Rising Trend: Cyber Security

Ilhan Turkmen

He was very excited as he bought the new IPhone about six years ago. He saw it, a commercial website, first time and said to himself “I’d like to believe that’s true”, because the IPhone’s price was pretty cheap which and was almost 300$ cheaper than other websites. He instantly ordered to buy it. First of all, he signed up to website, and then filled out necessary information on the website. He gave them his own credit card and SSN information. After 10 days, he received a box from the company and he excitingly opened it, but he was really surprised because of the box. He thought that “it was a terrible joke”, because there was a cucumber in the box. He was very angry since he bought a cheap IPhone and immediately contacted his bank. They had withdrawn an extra 500 $ from his account, so he called his bank and temporarily closed his account. He complained about the company, but police department was not able to find them. Their company and website were fake and they diddled money out of people. He asked the police officer “Who were they?”. The police answered his question “They get people’s identity information by means of internet. We call this situation; identity theft or internet fraud,” he had heard internet fraud and identity theft many times from TV’s and newspapers, but he had never thought that he would have faced such a situation. As a result, he bought the most expensive cucumber in his life and learned what cyber-crime is, especially identity theft and internet fraud.

Today in the world, more than 2 billion people have personal computer which have become a big part of our lives (Winmill, Metcalf, & Band, 2010, p. 19). So many people might face identity theft and internet fraud like the above story. The importance of cyber-crime has been gradually increasing. The availability of electronic resources has brought about a new type of criminal activity, namely computer crime and computer fraud (Kunz & Wilson, 2004, p. 3). A question that comes to mind that “What is Cyber-crime?” There are various definitions with regard to Cyber-crime. For instance; the Department of Justice defines cyber-crime as “…any violation of the criminal law that involves the knowledge of computer technology for its perpetration, investigation, or prosecution.” (Kunz & Wilson, 2004, p. 7). Other definitions are that in the United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, two definitions were identified on the cyber-crime by speakers. The first definition is that cyber-crime in a narrow sense involves any illegal behavior on the computer system (America, 2000, p. 11) (Gercke, 2012, p. 12) and its goal is to obtain the security of computer system and the data processed (Gercke, 2012, p. 13). In a broader sense, cyber-crime involves any illegal behavior committed via network and computer system (Gercke, 2012, p. 11), such as illegal possession and sharing or distributing other people’s information like credit card numbers, SSN number or TIN number. Cyber-crime might be categorized in two major categories of offences: computer crime and computer fraud. A computer connected to network might be target of offence. Thus, network security is important in case of attacks on network, such as preventing unauthorized reading of information (confidentiality), unauthorized writing (integrity) and data availability, which has become a fundamental issue in information security (Stamp, 2011, p. 13). For instance, unauthorized access is related to network security and is known hacking. This crime’s goal is to access computer resources and to obtain all resources in the computer without permission by means of network. Alexey V. Ivanov who was a hacker from Russia, hacked dozens of computers in the USA and stole usernames, credit card and bank account information. He also threatened victims deleting their data and destroying their computers in 2003. (Kunz & Wilson, 2004, p. 17). Another category is traditional crimes, such as child pornography, prostitution, identity theft and internet fraud. Two reports are going to be presented below to show the importance of cyber-crime.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a report about victims of identity theft in 2015 (Harrell, 2015, p. 1). According to the report; in the U.S., estimated 7% of all U.S. residents faced incidents of identity theft in 2014. (Harrell, 2015, p. 2) 86% of cases victims were exposed to fraudulent use of existing credit card or bank account information. In between 2012- 2014, identity theft of elderly victims increased from 2.1 million to 2.6 million. 32% of victims experienced multiple types of identity theft, such as existing account and internet fraud.(Harrell, 2015, p. 1). In 2014, 49% of identity theft victims lost 99$ or less and 16% of victims reported expenses of 100$ to 249$. Also, 14% of victims reported expenses of 1000$ and more.(Harrell, 2015, p. 6,7).

Another report was issued about the cost of data breach by the IBM and Ponemon Institute in 2016. Preventing data and records containing sensitive and confidential information is important against cyber-attacks. In 2015, the average cost of each lost or stolen data and records increased from $154 to $158. According to the report, in the USA per capita cost of data breaches was 221$ in 2015. The USA spent a total cost of 7.01$ million on databases in 2015 and Germany spent total cost $5.01 million.(Ponemon Institute LLC & IBM, 2016, p. 2). In 2013, McAfee and Center for Strategic and International Studeis issued a report about the economic impact of cyber-crime, and according to this report; the governments and companies spend perhaps 7% of their information technology budgets on security (McAfee & Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2013, p. 12). Also, In the USA, federal agencies spent more than $15 billion with regard to cyber-security project and activities. This cost is equal to 20% of all federal spending on information technology (McAfee & Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2013, p. 13). The governments and companies have to protect data and records containing sensitive and confidential information against attackers and they will always have to spend on cyber-security. Thus, the cost of cyber-security has been gradually increasing. I suppose that regarding the cost of cyber-security will substantially occupy their own budgets. The cost of cyber-crime is billions of dollars in the world.

As a result, cyber-crime has been gradually increasing in the world. The USA spends millions of dollars to combat cyber-crime, such as identity theft, preventing data and records and network security. Also, companies have to reserve a significant amount of their own budgets to prevent customers’ information, from being stolen or “attacked”.


America, U. S. of. (2000). Crimes Related to Computer Networks: Background Paper for the Workshop on Crimes Related to the Computer Network. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=184824

Gercke, M. (2012). Understanding Cybercrimes: Phenomena, Challenges and Legal Response. International Telecommunication Union.

Harrell, E. (2015). Victims of Identity Theft, 2014. US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, September. Retrieved from http://www.a51.nl/sites/default/files/pdf/vit14.pdf

Kunz, M., & Wilson, P. (2004). Computer Crime and Computer Fraud. Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission.

McAfee, & Center for Strategic and International Studies. (2013). The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage. USA.

Ponemon Institute LLC, & IBM. (2016). 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis. USA.

Stamp, M. (2011). Front Matter. In Information Security (pp. i–xxi). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118027974.fmatter/summary

Winmill, B. L., Metcalf, D. L., & Band, M. E. (2010). Cybercrime: Issues and challenges in the United States. Digital Evidence & Elec. Signature L. Rev., 7, 19.