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Cybercrime Grows Up

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
2 pages
This article provides an overview on cybercrime growth.
Originally cybercrime was thought of as nothing more than a game played by teenagers or college students in their rooms late at night. Cyber criminals grew bolder; worms and viruses were unleashed in cyberspace, some by accident, but most with malicious intent. In 2003, a worm called Sapphire/Slammer was unleashed and within 10 minutes of infecting its first server, it spread to 90 percent of the world’s unprotected servers. Slammer caused mass cancellation of airline flights, crashed networks and disabled ATMs. While September 11 shifted the Nation’s focus from cybercrime to cyberterrorism, the facts show that cybercrime is far more dangerous to the American public and the economy. Organized crime and online cyber criminals using sophisticated Web sites are getting into the act. Cybercrime has matured so fast it has become a multi-billion dollar business complete with mergers, acquisitions, and hostile takeovers akin to any other fast growing industry. In corporations, cybercrime is taken seriously. According to the 2006 Computer Crime and Security Survey, which is conducted annually by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the FBI’s Computer Intrusion Squad, virus attacks, unauthorized network access, mobile hardware theft, and online theft of intellectual property accounted for 74 percent of the respondent’s financial losses. Cybercrime is not just a U.S. problem; a Federal study conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology predicts widespread computer fraud when the Australian Government implements the proposed health and welfare access card, and the E-passport. The study cites prepaid cards and online international fund transfers as new options for cyber criminals to launder money. Also, the study identified online games as another method to launder money by purchasing virtual cash with illegal funds and later cashing in the virtual money for clean currency. References

Date Published: October 1, 2007