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A report discussing the proposition that computer crime has increased dramatically overthe last 10 yearsIntroductionComputer crime is generally defined as any crime accomplished through special knowledge ofcomputer technology Increasing instances of white-collar crime involve computers as morebusinesses automate and the information held by the computers becomes an important assetComputers can also become objects of crime when they or their contents are damaged forexample when vandals attack the computer itself or when a computer virus aprogram capable of altering or erasing computer memory is introduced into a computersystemAs subjects of crime computers represent the electronic environment in which frauds areprogrammed and executed an example is the transfer of money balances in accounts toperpetrators accounts for withdrawal Computers are instruments of crime when they areused to plan or control such criminal acts Examples of these types of crimes are complexembezzlements that might occur over long periods of time or when a computer operator usesa computer to steal or alter valuable information from an employerVariety and ExtentSince the first cases were reported in 1958 computers have been used for most kinds ofcrime including fraud theft embezzlement burglary sabotage espionage murder andforgery One study of 1500 computer crimes established that most of them were committedby trusted computer users within businesses ie persons with the requisite skillsknowledge access and resources Much of known computer crime has consisted of enteringfalse data into computers This method of computer crime is simpler and safer than thecomplex process of writing a program to change data already in the computerNow that personal computers with the ability to communicate by telephone are prevalent inour society increasing numbers of crimes have been perpetrated by computer hobbyistsknown as hackers who display a high level of technical expertise Thesehackers are able to manipulate various communications systems so that theirinterference with other computer systems is hidden and their real identity is difficult totrace The crimes committed by most hackers consist mainly of simple butcostly electronictrespassing copyrighted-information piracy and vandalism There
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