Search This Blog


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why do people commit cyber crimes?

Computer crime comes in many different varieties. As new computer technologies are made available, there is sure to be someone lurking in the cyber-shadows who are ready to exploit, test or take advantage of security holes that may exist. Computer crime has become the most widespread criminal activity in the world. But what motivates someone to attempt or commit computer crimes?
1. Easy of Anonymity. It is much easier to get away with criminal activity in a cyber world than in the real world. There is a strong sense of anonymity than can draw otherwise respectable citizens to abandon their ethics in pursuit personal gain.
2. Inadequate Legal Jurisdiction. Computer networks literally span the entire globe. This makes it virtually impossible for any government to enact or enforce laws when computer criminals are set up in foreign countries.
3. New Technology. Many computer criminals use their computers merely as a logical extension of “traditional” crimes that can take advantage of computer technology to help facilitate or carry out crime. For example, automated software can be programmed to steal credit-card numbers, personal-identification information and even cell-phone codes.
4. Holding a Grudge. Malicious computer codes like worms and viruses are often spread by someone who is seeking to cause harm to an individual or company-possibly over losing a job, perceived unethical business conduct or maybe even jealousy or envy. Such parties intend to destroy or cripple their targets for the personal satisfaction of seeing them suffer the effects.
5. Thrill of the Game. For many computer criminals, the excitement and challenge of exploiting a computer system can be too great to resist.
6. Opportunistic crime. Individuals who spend a significant amount of time on their computer have many opportunities to commit crimes. These people may have never known that these criminal prospects exist before, but, by spending increased amount of time on the Internet, have come to see a whole variety of opportunities laid out in front of them.
What do you think? Would you like to add something to this list?

Read more: Why Do People Commit Computer Crimes?


  1. This is pretty scary. Cyber crimes are something that stays ahead of the curve so to speak. Everytime there is a new law passed or a hacker caught or protection put up for a certain virus, there is always something new coming out. Regulators are always playing catch-up it seems.

  2. I feel it is too easy to get away with things on the internet. I know we all hate regulation, however when it comes to child trafficking and other crimes against children, the internet should be monitored more closely.

  3. Really the issue is the fact that internet technology is moving faster than we as human beings can keep up with. More and more undetected crimes are being committed because of loop holes and other round about ways to avoid the law. So in my opinion i agree with both david and lindsay: David in the fact that the government needs to move faster in catching crimes and lindsay in making specialized divisions so that things such as child trafficing can be caught quickly.

  4. I agree with you, guys. However, some people commit crimes without even realizing it. Until this class I did not know that reading somebody else's email is a crime. I did not know that creating a fake profile on Internet is illegal too. I always thought it is unappropriate, but not illegal. Not sure if people needs to be punished for doing that, but again it all depends on consequences of such wrongdoing.

  5. I think that in general people are unaware of what really constitutes an illegal action through the internet. I know that alot of areas of law enforecement online are gray, but I think they need to make the definition of an illegal action black and white. I remember that in your presentation you said that making new laws hasn't necessarily caught up to all the internet crimes, but before punishment, there needs to be clear legislation on this.

  6. I agree. I think the American public needs to be educated on what is right and wrong on the world wide web.(Educating our future generations on internet right and wrongs in our public school systems) We all know that murder, theft, etc. are illegal but though some are unsure of what is illegal online, so I say as adults its our responsibility to get familiar with new legislation. However, even if unsure on the legislative point of view, alot of the internet crimes that are committed are ethically wrong and that is where the problem lies. People know what they are doing is incorrect and are still doing it because they know they can get away with it. Also in convicting, most internet crimes overlap with other laws that do not specifically pertain to the internet but criminals can be convicted because that crime was still committed. Such as theft in the max butler "iceman" case.

  7. Like the earlier comment said, I too had no idea that reading someone elses email was a crime, more specifically, your significant other's email. That one story from their presentation about the husband reading his wife's email. From what he uncovered he felt there was a safety risk concerning their daughter. He acted on his feeling and ended up getting in trouble for reading her email. That's a little messed up. But I guess a crime is a crime no matter the intention.

  8. I feel like people do not realize they are committing a crime through their actions on the internet. I think there needs to be a set of written laws of what is and what is not acceptable. This is becoming a serious issue that needs to be touched on immediately.

  9. The difficulty is that the federal laws vary from state laws and all of them are hard to read and interpret. Also, enforcement is inconsistent.

  10. It used to be easy to get away with things on the internet in it's early years. But now it almost doesn't matter if a crime is virtual or in real could be faced with the same charges.

    The playing field has been leveled!

  11. You are right there, Matthew. It's faster now for the police to track any illegal activities online.