It was in the early 80s that computer forensics really started to get underway, which is exactly what one would expect. This was around the time that computer systems were starting to become pervasive in government as well as in private business. Naturally, wherever there was a new opportunity, there would be criminals who would try to find ways to exploit it. That is what has occurred with computers, and one of the tricks has been to try to stay at least s step ahead of the criminals. Fortunately, highly skilled forensic technicians who are working with the latest and greatest technology are finding ways to do just that. Many different types of cybercrime are plaguing the web today, and it is a constant battle for computer forensic techs.
Some Common Types of Online Crime
The criminals who engage in online crime are clever and they’ve been able to evolve schemes from the real world to the web. Many different types of online crime exist today, and it is a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of these different types of crime before one can understand the role that forensics can play.
Perhaps the most common type of crime on the web today – and one that some people do not even see as a crime – is piracy. These aren’t peg-legged, parrot loving pirates though. They are media pirates who steal things such as music, e-books, photos, movies, and other digital properties. People see this as sharing, and in some cases, that’s just what it is. However, there is a fundamental difference between sharing a book with a few members of your family and putting it up on a site for the masses to download. Some of these pirates even have the audacity to charge for the books that they’ve already pirated!
Cyber bullying is something that has been getting quite a bit of attention lately. Online harassment can affect adults as well as teens and children, and it has driven some people to commit suicide. More and more states and countries around the world are starting to come up with legislation that will make this form of harassment illegal. In some cases, computer forensics experts may have to dig into the computer files of suspects and victims of these types of crimes to prove the level of harassment.
Fraud is one of the huge areas of concern when it comes to computer crimes. Certain types of computer viruses are actually able to log and record your keystrokes, so when you type in your passwords to financial institutions, or you use your SSN, credit card number, or address, criminals can steal it. This can lead to identity theft, which often leads to destroyed credit scores.
Even spam can be a computer crime, but we’ve all had plenty of spam mail clogging our inboxes for years. Newer laws are starting to crack down on spam though, and it might be nice to be able to open up the email one day without seeing all of the crazy ads.
What Do They Have in Common?
Even though these types of crimes are quite different, they do have some things in common. They all take a criminal mind familiar with computers to execute, and they can all fall into the realm of the computer forensic investigator. Investigators today who are working in various areas of law enforcement have their hands full with all of the online crime reported. More specialists are certainly going to be needed in this area.