Computer crime (also known as cybercrime) is a type of crime that involves the use of a computer, a computer network, or a networked device. Any criminal offense including the use of computer technology in the commission, investigation, or prosecution of the crime. Sabotage or theft of electronically stored data are examples of crimes including the usage of a computer. Cybercrime is seldom utilized to damage computers for intentions other than gain. These could be either political or personal in nature. The majority of cybercrimes goes into following categories:
- Criminal activity that targets computers.
- Criminal activity that utilizes computers to perpetrate other crimes.
On top of that, viruses and other forms of malware are often utilized in cybercrime] that targets computers. Cybercriminals may infiltrate computers with viruses and malware to damage or incapacitate them. They could also employ malware to wipe out or rob details. Cybercrime that includes the usage of computers or networks to disseminate viruses, illicit information, or illicit images is known as a cyberattack. Cybercriminals sometimes engage in both forms of cybercrime simultaneously. They might start by infecting computers with viruses. Then utilize them to propagate malware over a network or to other PCs.
Challenges in Investigating and Prosecuting Cybercrimes
Computer crimes are challenging to investigate and prosecute because they provide significant challenges to law enforcement. The following are some of the reasons why cybercrimes are not prosecuted (UNODC, 2021):
- Enforcement officials face a huge difficulty due to jurisdiction and the worldwide spread of cybercrime. The enforceability of cybercrime is limited by enforcing the law across the jurisdictional region of officials.
- There are no information-sharing mechanisms in place at various federal and state entities. As a result, one agency lacks detailed information, causing delays in enforceability.
- The ability to handle cybercrime necessitates ongoing technological advancement and experience; nevertheless, with the changing methods of cybercrime, officials are finding it difficult to keep up.
- The major and most difficult obstacle that officials face is that because victims are outside of anyone's jurisdictional area, they are limited in their ability to devote time and resources.
- Corporations may be hesitant to disclose cybercrime because they believe it would harm their business.
- Criminals encrypt data, making it tough for officials to interpret and prosecute.
Consequently, when compared to traditional crimes, cybercrime has additional elements that make it more difficult to analyze and punish.
- Berry Law Firm, Common Types of Computer Crimes (Nov. 13, 2018) (full-text).
UNODC. (2021). Cybercrime Module 5 Key Issues: Obstacles to Cybercrime Investigations. https://www.unodc.org/e4j/en/cybercrime/module-5/key-issues/obstacles-to-cybercrime-investigations.html.