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Computer crime can be defined as:

A criminal act in which a computer is essential to the perpetration of the crime

A criminal act where a computer, non-essential to perpetration of the crime, acts as a store of information, concerning the crime.

The following is one news from ‘The Post Chronicle’, it indicates one example of Computer crime and how serious it is!

“Millions of North American computers are apparently loaded with fake security software. People have bought and installed scam security software that leaves the computer more vulnerable according to a recent Symantec report on cybercrime.

According to Reuters, “Cyberthieves are increasingly planting fake security alerts that pop up when computer users access a legitimate website. The “alert” warns them of a virus and offers security software, sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee.

Symantec’s vice president was quoted for saying; “Lots of times, in fact they’re a conduit for attackers to take over your machine. They’ll take your credit card information, any personal information you’ve entered there and they’ve got your machine.”

Symantec scanned and found over 250 varieties of scam security software that people were buying. A lot of times, the products will have legitimate sounding names but contains dangerous and fake results. Thieves have made off with thousands of dollars Symantec said.”

Examples of crimes that primarily target computer networks or devices would include,

* Malware and malicious code
* Denial-of-service attacks
* Computing viruses

Examples of crimes that merely use computer networks or devices would include,

* Cyber stalking
* Fraud and identity theft
* Phishing scams
* Information warfare

A common example is when a person starts to steal information from sites, or cause damage to, a computer or computer network. This can be entirely virtual in that the information only exists in digital form, and the damage, while real, has no physical consequence other than the machine ceases to function. In some legal systems, intangible property cannot be stolen and the damage must be visible, e.g. as resulting from a blow from a hammer. Where human-centric terminology is used for crimes relying on natural language skills and innate gullibility, definitions have to be modified to ensure that fraudulent behavior remains criminal no matter how it is committed.

A computer can be a source of evidence. Even though the computer is not directly used for criminal purposes, it is an excellent device for record keeping, particularly given the power to encrypt the data. If this evidence can be obtained and decrypted, it can be of great value to criminal investigators. This is where the Computer forensic starts.