What is Cybercrime?

What is Cybercrime?

What is cybercrime?

  • What is cybercrime?
  • If you fear you’ve been attacked, take action.
  • It isn’t always easy to convict a cybercriminal.

Today’s Cyber-landscape

It feels as though every day there is a new cyber attack that has swept the nation, or world, in some dramatic fashion. As I write this article, I will prove it to you; here are just a few articles from the last week, “Smart Bulbs can be Hacked to Steal Wi-Fi Passwords”,WinRAR Security Flaw Exploited in Zero-Day Attacks to Target Traders”, Criminals go full Viking on CloudNordic, wipe all servers and customer data and “A New Supply Chain Attack Hit Close to 100 Victims—and Clues Point to China”.

Cybercrime covers a large scope of illicit activities that may be committed online and understanding what constitutes a cybercrime is crucial when trying to safeguard yourself from such events.

Defining Cyber Crime

Cybercrime, simply put, is the term used for criminal activities that are carried out using a computer. Cyber criminals are online criminals whose aim is to exploit human or technical vulnerabilities in an attempt to steal passwords, data, money, or all of the above. Perpetrators are most known to attack in a few different ways; hacking, phishing, ransomware attacks or DDOS attacks. What makes these attacks difficult to prevent, or even recognize, is that the nature of the digital realm which they appear on.

Many attackers are smart, some are too smart. They are capable of staying fully anonymous and executing attacks from across the globe. As technology develops, so do possible threats. Many, if not all, will go as far as utilizing hardware and software tools such as encrypted wallets and VPNs it is hard to track where an individual may be located.

Types of Cyber Crimes 

1. Hacking and Unauthorized Access 

Hacking involves gaining unauthorized access to a computer, network, or other device with the intent (generally speaking) of stealing sensitive information, disrupting operations, or causing harm to the user in some capacity.

2. Phishing and Social Engineering

Phishing is a deceptive practice where cybercriminals pose as legitimate entities with the goal of tricking individuals into revealing personal information like passwords or credit card details.

These attackers tend to use social engineering tactics to exploit the emotions of their targeted victims. For example, a cybercriminal may attempt an attack via email. In the heading of their email they will use mention an urgent matter, a password reset (that you did not request), and so on.

3. Malware Attacks 

Malware is an overarching term that includes any malicious software such as viruses, trojans, and ransomware. These programs are designed to allow individuals to steal data, or demand ransoms, causing all sorts of trouble on individuals and organizations alike.

Attacks such as ransomeware attacks are no joke; here is a major one that was reported a few days ago. Commonly, ransomware is used to, as the name suggests, hold accounts or user data as ransom. Cybercriminals will demand some sort of payment to ensure that there is no data leaked or deleted.

4. Online Fraud 

Cybercriminals engage in various forms of online fraud, such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and investment scams. These offenses often result in financial losses and emotional distress for victims.

One awesome solution you may want to consider looking into at your bank is whether or not you can set up a virtual card. Some virtual cards will automatically change your card number or CVV (depending on the card issuer). This is a beneficial service in the event that you do input your card into a malicious site. While the attacker may have stolen the card number, it is more or less useless without all accurate information (this is not always true but generally speaking).

5. Cyberbullying and Online Harassment 

The digital world has provided a platform for cyberbullying and online harassment, where individuals are targeted with offensive messages, threats, or hate speech. These actions can have serious psychological and emotional consequences.

While it may not seem as serious as some of the other listed crimes, it certainly can be as consequential, if not more. Two states have laws that mention cyberbullying in particular, while every state has laws with the mentions the act of bullying (harassment, assault, threats, etc.)

Legal Aspects of Cyber Crime 

Technology seems to continue to outpace legislation; this forces governments around the world to adapt and overcome based on the current state of technological affairs in the world. Perhaps one of the toughest parts of monitoring cybercrime is finding a common group in international governance given the perpetrator may be out of the jurisdiction of the victims country.

Other than the cooperation amongst countries/legislation, it is also oftentimes hard to track down the attacker. If you are able to track the individual down (or group), then there are still hoops you may have to jump through. For instance, what if the name you found was an alias? What if they purposefully mislead you to the wrong person so they could throw you off of their virtual trail.

How Do I Report Cybercrime?

Stated on the FBI website “If you are the victim of online or internet-enabled crime, file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) as soon as possible. Crime reports are used for investigative and intelligence purposes. Rapid reporting can also help support the recovery of lost funds. Visit ic3.gov for more information, including tips and information about current crime trends.”

When you go to report this crime to the law enforcement, you’ll want to be prepared with what you know about the attack/attacker. Collect any and all information you may be able to, this would include messages, emails, websites you were on, etc. Also do your best to find time stamps, dates, and potential sources of the threat.

Freeze Your Info

If you believe that your information has been leaked or your banking information has been compromised, you should either call your bank or log onto your online banking applications and freeze your cards/accounts. Over the next days, weeks, or even months, be sure to closely monitor your accounts and keep an eye out for any suspicious transactions.

Similarly, be sure to monitor your credit usage and credit score. If you seen a dramatic decline in your credit score, or a massive spike in your percentage used, perhaps this was not your doing and your credit card information has been compromised.

Social Media

It certainly is not a bad idea to change passwords to your social media accounts, email, etc. if you used the same password for all of them. If the crime took place on a social media platform of any sort, you should also be sure to report this incident to the platform’s corresponding team.


It is undeniable that crime as a whole has shifted with the progression of technology in our world. The interconnectedness of our world has given rise to a complex range of threats that locks in on targets small and large, from an individual to a government organization. Understanding the various forms of cybercrime and taking proactive measures to protect against them is paramount. By staying informed, practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, and advocating for robust legal frameworks, we can collectively combat cybercrime and ensure a safer digital future.

To read more articles similar to this, check out our other posts here: https://propersky.com/insights/

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