Internet Crime


Internet Crime

1.  How common are Internet crimes?

  1. Crime Statistics

2.  What types of crimes/laws/annoying events happen online?

a.  Fraud/identity theft

  1. Non delivery of goods: pay for something never received
  2. Auction frauds: the misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the non-delivery of products purchased through an Internet auction site.
  3. Credit Card Fraud: unauthorized use of a credit/debit card, or card number, to fraudulently obtain money or property is considered credit card fraud.
  4. Crimes of Persuasion
  5. Social engineering: typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.
  6. Phishing: typically, the phisher sends an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate business—a bank, a credit card company, an Internet service provider, an IT department—requesting "verification" of information and warning of some dire consequence if it is not provided.
  7. CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003)
  8. Piracy: illegal use of DRM protected software.
  9. Map (2007):
  10. Economic impact:
  11. P2P (peer-to-peer): direct exchange of files from one computer to another.
  12. Need for new economic models. Rather than charging for music, charge for other things: ringtones, goods, rights…
  13. Privacy:[347]=x-347-559597.
  14. Stalking: around 3.4 million people per year.
  15. “Cyberstalking and electronic monitoring: More than 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyberstalking was used, such as e-mail (83%) or instant messaging (35%) (table 7). Electronic monitoring was used to stalk 1 in 13 victims. Video or digital cameras were equally likely as listening devices or bugs to be used to electronically monitor victims (46% and 42%). Global positioning system (GPS) technology comprised about a tenth of the electronic monitoring of stalking victims.”
  16. Obsessive relational intrusion (Spitberg, 2003): it is unclear when the word “no” really means “no” as opposed to “maybe” [with a little persuading] or “yes” [but I don’t want to look easy] in our society. This could be one reason for why terminating relationships is difficult and why sexual communication is difficult.
  17. Child pornography:
  18. Age of consent:

g.  Political

  1. Hacktivism: “the nonviolent use of illegal or legally ambiguous digital tools in pursuit of political ends. These tools include web site defacements, redirects, denial-of-service attacks, information theft, web site parodies, virtual sit-ins, virtual sabotage, and software development” (Samuel, 2004)
  2. DDOS (distributed denial of service): the concerted efforts of a person or people to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. One example is using a software program (using multiple machines) that sends the same request to a server over and over again thus preventing other users from having access to that server. [Remember when we talked about client-sever architecture and the fact that requests are queued and stateless.]
  3. Other types of hacking: [usually government sites get hacked into].

3.  Things to consider

  1. More so than F2F, Internet communication enables verification of information. It is relatively easy to search an email address, one of the hoax/scam sites, check consumer reviews, and so on when one receives an offer that seems to good to be true. One can also use things like user names, domain names, type of information… as social cues for determining deception. Yet, still fraud occurs online.
  2. Most Internet crimes are crimes based in communication. Yet, there is very little research as to what makes the Nigerian letter fraud or the international lottery scams, for examples, so persuasive. Are people more trusting of the written word? Is it a novelty effect?
  3. Most crimes are social rather than technologically based. In other words, few crimes are unique to the Internet (with DDOS being the obvious exception). Rather, the Internet has become yet another location where traditional crimes take place (fraud, theft, sexually related crimes, politically motivated crimes).
  4. If people used a bit of commonsense, most crimes online could be avoided. And yet…
  5. Most hacking into company databases goes unreported. Most hacking into company databases may have been performed by employees?. Hacking can be ideologically motivated or profit motivated.

  1. Problematic Internet Use: use of the Internet is such a way that it affects work, school, family relationships, and physical/mental health.
  1. Most common in chat rooms, gaming environments, and gambling.
  2. Is it addiction?
  3. Often associated with preexisting psychological disorders: impulse control disorder, bipolar disorder (
  4. And is associated with specific activities (chat rooms, gambling, gaming, pornography)[].
  5. Internet gambling revenues (global): $21 billion (
  6. Gaming: