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Cybercrime: Definition, Examples, Types and Impact

  • Pragya Soni
  • Mar 20, 2022
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The technical era where we are living is quite vulnerable to cybercrimes. It is growing day by day and costing individuals and the organizations a fear for life. What is more frightening is that these cybercriminals are hard to chase or trace.


In this blog, we will study about the types of cybercrimes and their impact on society.


Also Read | All about Cryptojacking



What is Cybercrime?


A cybercrime in layman’s language can be defined as web or computer related crime. Any criminal activity where a computer is used to favor the sum is called cybercrime. Here the computer acts as an object of the crime or a tool to commit the crime. A cybercrime can be sometimes, really very destructive in nature.


The group of persons who are involved in cybercrimes are called hackers or cybercriminals. Cybercriminals seize the confidential or personal information of the users and use it for some malicious activity to serve their own interests and benefits.


History of Cybercrime


The first malicious attack on the network can be traced back from the 1970s. when the hackers found a way to track the long call records of the individuals via a series of codes.


They were the first hackers identified as criminals who know how to exploit the system and modify the hardware and software to steal long distance phone time. 


There the people realized that computer systems are vulnerable to risks. Later in 1990, a large project, Operation Sundevil was exposed. Where cybercriminals fraud a lot of credit cards and track telephonic activities to serve their own purposes. 


Since then cybercrime has become a large problem in our society. Cybercriminals are wholly trained in public web space as well as dark space. They are so trained in their activity, like sometimes it is quite impossible even to guess their name. 


Also Read | What is Ethical Hacking?



Types of Cybercrimes


Cybercrimes are generally classified into two major categories. These two categories are:


  1. Crimes that target networks or devices.


  1. Crimes that use computer devices to commit a criminal activity


Further the cyber attacks or cyber crimes are classified into mentioned types

The image is titled - Types of cyberattacks and has the following points : 1) DDoS attacks 2) Botnets 3) Phishing 4) Cyberstalking 5) Social Engineering 6) PUPs 7) Theft 8) Exploit Kits

Types of Cyberattacks


  1. DDoS Attacks


DDoS attacks are done when an online service is corrupted and unavailable. Expanded as distributed denial of the service, DDoS attacks also known as DDoS Extortion. 


It overwhelms the traffic on the site from a variety of sources and slows the network. Just as a traffic jam clogs the way of vehicles on the road, DDoS attacks prevent the regular traffic to enter on the site.


Such types of cyberattacks achieve effectiveness by using several compromised computer systems as a source of attack traffic. It can affect the working of any IoT devices like computers or mobile phones.



  1. Botnets


Botnets are the compromised computer networks that are controlled by the remote hackers. By these botnets, the hackers send spam and attack on other computers by sending attachments and mails. The botnets are the kind of malware system that are used for malicious attacks.


A botnet always affects a set of devices and not a single one. Botnets basically work on the basis of bots which get their order from the master and work on the appellation bot that are communicated and transferred from the old chat service Internet Relay Chat (IRC).



  1. Phishing


Phishing is the type of cyber-attack that involves hacking through malicious email attacks. The hackers send the malicious attachments and URLs to different users via email ids. These links are directed to gain access to the user's account.


Most of these emails are not even flagged as spams. The hackers trick the users by claiming that the later one needs to change their password or billing information for continuation of some services. As soon as the users click the URL, the mail access is lost.



  1. Cyberstalking


Cyberstalking is a kind of individual cybercrime. It involves online harassment where basically the security of a person is subjected. The cyberstalkers are the modest kind of stalkers, who use social media, websites and search engines to intimidate a user and track him for long.


The user is subjected to several series of online messages and emails. Cyberstalking helps the stalkers to know everything about the user about their daily routine and work. Thus, creating a feeling of fear and threat in the mind of users.


Also Read | What is Digital Piracy?



  1. Social Engineering


Social engineering is the cybercrime that makes the direct connection between the user and the hackers by phone or email. These hackers first gain your trust and then gain control over your device and network. At first, they pose like an unharmful character like a customer service agent.


After pretending they gain important and necessary information from you. As soon as they learn about important information related to password or official information, they struggle to find out what else they can deal with on the internet. 


They also try to follow your social accounts. And once they are able to access the information related to your account, they try to sell or secure your access for their own profits.



  1. PUPs


PUPs expanded as Potentially Unwanted Programs. They are less threatening and risky than other cybercrimes and are more like malware. Such kinds of malwares pave their way into your computer by means of cache or cookie file.


It harms the user and its device in two ways, either by installing useless applications in the device without owner’s permission or by uninstalling the necessary software like search engines. 


These may include spyware and adware, so it is always a good idea to keep your devices updated with antivirus software to avoid such malicious activity or events.



  1. Theft


Unidentified theft is also a type of cybercrime. It occurs when a criminal successfully gains a user’s personal information to steal funds or to participate in a kind of fraud. The cybercriminals can also use your account or telephonic details to plan a criminal activity or to claim benefits.


Unidentified theft of IoT devices generally occurs by hacking passwords of the users and retrieving their personal information from some open or easy to track social media accounts or by sending phishing emails.



  1. Exploit Kits


As the name suggesting you can relate exploit kits as the tiny bomb packets that can trouble the integrity of your device. Exploit Kits seek a vulnerable device and gain the control of the computer.


An exploit kit is a ready-made tool that is available online. The hackers purchase it directly from some sources like dark web hacking forums and then release it into the devices. It embeds bugs into the IoT devices and assists the hackers in gaining the control of the devices.


Also Read | Top IoT Ethical Hacking Tools



Impact of Cybercrime on the Society


There are several ways by which cybercrimes and cybercriminals affect the peace and integrity of the society:


  1. Sometimes it costs an individual or organization its original identity. When accounts are hacked by phishing, sometimes it is almost impossible to regain access.


  1. When the accounts and identity of the individuals are hacked, the users have to spend a lot of money in order to regain control.


  1. Cyber criminals take full advantage of the accounts after accessing the control over it, and they won't even mind throwing dirt in the names.


  1. Yeah, obviously, cybercrimes are the greatest risks to the privacy and security of the account owners.


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How to fight cyber crimes?


Cybercrimes can be cured only by implementing cybersecurity in the systems. Follow the following steps to fight against cybercriminal activities:


  1. Carefully browse and download via websites.


  1. Always keep your system security updated with the latest antivirus software.


  1. Never click on suspicious emails or links.


  1. Report the suspicious emails and mark them as spam.


  1. Use VPN if possible.


  1. Before entering important credentials in the websites, double check its safety.


  1. Use a strong combination of the passwords.


  1. Use at least 14 characters while choosing your password.


Also Read | AI in Cybercrime


No doubt, cybercrime nowadays is the greatest risk to human privacy, but by following the above steps and measures, its effect can be checked to an extent.

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