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July 2, 2020

The arrival of the internet in the mid-1990s as a widespread tool for business, learning, and later leisure opened up a world of possibilities that can be enjoyed by people across the planet. Cybercrime is one of the negatives of the development of the internet and has become one of the most important parts of the policing of the worldwide web that is done each day. In the U.S. any form of crime conducted over the internet is investigated by a specialist unit within the FBI. Lawyers and attorneys who have a history of working on internet-based crimes are the best options for those who are accused of taking part in any form of cybercrime in the U.S.

Many different forms of cybercrime can be investigated by the FBI, including:

  • Hacking
  • Identity theft
  • Theft
  • The use of malicious software

Hacking

One of the most famous crimes that are often reported in the mainstream media is that of hacking by an individual or by a major group. In the last few years, there have been many instances of organized criminal gangs hacking into the customer databases of businesses and major organizations, such as the State Government of South Carolina. When an individual has there computer or mobile device hacked by a gang or individual hacker, the individual may not know their information is being accessed until problems begin to be seen with their life. In the U.S., the crime of hacking is a felony carrying a jail term in a federal penitentiary meaning an experienced attorney is needed to fight any charges.

Malicious Software

Almost all of us have heard of trojan horse software or been affected when malicious software is installed on our computers. The use of malicious software is often done for no other reason than to damage the operating system of an individual and bring their laptop or the mobile device to a standstill. In many cases, the use of malicious software is coupled with the desire to steal the personal information of the individual and hold it to ransom. When an individual or organization is affected by malicious software they will often have to repair the damage done and improve their security following the attack.

Copyright Issues and Theft

One of the most important and well-publicized areas of concern for people who spend a lot of time on the internet is the growing problem of copyright infringement. Peer-to-Peer browsing is a difficult area for attorneys and their clients because their can be some gray areas where the existing laws do not create a specific set of rules for the present and future. The many different ways of sharing copyrighted information can often lead to the issue of a loss of earnings for major movie studios, recording artists, and many other executives who are looking to the Internet for their earnings.

Cyberstalking

In the 21st-century, stalking has become an issue growing in importance for society and law enforcement across the world. In the past, stalking took the form of voyeurism in the real world but the issue of cyberstalking is taking this criminal issue to a new level. Cyberstalking takes on a new level of problems with the victim often targeted through their social media platforms and their email address. According to most law enforcement agencies, the use of cyberstalking can lead to offline stalking that causes even more issues for those involved.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was created in 1986 as an amendment to the Counterfeit Access Device and Abuse Act that passed Congress in 1984. These were the first laws and regulations protecting Federal computers from attack by hackers and formed the framework for the response to any form of cybercrime committed to the present day. Further amendments were made throughout the 1990s to keep pace with the changing technology that has made its way into our homes and businesses. One of the major changes was the introduction of the term “protected computers” instead of “federal computers” that it was felt had limited the scope of the enclosed laws.

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In the 21st-century, the internet has risen to an even more impressive position in our daily lives with almost every part of the world now connected to the online sector. As with every area of technological development, the issue of crime has reared its head with cybercrime becoming one of the most difficult parts of life to cope with. The issue of cybercrime has become so important that the FBI has established a special unit designed to allow investigations to take place in a secure environment.

What is Cybercrime?

One of the most difficult aspects of new technology is understanding exactly how this new medium works and what are its limitations. For law enforcement groups, the issues they face include how will any form of new technology be used criminally or dishonestly and how they should form their response. The fact internet-based technologies are not based on any area of land means the responsibility for investi8gating and prosecuting these cases through the Federal Court system. The idea is that all forms of cybercrime from hacking to identity theft should be classified as a Federal felony makes it easy for the sentencing guidelines to be followed for all cases.

Hacking Crimes

The issue of hacking has long been a difficult one for investigators and prosecutors who are looking to make a change to the way these forms of crimes are investigated and prosecuted. Hacking is the process of passing into the computer of another person without permission and the knowledge of the owner. Ethical hacking does now take place where those with the skills to enter a computer without permission do so to test the defenses of a person or organization.

The FBI concerns themselves with those who are not using hacking for the correct reasons but are concerning themselves with stealing data or holding people or organizations to ransom. Hacking is now usually linked to the stealing of data or other information that will be used dishonestly by an individual or criminal gang. Hacking has become a major source of income for many criminal organizations who are looking for different ways of making money through nefarious means.

Identity Theft

Identity theft has become a major problem for the majority of individuals who have had their identity stolen using information stored by a company or transmitted over the internet. Identity theft can be completed in many ways, including the use of hacking techniques that allow a criminal gang to seize control of the data stored by a company or organization and use it for their purposes.

When an identity is stolen the data that is taken is often used by a criminal gang or an individual to obtain funds using the personal information of an individual. This can have a devastating effect on the person who has lost their information because they can see a negative dip in their credit score and face criminal charges.

Protection from Cyber Attacks

One of the main aspects of cybersecurity to understand is the needs of organizations and businesses, no matter how large or small to protect themselves and their clients from attack. Many local and state laws have been enacted that make it a crime for a company or organization not to put the issue of cybercrime front and center in their fight for security.

Many attorneys who have worked in the area of a cybercrime believe the best form of defense is to take an ongoing and proactive approach to handle this issue. Establishing a task force or board to consistently examine the approach being taken through each period of business to ensure all the latest security issues are addressed.

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