Computer Crimes and Criminals
McKeown, Patrick G., National Forum
The bank robber Willie Sutton is reported to have said the reason he robbed banks was "that was where the money was." If Willie were in business today, he might very well be committing computer crime rather than robbing banks. While the FBI estimates the average armed robbery to net the robber only $6,600, it speculates that the average size of a computer crime is between $100,000 and $500,000! The total extent of computer crime is unknown, but one estimate places it between $500 million and $5 billion. In addition, computer criminals are frequently not prosecuted because companies often do not want to disclose the extent of their loss or to give other computer criminals ideas.
Computer crime, which can be defined as using special knowledge of computer technology to commit an illegal act, includes the theft of money, damage or theft of data and software, and theft of services. In terms of the purpose of computer crime and the perpetrators, a 1988 survey by the National Center for Computer Crime Data (NCCCD) showed that 36 percent of computer crimes involved financial gain; 20 percent, theft of or damage to data or software; and 34 percent, theft of services. In all categories, the survey showed that about one-third of the perpetrators were employees or ex-employees.
Types of Computer Crime. Computer crimes may be classified into five categories: manipulation or theft of data …
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Publication information: Article title: Computer Crimes and Criminals. Contributors: McKeown, Patrick G. - Author. Magazine title: National Forum. Volume: 72. Issue: 3 Publication date: Summer 1992. Page number: 46+. © 1999 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. COPYRIGHT 1992 Gale Group.