Computer Crimes

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Computer Crimes come in a variety of names and can include hate crimes, telemarketing and internet fraud, identity theft and credit card account theft. These are considered to be cyber crimes when the illegal activities are committed through the use of a computer and the internet. It is very difficult to gauge the amount of damage and/or financial loss that has resulted from computer crimes. Many times the victim does not even know that they have been targeted or even that they are a victim. Those that do realize that they are a victim of a computer crime many times do not report it to the authorities or have no way of knowing what caused them to be a victim in the first place. There is a wide variety of computer crimes, many ways in which they work and how they affect both the computers and the lives of the people they have targeted. The Department of Justice categorizes computer crime in three ways: the computer as a target, the computer as a weapon and the computer as an accessory. The computer as a target involves attacking the computers of others. The home computer is the easiest and most common target for computer crime. Many people have high speed internet and leave their computers turned on all the time. This allows hackers to tune into the computer and figure out a way to not only get personal information such as credit card numbers and bank account information. As explained in an article by Armor2net, “…it's not just money-related information they're after. Intruders also want your computer's resources, meaning your hard disk space, your fast processor, and your Internet connection. They use these resources to attack other computers on the Internet. In fact, the more computers an intruder uses, the harder it is for law enforcement to figure out where the attack is really coming from.” (para 2) Many people think they are safe if they do not have personal financial information on their computer, they do not realize that their computer is being used to target hundreds of others and then those hundreds of others’ computers are being used to target hundreds more. One of the quickest ways to target a computer is using a virus. Wikipedia defines a computer virus as, “A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user.

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