Cybercrimes and its types

The internet, laptops, smartphones, and all the other forms of technology have revolutionized human lives over the last several decades, where it normalised the daily activities on digital platforms. The advancement of technology has opened another gateway for offenders for committing criminal activities in the cyberspace which is termed as cybercrimes. Cybercrime is a crime committed using a computer, a network, and the technology by a ‘perpetrator who has special knowledge of the cyberspace’. Cybercrimes have been increasing globally over the conventional crimes which have indeed taken a dip. The professionalization and proliferation of cybercrimes have resulted in devastating damages every year, bringing a huge impact on individuals, businesses, and the governments as well. Earlier the experts from the Cybercrime Magazine were with the opinion that the damages from the cybercrimes globally will be reaching USD $10.5 trillion by 2025 making it one of the most lucrative set-ups for the perpetrators.

The word ‘Cybercrime’ is a portmanteau of the words ‘cyber’ and ‘crime’. The word ‘cyber’ derives from the word cybernetics and this word originates from the Greek word ‘Kubernētēs’ which means “a pilot or steersman”. Connected to this word is another Greek word ‘Kubernēsis’ referring to the “gift of the governance”. As the study of cybernetics links to different fields such as the computer science, engineering, etc. and their advancements, the word ‘cyber’ depicts futuristic and technological innovations. The word “Crime” can be derived from the Ancient Greek Word “κρίμα” or ‘Krima’ which means “intellectual mistake or an offense against the community rather than a private or moral wrong”. So, the meaning of the word “Cybercrime” can be said as the committing an offence using any computer, device or a computing network in order to cause harm to others and to procure the benefits arising out of such offences. The cybercrimes can range from individuals committing petty crimes to organised crime groups and to the state-funded organisations. There are different types of cybercrimes that can be categorised based on their nature. Malware is the 1st kind of cybercrime where it is a “malicious software” which is made to infiltrate into the victim’s device and hence endangering the device’s safety. Frauds are the 2nd type of cybercrimes where an offender makes a dishonest and malicious representation of a fact which is intended to let another to do or refrain from doing something which can cause harm to the victim. The most common type of cyber-frauds are credit and debit card frauds. Cyberbullying is the 3rd king of cybercrimes where an offender can make disparaging comments, harass or sexually harass, stalk someone, or expose one’s personal information with the use of the technology.  Cryptojacking is the 4th type of cybercrimes where the offenders hack into the devices and use them to mine cryptocurrencies without the possessor’s consent. Cyberextortion is the 5th kind of cybercrimes where the offenders get into the victims’ device and encrypt all their files and demand exorbitant amount of money or blackmail them into doing something in exchange of the data and if not complied, then the victim’s data could be endangered. Cyberespionage is the 6th kind of cybercrimes where the countries use cybercriminals to get access to highly-classified and privileged information of other countries for many reasons.

References:

Nica Latto, What is Cybercrime and How Can You Prevent It, AVAST, https://www.avast.com/c-cybercrime (last updated Apr. 16, 2021)

Steve Morgan, Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025, CYBERCRIME MAG., (Nov. 13, 2020),

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