The World of Internet Crimes

Most among us have been fighting with Internet crimes for more than twenty years. The daily hot sheet of malware used to be called the “Dirty Dozen”, because only a dozen of malware programs could found listed there. But today, there literally are hundreds of malware programs written, a growing number of hacking organizations with professional hackers and bit players in tens of thousands quantity who steal millions of dollars online every year.
world of internet crimes
No doubt, we’ve better tools, smarter online users and a handful of legal tools to benefit from, but still, Internet crime is worse “now” than ever! You hardly will find someone who’s life might not be impacted by the Internet crime these days.

The fact is, cybercrime probably is the fastest growing area of crimes. More and more bad guns are exploiting the anonymity, convenience and speed of the Internet in order to commit a diverse range of the criminal activities that now know no borders, either virtual or physical.

But only a number of offenses make the headlines, when it comes to the Internet crime taking place and growing every day. Almost everyone among us knows that downloading anything without consent is legal – let it be movies, images or music. But what else is happening on the world wide web causing people to go behind the bars? Actually a lot, than an average Internet user can imagine. What we’ve come up with is a detailed paper that’s going to reveal most common Internet crimes, legal papers and penalties that go along such acts.

We have divided it into three broad areas, and we wish to take this opportunity to bring to you a triad of subjects namely:

  • From Child to Grown up ….. ,
  • Legal paper,
  • Criminal acts.

Each will be apportioned its own part as shown above, so without further ado lets commence, and to conclude, each part will have its own conclusion, with a ‘Les Finale‘ to conclude with.

Part one – From child to grownup; in the cyber world and beyond

Foundation for life

As we bring the next generation into life, we consider it crucial that offspring have a secured footing for their own lives.  As they grow, they will be directed by parents, education, and church as their own characters mature, with the development of personal beliefs. They should learn right from wrong, good from bad for the intrinsic elements of maturing and for life thereafter. Not all will be afforded this and some will slip through the net, and as the French say, ‘C’est la vie’.

Growing pains and peer pressure

When offspring grow and enter their teens years, parents though concerned, often don’t give enough credence for their young ones, it’s all centered on ‘risk’, consider this:

Everyone talks about peer pressure on teens, but just how bad is it? Odds are, it’s not as bad as most parents think. Parents may lay awake at night worrying about what other kids will force their children to do. But “when we talk to young people, they tell us this vision of peer pressure is extremely rare,”   Steven Wallace, Senior Advisor for SADD

An interesting article can be found here, from AACAP. That said it’s any parent’s nightmare for the well being of all their children. The constant continuum is part of life.  A myriad of good advice we discovered here, by taking time to read and understand, their pains of life, are in fact your pains of life, so let’s hold hands and take ‘little steps’.

Social phobia

Whether young or old, ‘social phobia’ could affect us all, in varying degrees.  A good site we discovered is available here, even though it may not be applicable, the read is very worthy.  Another good site is also available here, what maybe simplistic to you, could be your child’s worst nightmare. By taking time, caring and love can bring peace of mind and confidence to your loved one, and you’ll learn too.

The worst tools of modern day living are social media sites of ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’.  They are prevalent to a multitude of risks, where users are the greatest risk!  Although the internet does have many useful purposes, there is a very dark side to it.

Should your son or daughter be subjected to ‘Social phobia’, we strongly recommend you seek professional help in the first instance.  Don’t go it alone, it can be destructive, and this I speak from experience. Or at least, take some actions quickly to become safety smart parents.

Cyber bullying

cyber bullying Internet crime

Image via Pixabay

With the advent of the Internet, its growth rate has been exponential and with it has brought greater risk to us all.  None more so, is that to ‘children and teens alike’, let alone to grownups. As such, we must be cognizant to the fact, and the underlying technology.

Young people these days are very astute, albeit they don’t see dangers in the same light as grownups. With it has brought ‘Cyber bullying‘, complex, painful and destructive.  But with good direction and caring attitude, just as when they were brought into the world will prevail.

It’s not for us to lay this part of neither their journey, nor yours as parents. We’re firm believers of using the internet for our own purpose.  In doing so, we consider it impartial and wish to direct you to the following sites:

Amidst what we call doom and gloom, it’s good to come across some positive, and Cyber Smile does just that. With ‘Official ambassadors’ from music and media working for those who’ve been subjected to bullying.

Cycle

Finally, we wish to briefly visit the ‘Cycle of bullying’.  Worried about the safety of you children when they go on line?  We are not going to reiterate things, but to allow you to pursue this site in order to gain valuable insight.

The ‘Education’ and ‘Nature/strategies’ of the cycle of bullying are adequately depicted in this book, from ‘Understanding School Bullying: Its Nature and Prevention Strategies’, by Peter K Smith, ISBN 9781473905436.

There’s a very good paper, albeit brief, ‘Cause and effect of bullying’ available here.

Conclusion

We’re not a psychologist or anything of that nature. Our author working on this paper for SecurityGladiators.com have had over 40 years in the IT industry, 30 of which he was in the Royal Air Force and 12 in ISO 27001.  Being a parent, this subject is close to his heart, as it should be for any parent.

Through this paper, you may consider ‘all doom and gloom’, but as an adult we trust you will have a different vision.  With patience, love, and caring which is supported by being positive and not negative, we can take positive ownership in raising our children into mature adults.

Yes they will make mistakes, we all did and still do!  Good communication skills and showing how you care, the proof is in the pudding.  On reflection, there will be good and even bad times.  We all learn from life, our peers and our parents as they have an abundance of experience.

Please don’t feel you’re alone, although when the chaos of modern living this is may not appear so. We trust that this paper will give you the opportunity to reflect and give meaningful consideration toward yours and that off your of springs futures.

Laws created to counter cyber bullying vary from state to state as well as from one country to the next. To find out what laws exist within your locality refer to this exhaustive guide here that details existing legislation to keep your young children and older teenagers from cyber bullying.

 

Part two – Lack of resources

I Sent you to fight with men, Not weather! King Philip II of Spain (1588)

Appropriate words spoken by King Phillip II of Spain, regarding the armada debacle against England (and history knows the answer).  However, when faced with an undertaking, its resources that come into question, whether by the ‘do’er’ or the higher echelons of management.

Irrespective of the management system your trying to implement, you’ll always be under the microscope, either by cost or implementation pressures!

Either way you can’t win, however, by astute planning, commitment and discipline, these will lead you to triumph. Once there and you achieved the goal, it’s then a different story, but for you the journey is only just commencing.

Interpol sums this up quite astutely here. Likewise the NAO warns of the lack of cyber skills here. And the Guardian article here sheds its light on cyber crime, and so the continuum rotates!

Lack of legal evidence

Lack of legal evidence eradicates months of tireless work, which in itself stops things in their tracks of a legal case, this in itself can bring on expensive costs, so your legal representative has to be switched on and focused.

Evidence is critical to whether the defendant or prosecutor as the aim at this point is for the court to work in your favor.  However, the evidence must be presented in an extant format, so that it can’t be overruled.

Its format takes many forms, a signed witness statement, DNA collection, forensic evidence, but it should be collected in such a manner that the integrity can’t be overruled and can’t be disproved. We’re aware about the ‘scales of justice’, so the scales must be in your favor in order the judge’s decision is in your favor and you win the ruling.

If evidence is inadmissible in court, its failed the ‘rules of evidence’. These and exacting criteria, which can’t be rushed if the case has to retain its integrity. Legal proceedings can be extremely expensive, this is shown in the media.  What you don’t want is ‘Fruit of the poison tree’, which is evidence that is inadmissible!

Keeping in tune with this paper, the following articles are pertinent:

  • Cybercrime research report makes interesting reading,
  • Improving the Cyber Crime evidence base report, both from HMG.
  • Handbook of Internet Crime by Yvonne Jewkes and Malid Yar, available at good book stores.

Indefinite legal jurisdiction

Time awarded, nominally its length is then pro-rata based on the inmates conduct. This allows the inmate to take ownership of the time they will be kept behind bars, until they are deemed safe or otherwise the become a ‘lifer’, where they spend the rest of their life behind bars, irrespective of sex.

An indefinite sentence will vary in time until the sentence is lifted.  There will be a predetermined subject to the offense committed. Under the law of the land, minimum and maximum terms are defined, however, there is the ‘life’ sentence that can be assigned.

In the UK in 2005, for the public protection integrity, there did become an indefinite sentencing.  Being a legal specialist area, its complex and fraught with pit falls for a non-specialist like myself, so always gain legal guidance.

Turning to the Internet as ever, these links provide useful guidance:

Criminals never get caught

A cute idiom? Given the diversity of the threat, allied to the magnitude, has exploded the security managers’ job out of proportion.

Technology has worked on both sides of the fence, as much as it has worked for the good and right reasons for everyone.  Equally it has now worked surreptitiously for the cyber criminals as they explore it for the wrong reasons, namely for financial gain.

Due to cross border enforcement, there is no parity, so the rules are different.  Trying to enforce any legislation, as remote technology has allowed the cyber criminals to maintain a tactical posture. Criminals working on a pro-government basis has given rise to a new form of ‘Star Wars’, this link is for real and quite un-nerving!

These links paint a different picture:

A useful book to peruse is, Cyber Meltdown: Bible Prophecy and the Imminent Threat of Cyber terrorism, By Ron Rhodes.

The cyber criminals are an intelligent adversary, with an armoury at their disposal.  Be it the technology to use and how the attack is executed.  They’re well aware of where they can attack from and who to attack, with the right methodology to implement.  They are technically astute, and can articulate themselves in this multimillion dollar or pound industry.

Gone are the lone wolves of the past, they are organised with one intent in mind, this being purely ‘monetary’ gain.  They have no feelings, as you are the target, which as an ex-military person of 30 years our author can equally understand.  So be it credit card fraud, money laundering, online extortion and a myriad of others, they don’t care – ‘You are the target’.

Cyber crime isn’t  hurting the economy?

Before we go any further, check these out:

Seven hacker stole $45 million in 10 hours, courtesy of Mail

Cyber crime costs global economy $445 billion a year, courtesy of Reuters

Cyber crime is a threat to global economy, courtesy of Computer Weekly

We are not an economist, just like you trying to make ends meet.  But when facts of this nature are presented to us all, why don’t they make good use of their gains?  To be quite honest, we can’t even envisage what a billion or million looks like or having that kind of power.

All we can do is leave the following link and allow you to come to your conclusion.

Check PWC report and Info graphics and does disparity exist, who says crime doesn’t pay?

Conclusion

We proffer here that ‘Crime doesn’t pay‘, more so a fallacy for those who wish take the easy route in life. However it’s useful to recount that each will be subjected to its own recompense, so please don’t be fooled into a life of crime.

There are those who will live off crime, however their resilience is to be short lived if the truth be known.

Whether a conscientious mind or a responsible adult was to be the outcome, what would you prefer to be known as in life, a criminal or a person of upright standing!

Part 3 – Criminal Acts…

Phishing v Spoofing

Phishing and spoofing have different attributes. The former surreptitiously deposits malware on your computer or  to your respective network. However, the latter is directed to seduces the user into unbecomingly to declare their personal information to cyber criminals, which creates damaging outcomes, becoming apparent when it’s too late!

What is Spoofing?

The cyber criminals has perfected the art of recreating near perfect emails, which seduces users to either release personal information, or even more damaging, to get the user to click on counterfeit links.

The spoofing can have damaging impact either for the user or corporately, either way it’s an intrusion of privacy.  The cyber criminals are very astute, which we have no doubts that they will have test beds for their fake emails, where refinement will take place. The key factor here lies in discipline, albeit a word not used much in either personal or in the corporate arena. Ironically, despite the graphic production which has been sent to you, if you suspect something is not right or you’re in doubt, hit the ‘Delete’ key. We strongly suggest the a cyber criminal wouldn’t be checking whose deleted the original email and you’d won’t see the email again!

In actual fact in taking this action, you’d be saving yourself a lot of heart ache or the company you work for, by not clicking the link, no malicious activity will occur. In actual fact, it’s not only down to you, potential or existing customers and your peers will unbecomingly grateful for your disciplined action.  At least it will give you a feel good factor and one we think you should share with your peers and bosses alike.

How is Phishing Different?

Phishing looks good, by sending bogus emails to customers. Whereas spoofing would provide what looks like the real link, but in actual fact, it’s ‘bogus’.  It’s hard to define which is the real thing, so in either case, you’d be take the right ‘Risk’ approach, following the precautions below:

Precautions, by applying a discipline process:

  • Do I know the sender – No, delete it
  • Are you expecting it – No, delete it, and
  • Do you have concerns – Yes, delete it

Your bank will never send such an email, so don’t be rushed, if it’s that important, the sender can always re-send it and in the majority of cases you’ll never see the email again.  Ultimately, you’d be saving you or your company a lot of grief and lost man hours of work.

Blackmail and extortion

Blackmail is an age old way of gaining an outcome that must be unwarranted and could be accompanied with menaces. Initially it can be frightening, which is the intent really.  Do ‘x’ and ‘y’ won’t happen, to you it’s the ‘x’ that’s overwhelming, as you also don’t want ‘y’ to occur. Options, well either see the police, however you may wish to speak with a close friend, then maybe speak with the police. You have to assess the ‘risk’, so you have 3 options, Acceptance – Mitigation – Residual Risk. Which would be the most appropriate to your case, ultimately see the police.

Remember, when threatened, the threat doesn’t have to be true (this is psychological warfare!). Then again one has to consider legal costs, hiring an investigator, this is where you risk assessment would come in.

Now extortion is basically a ‘pay up or else’ scenario, now known to include ‘ransomware‘.  The age old protection rackets where a form of ‘extortion’.  What you should be aware of is that all cases are handled in the Crown Court with a maximum sentence of up to 14 years.

Hacker

The terms sound familiar, right? In the computer security arena, a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system/network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons; profit, protest, challenge, enjoyment, or to evaluate those weaknesses to assist in removing them.

Basically we have two types, ‘Black’ hat – criminal or ‘White’ hat – the good guy who will help out in times of crisis. However there are more types, as listed here:

  • Grey – surfs the internet and advises the administrator of shortfalls
  • Elite hacker – a social status amongst hackers
  • Script kiddie – unskilled hacker
  • Neophyte – new to hacking
  • Blue hat – tests system prior to launch
  • Hacktivist – either cyber terrorists or freedom of information exponents
  • Nation state – government and espionage, and
  • Criminal gangs – and the name suggest, right?

Sports betting

As we see and read the latest revelation surrounding FIFA, however this highlights the extent of the financial transactions suggest criminal undertones.  But to the millions of dollars, this is crude in its own right. The amount of millionaires now in the premiership we find we’re lost for words, and then never been attracted to football or betting.

There are positives; a lot of good is achieved from betting, National Lottery for example. It provides a ‘buzz’ once or maybe twice a week and yes the lucky few get to be millionaires, you pay the money, you take the risk. But there are a lot of good causes from the national lottery who benefit.

But like a lot of things are life there are the negatives, whereby betting becomes an addiction and still there is no ‘golden chalice’. For those who need help in times of crisis, confidential support is available here. Addiction of this nature can have severe impacts on family life, even in the worst case scenario, leading to divorce.

The proverbial game of bingo has its impact as things have moved on from the light hearted game at Christmas, to sleek bingo halls. Now we even see the game available on the internet, available on iPads and mobile devices!

Electronic harassment

In the home we call it ‘microwaves’, however secret police/services in some countries wish to call them Electronic weapons, but to eliminate people!  The outcomes would be to:

  • burn skin
  • headaches
  • burn or discomfort to hands, musicians/literary persons
  • Burn limbs to affect sporting athletes, or
  • ultimately death

These weapons don’t act by themselves, but are arranged and operated by people actually burning the victims. Instigators are irresponsible individuals, the crime is against humanity, with no justification what so ever, these people are lower than any being.

They operate just like a microwave, which we all have in our homes. By reading the safety leaflet and reversing the logic, will then explain to you the horrendous outcomes.

Prostitution

online Prostitution

Image via Wikipedia

The age old profession in the world, been around since biblical times and beyond. It could be argued that there could be benefits to society and I’m not decrying this, but it doesn’t need to be taken into account and laws are needed.

Apparently, in England and Wales it’s an offense to pay for sex with a prostitute who has been subjected to force, which is known as a ‘strict liability offence’ in legal terms, even if they consider the prostitute was forced.

Laws are not always strictly enforced, and many brothels operate under the name “Massage parlours”, with police forces often turning a blind eye.

University students have been known to supplement their degree courses by the cash earned. From a legal perspective it could be viewed as:

The Sexual Offences act 2003 clearly states as an offence the operation of a  brothel and the management or assistant in the management of the same.      …..

Source: London criminal solicitors

Is this a necessary evil or does it serve society?

Drug trafficking

Such is the diversity of this subject matter, we considered it to be most appropriate to focus on the United Nations and Interpol for factual representation. The subject in itself we personally find distasteful, however it’s a fact of life and we’ve lived with it for hundreds of years.

Our research has unearthed some extensive data on this subject matter, primarily from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

An extremely good tool is their interactive global drug map for:

  • ATS
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Opiates
  • Opioids
  • Prescription opioids
  • Prescription stimulants

and,

  • Data, and
  • Maps and tables

Accordingly it would also be useful to include the INTERPOL drug trade fact sheet, link here.

However, these facts depicted here don’t undermine the methods of trafficking which we see and read about on the news.  Most we find incredible of how people can be seduced into being coerced to undertake this in the first place.  Or are we making reference to common sense and the will to see through sublime suggestions.

This is a most debatable subject matter, and we’ve no doubt it will continue to be openly discussed, from many different perspectives.  Not a single person’s cup of tea, but we’re all made up of different foibles.

This will always be a scourge to society, which only benefits criminal gangs and not to society globally.  No matter how much good is done in this war, the trade routes will always prevail.

Criminal copyright infringement

Copyright infringement is probably better known as ‘plagiarism’, more so when the infringement is brought about by the copyright owner as they have exclusive rights. This can be judged by the act in itself and could amount to a criminal offence. Probably this is better known within the music and film industry, where he financial loss to the owner is extensive. A complex subject within the legal arena and is explained further here.

Technology has brought about massive amount of data streaming of music and films. The process is quite simplistic, by creating links to source material, but offenders don’t think before they act, not that I’m implying this is a moral right to do so. However, should they wish to embark on this slippery slope, they have to accept the consequences.

An overview can be view here in the 1 page PDF, the advice is quite simple!

Conclusion

All these items are highly charged, none without precedence, but they do affect everyday society.  There may well be more that we could have reviewed, but we included what we consider the ‘Top 10’. We will leave it to you the reader to decide.

‘Les Finale’

This paper has been diverse, and will invoke a plethora of thoughts and emotions. There is no right or wrong way, we will all have our own perceptions, views, experiences.  We consider it is good to discuss, but to do so with respect as we all have our own thoughts.

Thank you!

Written by: Howard Smith and Ali Qamar

Special thanks to: computing.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, reuters.com and infoworld.com

Top/Featured Image via Wikipedia

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The World of Internet Crimes

by Howard Smith time to read: 16 min
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