Crimes Against Information Systems

Today’s Information age has given many freedoms to the Netizens, which was not possible without the advent of this age. The users of Information Systems have readily available information, for example, complete Encyclopedia Britannica in one Compact disc with all sorts of search features is available, pointing towards correct information within the right time. Imagine doing this with the book version of the Encyclopedia, sifting through numerous pages looking out for the information alphabetically and still may not be able to retrieve it. Another advantage of Information System is the availability of real time information on any area. For example, users can login to their banks’ website, credit card site, or share markets for any online transactions. No doubt, this provides convenience but it also comes with its own price of managing the security of the transactions. Crimes against Information systems is a growing concern amongst the Cyber security experts and Federal Law agencies as this has the potential to bring down a system and operation which otherwise would run smoothly.

Many experts divide crime against the Information Systems in various ways. Broadly, the crime against Information Systems is defined and classified into following categories –

Computer Crime

These crimes are the illegal activities where computers are used as the primary interface. These types of crime have cost and continue to impact the economies of the worlds by many billions of dollars annually. Using computer as a tool to conduct the crime involves some unethical use of a computer system. Other common security threats identified as computer crime/abuse are as below –

  • · Faking identity
  • · Trojans
  • · Computer viruses and malwares

Faking Identity

Process of gaining access to a system by faking the identity of a genuine user is called impersonation. This activity necessarily needs either knowing or guessing the genuine users password. The unauthorized programming instructions are hidden within a real program in a Trojan attack. A logical bomb consists of instructions, which are not visible to users getting affected. In this technique, the virus remains dormant until a certain trigger event takes place. For example, date/time trigger, invoking certain applications. In one of the case, a logic bomb was installed in an organization’s financial system. The trigger event of deleting an entry from the database invoked the virus which cleaned the database hence generating a huge loss for the victim organization.

Computer Viruses & Malwares

Computer viruses are common and well-known attacking mechanism of a hacker. The usage of internet by a wide majority of people has resulted in frequent attacks of malwares or spywares. Virus, spywares or malwares are designed to bring the victim’s computer to a halt by infecting the kernel of the operating system. The latest antivirus software is found to be helpless against “always” new variant of these virus attacks.   The worst part of virus attack is that it affects anyone using the infected computer even if the user simply inserts his flash drive or diskette. The impact is immediate and often affects any other computer wherever infected flash drive or diskette is used.

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