Hacking, Computer Viruses, and Software Piracy: The Implications of Modern Computer Fraud for Corporations
Hsing K. Cheng
Corporate fraud probably dates back to the time the first corporation was formed. The problem of computer fraud is not that it is a new crime but that it is a new opportunity created by computer technology, certainly one of the fastest technological developments in human history. The improvement of computers has been astonishing. The cost performance improvement of the central processing unit (CPU) is more than 5 million times more powerful for an IBM RISC 600/320 in 1990 than it was for an IBM 1401 in 1959. Today's personal computers perform better and faster than much bigger mainframes in use just three decades ago. The number of computers purchased and used by corporations and individuals has skyrocketed because of cost performance improvement.
Computer fraud becomes a major issue to the corporations during a time when information technology, including computers and data communications technologies, is an integral and indispensable part of business operations. Information technology offers organizations an opportunity to boost workers' productivity, cut costs, and add value to their products and services, a comparably difficult task without the use of computers. Fannie Mae, the nation's largest buyer of home mortgages, invested $10 million on a network of more than 2,000 personal computers and new software in the early 1990s. The investment paid for