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The Technical Criminal

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Assignment #3

The Technical Criminal: The Internet and Crime

CIS 170- Information Technology in Criminal Justice
Dr. Austen E. Ichu, PhD
November 11, 2013
Generally people have a tendency to adapt to their environments and the changes occurring around them. This has also been the case with the criminal element and the way they commit crimes. Computers and their functions had taken on an entirely new level of advancement in their capabilities with the introduction of the Internet to the general public. This Internet for most can be a useful resource. From gathering research for an academic project to attending a board room meeting remotely, the Internet has proven to be key in many aspects of human life today. The Internet has also given way to a slue of new crimes and negative activity. Cyber stalking, Cyber bullying, exploitation, sex crimes, financial fraud and the use of viruses and malicious code are just a few things that have become prevalent on the information super highway.
One of today’s largest concerns among parents is protecting their children from becoming victims of bullying. There was a time when you had to worry about the school bully running into while in the hallways of your school or out and about around your neighbor, but the situation surrounding bullying been given a technological advantage. Social media sites such, as Facebook.com, Twitter and Instagram have become the avenues for bullies to invade their victim’s homes and lives. In a recent cyber bullying case in Lakeland Florida, a 12-year-old Rebecca Sedgwick jumped to her death at a local cement plant. She had been the victim of at least 15 cyber bullies through many avenues. The torment for her started at her school and bled over to the Facebook.com. After she was taken out of school by her mother and closed her Facebook account she continued to receive harsh messages and comments through text messages and a messaging application known as KIK. According to investigators, one message asked the question; Why are you still alive? ("Rebecca Sedwick case: Both suicide victim and bully grew up in ‘disturbing’ family environments, cop says - NY Daily News") It was also believed that Rebecca herself had also engaged in the bullying of others but later became a target.
Another widely publicized crime that is prevalent on the Internet is the online harassment and exploitation on minors. Before the introduction of the Internet, sexual predators and stalkers would approach their victims or gain their victims trust through close relationships or friendships, but now the approach aspect has changed in that they can keep a level of anonymity. I work at the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Center as a Juvenile Supervision Officer. It is common for young children and teens to have access to the Internet but the amount of negative incidents involving children and the Internet is staggering. According to statistics reported by www.guardchild.com 77% of victims for online predators were age 14 or older and 1 in 33 youth had received aggressive solicitation. This means that a young person was asked to meet, received a phone call from a predator, sent correspondence, money or gifts ("Internet Statistics | Guard Child") As a father of four children I believe that these particular types of crimes are the most dangerous and problematic of any cyber crimes.
The use of the Internet to commit fraud is as normal today as having a cell phone.
A public schoolboy who masterminded an £18million or 24,123,600 U.S. dollars banking scam and boasted he was a 'legendary' fraudster was jailed for five years today. Nick Webber, 19, built an Internet empire using IT skills honed at exclusive boarding school Bradfield College by accessing school records to cancel his friends' detentions. He went on to create a social networking site for crooks dubbed 'Crimebook'. This was the headline in an online UK newspaper as teen Nick Webber was arrested for fraud that included fashioning a web sight with a database of stolen account numbers and credit card numbers. Webber was also a savvy hacker that was well versed in using viruses and malicious code to disrupt business functions. ("Public school boy who masterminded £18million Internet scam jailed for five years | Mail Online") These types of crimes before the Internet had a more manual approach in that sensitive information such as credit card numbers had to be gathered in a primitive manner. With individuals like Webber along with the use of the Internet this is a task that can be accomplished from home. The aforementioned crime is possible for a hacker to commit with use of viruses and malicious codes that create havoc in many different ways. Some viruses such as Trojan Horses can enter your programs under the guise of legitimate files and steal important information and cause irreparable damage to your system and others it is connected to. A combination of viruses and code known as a blended threat can steal information, gain control of your system and damage your system all at the same time. Using the aforementioned crimes as an example, with the use of blended threats all of them can be committed. From using viruses and malicious code to gain access to bank accounts, to gaining access of someone’s web cam to spy on them. Internet threats are a very real part of life, and you or a loved may be more vulnerable than you may hope.

References
Rebecca Sedgwick case: Both suicide victim and bully grew up in ‘disturbing’ family environments, cop says - NY Daily News. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/rebecca-sedwick-case-suicide-victim-bully-grew-disturbing-family-homes-article-1.1496991
Internet Statistics | GuardChild. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.guardchild.com/statistics/
Public school boy who masterminded £18million Internet scam jailed for five years | Mail Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1362207/Public-school-boy-masterminded-18million-Internet-scam-jailed-years.html…...

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