Cybercrime includes any crime that is committed with the help of information and communication technology. Any computer or connected device can be the agent, mediator or the target of a crime.
Cybercrime in the narrower sense includes, computer fraud and fraud with access to communications services (identity theft), forgery of data, illicit legal rights in data processing, data manipulation, computer sabotage, spying and interception of data.
Computer crime in a broader sense includes the offenses that occur over the Internet. These include online banking phishing, crimes with DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service), for example, by causing the overload of a corporate network resulting in online unavailability for the company, digital blackmail, production and distribution of hacking tools for illegal purposes.
Offenders use the Internet and communication tools such as e-mail services or social networks to commit crimes. Illegal online shops offer drugs and weapons as well as hacking software, digital identities, stolen credit card information or bank account access.
Another controversy surrounding cybercrime is the issue of digital surveillance and its impact on civil liberties. Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001, US authorities created the widespread surveillance initiative known as the Patriot Act. This has curtailed the individual’s rights to privacy and the transfer of information in order to increase security. In particular, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been monitoring large-scale global electronic communications ever since. These revelations where exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013, the NSA affair has been the subject of repeated coverage.
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