Review of Related Literature
The Internet is seen as part of the globalization process that is supposedly sweeping away old realities and certainties, creating new opportunities and challenges associated with living in a ‘shrinking’ world. We are now said to be in the midst of a ‘new industrial revolution,’ one that will lead us into a new kind of society, an ‘information age’ (Webster, 2003).
Just as the shape of our technology has changed beyond all recognition since 1990, so too has the shape of the challenge. The almost unconstrained development of Internet-based connectivity can be seen, on the one hand, as a phenomenological emancipation of the masses, an extension of the Civil Data Movement and the citizens’ entitlement to publicly held data (Sampson and Kinnear, 2010).
The developments in computer and information technologies have penetrated into anything in everyday life. Globalization has gained speed with the internet becoming more popular and the physical boundaries have disappeared. This popularity of the internet has brought forth the issues like storing and processing information. The developments in informatics have both pros and cons for humanity. Since the economic, social and political value of the information has increased, the people who want to cut corners to gain power and money have begun to tend towards using information technologies to commit crimes, sometimes targeting the technology itself. Herein, the term “cybercrime” becomes evident.
The concept of cybercrime is not so much different from that of conventional crime as both include conduct, whether act or omission, which cause breach of rules of law and counterbalanced by the sanction of the state. Current definitions of Cybercrime have evolved experientially and differ depending on the perception of both observer/protector and victim. The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Treaty uses the term “Cybercrime” to refer to offenses ranging from criminal activity against data to content and copyright infringement.
However, according to Zeviar-Geese (1998), he suggests that the definition is broader including activities such as fraud, unauthorized access, child pornography, and cyber-stalking. Cybercrime is a subcategory of computer crime and it refers to criminal offenses committed using the internet or another computer network as a component of the crime (Shinder, 2002). Schell(2004) defined cybercrime as a crime related to technology, computers and the internet and it concerns governments, industries and citizens worldwide where cybercrime takes the form of either piracy, phreaking (obtaining free telephone calls), cyberstalking, cyber terrorism and cyber pornography. Milhorn, (2007) on the other hand, simply defines cybercrime as any activity that uses the internet to commit a crime.
According to Taylor (1999), when speaking about cybercrime, usually it is about two major categories of offenses. In one, a computer connected to a network is the target of the offense and this is the case of attacks on network confidentiality, integrity and/ or availability. The other category consists of traditional offenses such as theft, fraud, and forgery which are committed with the assistance of/or by means of computers connected to a network, computer networks and related information and communications technology.
Richards (1999) argues that to define cybercrime, it is important to understand the different types of crimes that can be linked to computers, for example, hacking into a telephone service to enjoy free telephone calls is a type of computer crime and pirating software is another. Whatever forms computer crimes take, the characteristics that make computer systems, particularly computer banking systems, so attractive for legitimate purposes, that is, security, efficiency, anonymity make them similarly attractive for illegitimate purposes such as money laundering. According to Wall (2001), the internet has impacted upon criminal or harmful activity in three ways; first, the internet has become a vehicle for communications which sustain existing patterns of harmful activity, such as drug trafficking, hate speech, stalking and so on. Newspapers, for example, circulate information about how to bypass the security devices in mobile telephones or digital television decoders (Mann & Sutton, 1998).
Secondly, the internet has created an environment that provides new opportunities for harmful activities that are currently the subject of existing criminal or civil law, for example, pedophile activity and fraud. Third, the nature of the virtual environment, particularly with regard to the way that it distances time and space, has engendered entirely new forms of harmful activity such as the unauthorized appropriation of imagery, software tools and music products (Giddens, 1990). These three levels invoke different policy responses and require quite different bodies of understanding. The jurisdictional dilemma is one factor that makes the definition of cybercrime difficult as laws in different jurisdictions define the terms differently and the lack of concrete statistical data on these offences imposes another major problem. As from the above definitions, Cybercrime can be defined as any crime that is facilitated or committed using a computer, network, or hardware device. The computer or device may be the agent of the crime, the facilitator of the crime, or the target of the crime. The crime can take place on the computer alone, or in other non-virtual locations.
Unauthorized access of hosts more commonly known as hacking, can take various forms some of which might not always involve deep technical knowledge. It involves using a computer or terminals to crack the security of some computer systems. Cybercriminals use snifters or just by guessing passwords to breach security greatly diminishing the effectiveness of passwords when users do not select wisely (Adomi, 2008).
Spamming involves flooding the internet with many copies of the same message to multiple addresses. A spammer sends millions of emails in hope that one or two percent will find their way into inboxes and that a further one or two percent will generate a response. Spam messages are always sent with false return address information and they are also referred to as junk mail (Milhorn, 2007).
All stages of computer operations are susceptible to criminal activity, either as the target of fraud, the instrument of fraud, or both. Input operations, data processing, output operations and communications have all been utilized for illicit purposes. The more common types of computer fraud include, fraud by computer manipulation where intangible assets that are represented in data format such as money on- deposit or hours of work, are the most common targets of computer related fraud. Modern business is replacing cash with deposits transacted on computer systems, creating an enamours potential for computer fraud. The organized criminal community has targeted credit card information, as well as personal and financial information about clients. The sale of this information to counterfeiters of credit cards and travel documents has proven to be extremely lucrative (Siegel, Saukko, & Knupfer , 2000).
On May 2000 a computer ‘worm’ called the ‘Love Bug’ rapidly infects computer worldwide. It uses infected machines to email itself to other users, corrupting files on computers as it goes. Within hours, millions of computers are affected, including those of UK and US government agencies. The damage caused by the ‘Love Bug’ is placed at between $7 billion and $10 billion. The prime suspect is Onel de Guzman, 24-year-old college dropout from the Philippines. In August 2000 all charges against de Guzman are dropped – the Philippines simply doesn’t have laws that cover computer hacking under which he could be tried and convicted. (Philippsohn, 2001; Furnell, 2002).
Viruses, Trojans and Worms all fall into a similar category as they are software designed to infect computers or install themselves onto a computer without the user’s permission, however they each operate very differently. A typical virus does two things, first, it copies itself into previously uninfected programs and secondly, it executes other instructions that virus creator has included in it. Some viruses do not have any harmful instructions at all, instead they cause damage by replicating and taking up disk space (Adomi, 2008). Malicious code is any software program designed to move from computer to computer and network to network, in order to intentionally modify computer systems without the consent of the owner or operator. It includes viruses, Trojan horses, worms, script attacks and rogue Internet code. Computer viruses have been around for almost as long as computers (Grimes, 2001).
Another major element of cybercrime is piracy, which refers to the illegal copying of software and games, movies, music and other digital media. Piracy is relatively easy to undertake quite often requiring not more than a CD-RW or DVD-R/RW drive that can replicate the original CD’s or DVD’s on which a particular application is stored. Applications, games, and music can also of course be simply copied onto the internet for download (Bell, 2004).
Cyber stalking and cyber harassment has been described by Yar (2006), as the persistent and targeted harassment of an individual via electronic communication such as email. Cyber stalking has been defined as the repeated use of the Internet, email or related digital electronic communication devices to annoy, alarm, or threaten a specific individual (D’Ovidio and Doyle, 2003) .
Cyber stalking, also called online stalking or online victimization, shares important characteristics with offline stalking. The similarities are that, first, the majority of cases involve stalking by former intimates, although stranger stalking certainly occurs in the real world and in cyberspace; second, most victims are women and most stalkers are men. Third, stalkers are believed to be motivated by the desire to control the victim. On 11 February 2003. FBI Director Robert Mueller tells the US Senate that ‘cyber terrorism’ is a growing threat to US national security. He claims that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are ‘increasingly computer savvy’ and will, in future, have ever greater opportunities to strike by targeting critical computer systems using electronic tools. (US Dept. of State, 2003
On February 11, 2003. FBI Director Robert Mueller tells the US Senate that ‘cyber terrorism’ is a growing threat to US national security. He claims that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are ‘increasingly computer savvy’ and will, in future, have ever greater opportunities to strike by targeting critical computer systems using electronic tools. (US Dept. of State, 2003
Cyber terrorism which has become a very emotive topic partly because of the dramatic imagery that it evokes using computers to attack the physical infrastructure to generate mass fear and anxiety and, in theory, manipulate the political agenda (Wall, 2007).
Cyber terrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace. It has been defined as premeditated, politically, motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which result in violence against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents. Attacks that lead to death or bodily injury, explosions, plane crashes, water contamination, or severe economic loss would be examples. Serious attacks against critical infrastructures could be acts of cyber terrorism, depending on their impact (Khosrowpour, 2004).
Cyber bullying has become the new era of bullying. Bullying involves a powerful person intentionally harming a less powerful person repeatedly. With advances in technology, students are finding new methods of bullying, including sending harassing emails, instant messages, text messages, and personal pictures to others. Although school bullying has been studied since the 1970s, relatively little is known about students? experiences of cyber bullying. The present study explored the prevalence of cyber bullying while also examining sex and grade differences. Results showed that a substantial proportion of students in Grades 6, 7, 10, and 11 are involved in cyber bullying: Girls are more likely than boys to be the targets of cyber bullying, and cyber bullying declines in high school. Despite significant findings, the magnitude of these group differences is small. Implications for interventions are discussed (Ann Wade and Tanya Beran 2011).
On February 4, 2004. Graham Coutts, a 35-year-old musician from Hove, UK, is convicted of murdering Jane Longhurst, a 31-year-old school teacher. Coutts, who strangled his victim, is reported to have been ‘obsessed’ with images of violent sexual pornography, which he had viewed on the Internet just hours before the murder. In the wake of the trial, UK and US government officials announce that they will investigate ways of eradicating such ‘evil’ sites from the Internet. (BBC News, 9 March 2004).
Cyber Pornography producing and/or distributing pornography using a computer and Child Pornography can consist of depictions of a child or children engaged in sexual behavior alone or with one or more adults, or it can involve two or more children performing sexual acts, with or without adults being involved or being visible. Such imagery can range from sexualized photographs of a single child or multiple children, or sexualized images of their genitals, to pictures of brutal anal or vaginal rape, bondage, oral sex, bestiality, or other forms of degradation. Sometimes very young children or babies are involved (Posey, 2003).
In the global setting, according Norton Cybercrime Report (NCR, 2012) that there are 18 people fall victim to cybercrime every second “resulting in more than 1.5 million cybercrime victims each day on a global level.” “In the past twelve months, an estimated 556 million adults across the world experienced cybercrime, more than the entire population of the European Union,” the study said. The report also found that netizens are not aware they may already have become a victim of cybercrime because of the way malware, such as viruses, behave on a computer or mobile device through the years. “Forty percent of adults do not know that malware can operate in a discreet fashion, making it hard to know if a computer has been compromised, and more than half or 55 percent are not certain that their computer is currently clean and free of viruses,” the study said (technology.inquirer.net).
More than 600,000 Facebook accounts are compromised every day.15% of social network users have reported that their profiles have been hacked by pretenders.1 in 10 social network users said they’d fallen victim to a scam or fake link on social network platform. % Of Cybercrime Victims by Gender male 71%, female 63% (go-gulf.com). As to record United States of America rank 1 in cybercrime victimization globally with 23% cybercrime activity, 2nd in rank is China with 9% and 3rd is Germany with 6% cybercrime activity (www.enigmasoftware.com)
In local setting, almost 9 out of 10 Filipino Internet users have been victimized by cybercrime or a malicious activity on the Internet at one time or another, the Department of Justice (DOJ) primer on facts and trends about cybercrimes committed in the country (technology.inquirer.net, 2013). pnpacg.ph (2016) state that From CY 2003 up to CY 2012, a total of 2,778 cybercrime related offenses was recorded by the PNP. While the country awaits the implementation of a comprehensive cybercrime law, cyber criminals continue to use technology both in conducting criminal activity and preventing its detection. This trend in criminal activity necessitates the need for a dedicated unit within the PNP to go after these offenders and improve its cyber security posture. Compared to its ASEAN neighbors, the Philippines has yet to enact and implement its own comprehensive anti-cybercrime law. From CY 2010 to CY 2012, the PNP has recorded a total of 1,184 incidents with the highest being the attacks targeting government websites where a total of 940 website defacements have been recorded.
Yet awareness of, and perception for, these changes have been tempered by fears that the Internet brings with it new threats and dangers to our well-being and security. Cyberspace, the realm of computerized interactions and exchanges, seems to offer a vast range of new opportunities for criminal and deviant activities. A decade or so on from the Internet’s first appearance in popular consciousness, we can see that the intervening years have been replete with fears about its darker, criminal dimensions. Businesses cite threats to economic performance and stability, ranging from vandalism to ‘e-fraud’ and piracy; governments talk of ‘cyberwarfare’ and ‘cyberterror,’ especially in the wake of the September 11 Attacks; parents fear for their children’s online safety, as they are told of perverts and pedophiles stalking the Internet’s ‘chat rooms’ looking for victims; hardly a computer user exists who has not been subjected to attack by ‘viruses’ and other forms of malicious software; the defenders of democratic rights and freedoms see a threat from the state itself, convinced that the Internet furnishes a tool for surveillance and control of citizens, an electronic web with which ‘Big Brother’ can watch us all. The development of the Internet and related communication technologies thus appears to present an array of new challenges to individual and collective safety, social order and stability, economic prosperity and political liberty (Majid Yar, 2006).
Colfer (2007; Li, 2006) state that there are dissimilar perceptions and awareness between men and women. According to Titi (2003) women are more aware of cyber regulations and have superior ethical values compared to men. Women are less likely to become victims as compared to men. Lifestyle Theory states that sex is an often-mentioned demographic characteristic that is associated with difference in lifestyle (Reyns, 2010; Ngo and Paternoster, 2011; Wolak et al., 2006; Choi, 2008).
An exploratory study by Paullet (2009) with 302 undergraduate and graduate students found that 13% of students were victims of cyber stalking. Of the
39 victims, 64% were females and 36% were males. Further, the study indicates that there is a relationship between gender and being a victim of cyber stalking. Women were almost twice as likely as men to become a victim of cyber stalking. Of the 39 victims of cyber stalking, 9% males and 91% females feared for their safety during their stalking experience. Also, Sheridan and Grant (2007) in their study with 1,051 stalking victims found that the mean age of the victims as 32.6 years. 86.8% of the victims were females.
Neiss et al. (2009) state that perception and awareness of young people are dissimilar between age groups. It is because young people and older people have different perspectives. Young people give more negative emotional perception than older adults. Lifestyle Theory suggests that individual of different ages participate in different kinds of lifestyle. These lifestyle differences, therefore, expose individuals of different ages to varying levels of risk of victimization (Reyns, 2010; Ngo et al., 2011; Wolak et al., 2006; Choi, 2008). It has been persistently reported that younger people are more likely to be victimized than older people. The Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC, 2010) submitted a report on cyber safety to the office of Privacy Commissioner in which they state that the students in the age group of 18-24 are in high risk environments when expose to online activities.
The Baum, Catalano, Rand and Rose (2009) by Bureau of Justice Statistics surveyed 65,270 adults across the US based on a stratified multistage cluster sample. Approximately 14 out of every 1,000 adults in the United States (3.4 million people) are stalked each year (20 per 1,000 females and 7 per 1,000 males). Of the victims who were stalked, 40% are still experiencing unwanted contacts from the perpetrator. According to the survey, cyber stalking affects both men and women. However, women (75%) were disproportionate targets, especially those who are in the age group of 16-35 years, who are stalked by men. Adults aged 18 to 24 years and those who are divorced or separated experience the highest rates of stalking (34 per 1,000 individuals). The survey also reveals that a pattern of decreasing risk for stalking victimization existed for persons residing in households with higher income.
Knowledge is very important for young people to prevent cybercrime (Curtis and Colwell, 2000; Wang et al., 2008). Chawki (2005) states that educating young people would help decrease the risk of students in cyberspace. Asokhia (2010) finds that the level of education contributes significant differences to the students’ perceptions of cybercrime. Knowledge helps people to be more aware on cybercrime (Levin et al., 2008). The number of cybercrime victims could be reduced by introducing proper awareness activities such as training programs, sufficient resource for compliance, develop policies & regulations and sufficient protection of personal information (Choi, 2008; Levin et al., 2008; Chawki, 2005; Bougaardt and Kyobe, 2011). Choi (2008) emphasises on the effectiveness of university programs in promoting knowledge and values about cybercrime as these programs could improve future behaviour of students’ towards cybercrime in terms of safety and security. This would establish norms and adjust prospects for illegal or delinquent behaviours. Based on the review of above literatures it is anticipated that gender, age and knowledge have significant influences on cybercrime
LeBlanc, Levesque, Richardson, and Berka (2001) conducted a survey to assess the prevalence of stalking via the use of email and the Internet among the university’s students, faculty and staff. The survey questionnaires were sent to 600 undergraduate students and 142 faculty andstaff members. The return rate for students was 28.7% (172 respondents), and faculty and staff was 9.1% (13 respondents). Of the 172 students, 3 males and 21 females (14% of respondents) reported having been stalked; five male students and one female student (4% of respondents) reported having been a stalker. Two students (one male and one female) indicated they had been both victims and stalkers.
Beran and Li (2005) in their study with a total of 432 students from grades 7-9 reported their experiences of cyber harassment, through the use of electronic communications such as email and cell phones. More than two-thirds of students (69%) have heard of incidents of cyber harassment, about one quarter (21%) were victims of harassment several times and a few students (3%) admitted that they had harassed someone.
As to the study of Md Shamimul Hasan et al. (2015) entitled Perception and Awareness of Young Internet Users towards Cybercrime: Evidence from Malaysia. The study examines the relationship between perception and gender, age, and knowledge as well as the relationship between awareness and gender, age and knowledge towards cybercrime. The study finds: (1) Female students are more aware and have affirmative insights than male, (2) students in the age group of 18-23 years have lower perception and awareness than those aged 24 years and above and (3) those with higher academic qualifications are more aware at cybercrime and perceived the issue of risk differently. The study provides empirical evidence to the top management of the higher level institutions on the needs to improve their policies and procedures to protect young generation reducing the high risk of becoming a victim.
From the discussion above it is clear that the Internet has distinctive features that shape the crimes that take place in cyberspace. Various types of Cybercrime has been rampantly victimizing the innocent people such as cyber-sex, pornography, cyber stalking, identity thief, and financial thief and alike, but awareness and perception is dissimilar as to age, gender, and educational attainment as to the studies above.