Tools for the Detection of Cybercrime

Instructor: Elena Kyrana

Elena holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a Master degree in Applied Translation Studies. She works part time as a freelance translator for the last decade.

The detection of cybercrime is very important. In this lesson we will define cybercrime, describe detection tools for this type of crime, and share some common cybercrime situations.

Cybercrime - Definition and Kinds

Cybercrime is a fast-growing type of crime. Cyberattacks almost seem to be increasing exponentially. But what is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is criminal activity that involves a computer or the Internet. When criminals use computers to commit crimes, their behavior is a lot like a burglar trying to break into someone's home; but the home being broken into during a cybercrime is a computer or computer network.

This new form of crime needs to be identified, described, and prosecuted. The Department of Justice (DoJ) categorizes these crimes pretty much the same way existing crimes are categorized:

  1. Computers are the target. An example would be to discover a company's trade secrets or gain access to personal information.
  2. Computers are used as a weapon. Some examples would be a virus, or a denial-of-service (DoS) attack.
  3. Computers are used as an accessory to the crime. An example of this would be identity theft.

Cybercriminals carry out cyberattacks using hardware and software tools to access personal information and business trade secrets. They often use the Internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. What can we do about it? First of all, we can try and detect cybercrime and go from there.

Cybercrime - Detection

What can we use as a first line of defense against this unusual sort of crime? Since cybercrime is like a smart key, we can build a smarter keyhole to detect illegal entry. We can do that by detecting attempts to pick the lock.

Smart locks can detect smart crimes

Cybercrime detection acts like a smart lock, and so detection of cybercrime (picking the lock) involves monitoring computers, computer networks, and network servers that play important roles in information systems. Sometimes we classify cybercrime using just two types of cyberattack:

  • Advanced cybercrime (high-tech crime): These are sophisticated attacks against computer hardware and software - like online scams (fraud), identity theft, email spam, and phishing. In other words, advanced cybercrime is using a computer to attack other computers.
  • Cyber-enabled crime: These use cybercrime to commit crimes against real-world entities. such as crimes against children, financial crimes, and even terrorism.

No matter the type of attack, the hacker must fiddle with something, and this activity can be detected with really smart detection approaches on our part.

Cybercrime - Detection Tools

Typically, electronic crimes are detected by one or more types of detection techniques. Such techniques include:

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