Computer Crimes

  • Joseph Migga Kizza
Part of the Texts in Computer Science book series (TCS)


This chapter surveys the history and examples of computer crimes, their types, costs to society, and strategies of detection and prevention. In the discussion, it is noted that a great number of computer attacks fall into two categories: penetration and denial of service attacks. And these are discussed in depth. Attack motives are also discussed. Are nations, businesses, and individuals prepared for computer attacks? Are they ready to pay the price? We look for answers to these questions as we ponder the costs and consequences of computer crimes. We note also that although it is difficult to estimate the actual costs of e-attacks on physical system resources, progress is being made for better and more accurate estimates. An in-depth discussion of the social and ethical consequences that include psychological effects, moral decay, loss of privacy, and loss of trust follows. We end the chapter with recommendations for educating the computing device users in computer ethics. The need to educate the user to be aware of possible sources of computer crimes and what to do if and when one becomes a victim of these crimes is stressed. It is noted that education can go a long way in reducing computer crimes if the users take crime preventive steps every time they use the computer and computer-related technologies.


Pirate Computer Software Computer Attack Service Attack Computer Crime Industrial Espionage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further Reading

  1. Anderson KE (1997) Criminal threats to business on the internet: a white paper. Global Technology Research, Inc., 23 June, 1997. This is a discussion of the increasing trend of criminal activity against information systems, from the low-level, amateur intruder to organized crime, and industrial and international espionageGoogle Scholar
  2. Chaturvedi A et al (2000) Fighting the Wily Hacker: modeling information security issues for online financial institutions using the SEAS environment. INET JAPAN 2000 conference, 18 July, 2000. The paper discusses proposed methods to analyze the online risks faced by the financial industryGoogle Scholar
  3. Computer attacks: what they are and how to defend against them. ITL Bull, May 1999.
  4. Computer Security Institute/Federal Bureau of Investigation (1998) Annual cost of computer crime rise alarmingly: organizations report $136 million in losses Press Release. Computer Security Institute, 4 March, 1998. This is a summary of the 1998 survey on computer crimeGoogle Scholar
  5. Counterintelligence Office of the Defense Investigative Service (1996) Industry CI trends. OASDPA/96-S-1287, 26 December, 1996. This paper discusses threats and techniques used for low-level intelligence collecting by foreign companies and governments against U.S. DoD contractorsGoogle Scholar
  6. General Accounting Office (GAO) (1996) GAO executive report—B-266140. Report to the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, 22 May, 1996. This gives a detailed report on attacks to U.S. Department of Defense computer systems with recommendations for improved securityGoogle Scholar
  7. Grampp F, Morris R (1984) Unix operating system security. AT&T Bell Lab Tech J 63(8, part 2):1649Google Scholar
  8. Grosso A (2000) The economic espionage ACT: touring the minefields. Commun ACM 43(8):15–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kapor M (1991) Civil liberties in cyberspace: when does hacking turn from an exercise of civil liberties into crime? Sci Am, September 1991. This is a discussion of the various legal, social, and privacy-related issues within computer networks using the U.S. Secret Service’s raid on Steve Jackson Games as a case studyGoogle Scholar
  10. Kizza JM (1999) Civilizing the internet: global concerns and efforts toward regulation. McFarland, JeffersonGoogle Scholar
  11. National Counterintelligence Center (1998) Annual report to congress on foreign economic collection and industrial espionage. Annual report to the U.S. Congress. This is a summary of the espionage threat to the United States Specific highlights include the interest in information security and information warfareGoogle Scholar
  12. Neumann PG (1999) Risks of insiders. Commun ACM 42(12):160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Overill RE (1998) Computer crime—an historical survey. Defence Systems International. This paper discusses the historical development of computer crimeGoogle Scholar
  14. Section A: the nature and definition of critical infrastructure.
  15. United Nations (1994) International review of criminal policy—United Nations manual on the prevention and control of computer-related crime. Int Rev Crim Policy (43–44). These are extensive documents reviewing all aspects of international computer crimeGoogle Scholar
  16. U.S. Department of Justice (1998) Israel citizen arrested in Israel for hacking U.S. and Israel government computers, News release, March 1.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Migga Kizza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of TennesseeChattanoogaUSA

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