#omputers are used to track reservations for the airline industry, process billions
of dollars for banks, manufacture products for industry, and conduct major
transactions for businesses because more and more people now have computers at home
and at the office.
People commit computer crimes because of society's declining ethical
standards more than any economic need.
According to experts, gender is the only
The profile of today's non-professional thieves crosses all races, age
groups and economic strata.
Computer criminals tend to be relatively honest and in
a position of trust:
few would do anything to harm another human, and most do not
consider their crime to be truly dishonest.
Most are males: women have tended to
be accomplices, though of late they are becoming more aggressive.
Criminals tend to usually be "between the ages of 14-30, they are usually bright,
eager, highly motivated, adventuresome, and willing to accept technical
"It is tempting to liken computer criminals to other criminals, ascribing
characteristics somehow different from
'normal' individuals, but that is not the case."(Sharp, 18:3) It is believed that
the computer criminal "often marches to the same drum as the potential victim but
follows and unanticipated path."(Blumenthal, 1:2)
There is no actual profile of a
computer criminal because they range from young teens to elders, from black to
white, from short to tall.
Definitions of computer crime has changed over the years as the users and
misusers of computers have expanded into new areas.
"When computers were first
introduced into businesses, computer crime was defined simply as a form of white-
collar crime committed inside a computer system."(2600:Summer 92,p.13)
Some new terms have been added to the computer criminal vocabulary.
"Trojan Horse is a hidden code put into a computer program.
Logic bombs are
implanted so that the perpetrator doesn't have to physically present himself or
herself." (Phrack 12,p.43)
Another form of a hidden code is "salamis."
from the big salami loaves sold in delis years ago.
Often people would take small
portions of bites that were taken out of them and then they were secretly returned
to the shelves in the hopes that no one would notice them missing.(Phrack 12,p.44)
Congress has been reacting to the outbreak of computer crimes.
House of Judiciary Committee approved a bipartisan computer crime bill that was
expanded to make it a federal crime to hack into credit and other data bases
protected by federal privacy statutes."(Markoff, B 13:1)
This bill is generally
creating several categories of federal misdemeanor felonies for unauthorized access
to computers to obtain money, goods or services or classified information.
also applies to computers used by the federal government or used in interstate of
foreign commerce which would cover any system accessed by interstate