminal activities in the cyber domain led to the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, making the stealing of the trade secrets and criminal act. New avenues for exploitation because of evolving technology, has brought criminal usage of the computer. The most important change in the cybercrime has been the transition from the early curiosity-driven hackers to financially motivated groups, organized and systematic in the manner (Smith, 2015).

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Understanding the need for research around this topic, this research is featured in the publication Encyclopedia of Criminal Activities and the Deep Web (IGI Global). This title is a three-volume set that includes comprehensive articles covering multidisciplinary research and expert insights provided by hundreds of leading researchers from 30 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, South Korea, Malaysia, and more. This comprehensive encyclopedia provides the most diverse findings and new methodologies for monitoring and regulating the use of online tools as well as hidden areas of the internet, including the deep and dark web. Highlighting a wide range of topics such as cyberbullying, online hate speech, and hacktivism, this book will offer strategies for the prediction and prevention of online criminal activity and examine methods for safeguarding internet users and their data from being tracked or stalked. 

It is currently available in electronic format (EISBN: 9781522597162) through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 50% discount and available in print format. Additionally, to ensure that the research community can easily and affordably access this content, this Encyclopedia and all IGI Global titles are available on the individual article and chapter level (pay-per-view) for US$ 37.50 through IGI Global's InfoSci-Ondemand. Recommend this publication and view all of the chapters featured in this title on the book webpage here. Additionally, this research and IGI Global’s full list of related titles is featured in the InfoSci-Books database. Request a free trial or recommend the InfoSci-Books database to your library to have access to this critical research.

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