Cyber crime, also called computer crime, is any illegal activity that involves a computer or network-connected device, such as a mobile phone. Crimes in which the computing device is the target, for example, to gain network access; crimes in which the computer is used as a weapon, for example, to launch a denial of service attack; and crimes in which the computer is used as an accessory to a crime, for example, using a computer to store illegally-obtained data.
The following are some of the examples of cyber crimes:
Dissemination of offensive materials
This includes, among others, sexually explicit materials, racist propaganda, and instructions for the fabrication of incendiary and explosive devices. Telecommunications systems can also be used for harassing, threatening or intrusive communications.
Electronic money laundering and tax evasion
For some time now, electronic funds transfers have assisted in concealing and in moving the proceeds of crime. Emerging technologies will greatly assist in concealing the origin of ill-gotten gains. Legitimately derived income may also be more easily concealed from taxation authorities. Large financial institutions will no longer be the only ones with the ability to achieve electronic funds transfers transiting numerous jurisdictions at the speed of light. The development of informal banking institutions and parallel banking systems may permit central bank supervision to be bypassed, but can also facilitate the evasion of cash transaction reporting requirements in those nations which have them.
Sales and investment fraud
As electronic commerce becomes more prevalent, the application of digital technology to fraudulent endeavors will be that much greater. The use of the telephone for fraudulent sales pitches is increasingly common. Cyberspace now abounds with a wide variety of investment opportunities, from traditional securities such as stocks and bonds, to more exotic opportunities such as coconut farming, the sale and leaseback of automatic teller machines, and worldwide telephone lotteries. Indeed, the digital age has been accompanied by unprecedented opportunities for misinformation. Fraudsters now enjoy direct access to millions of prospective victims around the world, instantaneously and at minimal cost.