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Computer Ethics

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Computer Ethics and Cyber Crimes

Computer ethics has become a vital and necessary aspect in the world today. With the growth of computer use and technology it is imperative that some standards and guidelines are set to protect the public. Today it is common that each household has multiple computers that is utilized by everyone in the household, including children. According to Wall, the term ‘cybercrime’ is widely used today to describe the crimes or harms that result from opportunities created by networked technologies. With the increase of user knowledge comes the increase potential for crimes committed with the use of technology. Cybercrimes can be committed without ever leaving the comfort of ones home and is getting harder to prevent. In this paper specific cybercrimes such as hacking, identify thief, embezzlement, and secure fraud will be analyzed. The one of the most common cybercrimes is hacking. Computer hacking is when someone gains access to another individual's or company's computer network without their knowledge or permission. There are several different types of hacking. Bluetooth hacking is one form. Bluetooth hacking is when the Java programming language is used to gain access to various cellular phones. For this process to work the phone that is targeted to be hacked must be able to support JSR-82, this is the official Java Bluetooth Application Programming Interface. The best way to prevent your phone from being hacked using a bluetooth is to set your bluetooth security level to Security Level 3. In this mode an authorization and authentication is required in order to be used.
Hackers comes in all different forms. Most of them are college students, mobsters, vandals, protesters, corporate spies, and even journalist. (Dysart, 2011). White hat hacking is when a person hacks or breaks security to test their own security. White hat hackers are also called ethical hackers. On the other end of the spectrum is black hat hackers. Black hat hackers hack for fun; there is little or no reason other than personal gain or to be malicious. There purpose is to destroy data or make a site unusable. Grey hat hackers are a combination of white hat and black hat hackers. The Grey hat hackers purpose is to notify a company of their security weakness in hope that they will get hired to fix the problem. Blue hat hackers are consulting firms that uses bug test to check company's systems prior to its launch in hopes to eliminate any potential threats. Hacking has become so common that even children has learned how to hack. These children are called Script Kiddies. They use pre-packaged automated tools that were written by hackers. Hacktivism is a term used to describe hackers that use technology announce ideological, social, political, or religious messages. The final classification is the Neophyte hacker. These hackers are new to the hacking world, and has almost no to limited experience.
Another form of cybercrime is identity thief. Previously when it came to identity thief the public announcement was always never to throw away personal information in the trash without shredding it first. If you wallet is lost or stolen, call immediately to report it and cancel all credit cards. Today, with technology, it is not so simple. Identity can be stolen over the internet. One way is ordering products online without first checking to ensure the site is protected and reputable. Hacker has figured out a way to break into certain databases that contains private information, such as social security numbers, date of births, and other pertinent information. The best way to protect oneself form identity thief is to regular check your credit report.
Embezzlement is another form of cybercrime that has become more common with the increase use of technology. Embezzlement is own as a white collar crime, due to the majority of the time these crimes are committed by upper level management of corporations, such as CEO's and CFO's. An example of embezzlement would be the Enron scandal. Embezzlement is when a person steals money from an account that does not belong to them for personal gain. Computers are used to transfer money from one account to another. This has become easier to do with the rise of technology because a person does not have to go into the bank or other organization that they are attempting to steal from and risk being seen. Also when some upper level officials has the access to multiple accounts they can move monies from one account to another from their person computer or company computer. When they have access to multiple accounts, as in the past, taking a little from each account can yield millions without being detected for a long period of time.
Child pornography is a form of cyber-crime that really touches a nerve for most. Child pornography is the display of minors in sexual content on the internet that is being viewed by adults. With the free access to computers with cameras, the increase of single working parenthood, and two-parent working households, children, and teens are left alone more frequent then in past generations. The question was asked “why do teenagers post inappropriate pictures of themselves on the internet.” There is no real answer to this old age questions. One way to help prevent child pornography would be for parents to monitor their children activities on the internet. Placing blocks are also a preventive measure that could be used to help safeguard children from child predators. Child pornography is a crime that an international problem. Child pornography is also a crime that not specific to any one gender, race, or nationality. Their is an estimate of over four million child pornography sites that features minors and babies as young as two years old. Child pornography can lead to a punishment leading to a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, while distribution of child pornography has a maximum penalty of fifteen years in federal prison. When it comes to child pornography, as parents it is imperative that you monitor your child's activities online.
Identity thief is the final form of cyber crime that will be covered. Identity thief is when a person takes possession of another persons identity using their name, social security number, and/ or date of birth to purchase items illegally. The victim usually does not notice that they have been victimized until it is too late. Normally it becomes apparent when the victim is denied for credit or they realize money is missing from their bank accounts.
According to Colker, Los Angeles is the capital for identity thief. There was the case of Choice Point, which is one of the nations largest aggregators of personal information, were Olatunji Oluwatosin and an accomplice was charged and convicted of stealing data from the company. If convicted on all twenty-two counts, Oluwatosin could face up to twenty-two years in federal prison. Identity thief become more common as computer technologies advanced. Where before to gain other peoples information, thieves had to gain the information by digging in trash, stealing purses or wallets, and other hands on person to person contact. Now days, with the click of keys on a keyboard and the know how, thieves now hack companies databases to gain the wanted information. This process makes it harder to catch predators and increases the risk to everyone.
Some ways to protect yourself from being victimized is making sure that your computers and laptops are protected with an anti-virus software program such as Norton. Another way to protect yourself is to make sure that you are on a secured site when purchasing products online. Routinely check your credit report and bank statements is the final way that one can be proactive in preventing identity thief.
In conclusion cyber crimes comes in many different forms. Awareness is the best offense in protecting oneself from being victimized. It is best to be over cautious then not cautious at all. As technology continues to advance new cyber crimes will be invented. Hopefully the advantages of the new technology will continue to outweigh the disadvantages.

References

Browning, D., & Kessler, G. C. (2009). Bluetooth Hacking: A Case Study. Journal Of Digital Forensics, Security & Law, 4(2), 57-71.

Colker, D. (2005, Aug 31). Identity data thief faces new charges; A north hollywood man in prison for the breach at ChoicePoint is indicted on 22 counts. Los Angeles Times, pp. 2-C.2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/421979881?accountid=30530

Dysart, J. (2011). The Hacktivists. ABA Journal, 97(12), 40-46.

Java Community Process (JCP). (2009). JSR 82: Java APIs for Bluetooth.
Community Development of Java Technology Specifications Web site.
Retrieved August 10, 2012, from http://jcp.org/en/jsr/dctail?id=82

Newton, H. (2008). Electronic Law. Electronic Law -- Research Starters Business, p. 3

Newton, H. (2008). Internet & Online Law. Internet & Online Law -- Research Starters Business, 1.

Saunders, K. M., & Zucker, B. (1999). Counteracting Identity Fraud in the Information Age: The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. International Review Of Law, Computers & Technology, 13(2), 183-192.

The Geek Notes. (2010) http://thegeeknotes.com/hacker-classifications/

Wall, D. S. (2008). Cybercrime, media and insecurity: The shaping of public perceptions of cybercrime. International Review Of Law, Computers & Technology, 22(1/2), 45-63. doi:10.1080/13600860801924907…...

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