Internet crime

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Internet crime is criminal behavior that makes use of the Internet (obviously).

Actual Internet Crimes[edit]

  • Cracking — circumventing, disabling or revealing the copy protection or other security measures of proprietary software. Not always internet related.
  • Hacking - Brute forcing, circumventing or disabling of a computer's security systems in order to access non-permitted information.
  • Cyberterrorism — A disputed term, which may consist of using technology to commit real-world acts of terrorism, such cracking into an airline's computer system and crashing a plane. See the Wikipedia article on cyberterrorism.
  • Denial Of Service (DOS) — Any method of sabotage against a service in order to deny its use by others.
    • Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) — One of the most common forms of DOS, involves organizing (usually by installation of a virus on unsuspecting computers, collectively called a botnet) a large number of incoming connection requests to a website in order to flood it and prevent access from other connections.
  • Phishing — sending fake emails, ostensibly from reputable organisations, suggesting that the recipient need to respond with certain private information such as bank account details in order for their service to continue. The person then has their identity stolen and done with as the phisher pleases.
  • Advance fee fraud — A scam saying the victim can get a large sum of money by forwarding a smaller sum to the scammer in advance. The scammer makes off with the money and all contact is destroyed. Usually by email.
  • Intentionally distributing a malicious virus.
  • Publishing a private person's personally identifiable information such as real name, address, and phone number. This often goes into legal grey areas over how the information was obtained and what context it's published in (for example, publishing with the purpose of urging other people to commit mass harassment is unlikely to garner much sympathy in court). Regardless of legality, most online services expressly forbid posting any personal information.
  • Ransomware - A particularly vicious attack, a program will encrypt certain files on a computer and force the user to pay a ransom (usually in Bitcoin) to get the decryption keys and their files back. Some of these are time limited and could either delete the keys after a certain time or increase the price of decryption.
  • Ban evasion - In the United States, it was ruled in the summer of 2016 that it's a federal crime to visit a website after being told not to visit it.[1]

Not Internet Crimes[edit]

  • Piracy — The unauthorised copying and distribution of copyright material such as software, music, movies, images, books and other forms of intellectual property. May also include cracking to get around Digital Rights Management. Is actually a civil issue, not a crime, despite efforts of lobbyists to characterise it as such.[2][3]
  • Spyware — software designed to track certain activities and record certain behaviors of a computer user. This one is also a bit dubious because if the user does not consent to the install it is considered data theft. If they do, then there's no problem. There are ongoing legal debates about whether End User License Agreements (which is often the only place where tracking is mentioned) can be considered legally binding considering a near-infinitesimal number of users actually read them.[4]
  • Wiki Vandalism — contrary to the opinion of some wiki administrators such as Andrew Schlafly of Conservapedia,[5] wiki vandalism is not considered a crime, nor is virtually any editing activity on a wiki, hence the fact that a user can lick his tiny digital nipples without fear of consequences aside from banning. As bypassing bans is often lumped in with methods for bypassing censorship, the legality of bypassing a ban is somewhat gray. So even then you can probably still lick the tiny digital nipples of anyone with web-accessible and editable content.
  • Being wrong on the internet - Sadly.

See also[edit]