The Various Types of Computer Crimes and How to Quantify their Impact

We all need to be increasingly vigilant when we interact online. We should all educate ourselves on how to become increasingly secure online.

The Various Types of Computer Crimes and How to Quantify their Impact
Photo by Nahel Abdul Hadi / Unsplash

Telecommunications Services Theft

Through gaining access to the telephone switchboard of an organization, i.e. its PBX or private branch exchange, criminal organizations or individuals can obtain access to dial-in or dial-out circuits. In doing this, they can sell call time to third parties or use the network to make their own calls. These offenders may acquire access to the switchboard by using software on the internet, fraudulently obtaining an employee’s access code, or by impersonating technicians.

Telecommunications Services Theft via PBX Systems

To evade detection, sophisticated offenders may loop between PBX systems. PBX systems are used by organizations to route telephone traffic and are private telecommunication networks within organizations. Other methods of service theft may include illicit reprogramming or counterfeiting of stored-value telephone cards, capturing on-selling calls, or calling cards charged to the company’s calling card account.

Electronic Tax Evasion and Money Laundering

Fund transfers that use electronic means have played a significant role in assisting the movement and concealing of the proceeds of crime. Through emerging technologies, concealing the source of criminal proceeds has been enabled. Taxation authorities may miss illegitimately derived income through the use of these technologies. It is due to the ease of concealing these proceeds, a thing that has been exploited by offenders.

Cryptocurrencies and their Use in Money Laundering

Large financial institutions are no longer the only ones who can achieve electronic funds transfers transiting several jurisdictions at the speed of light. Moreover, technologies such as blockchain have meant that it has become increasingly difficult to regulate online currency transfers. Additionally, emerging technologies have also complicated efforts to ensure that all money transfer systems can be equitable, governed, and operated in a manner that ensures justice.

Investment and Sales Fraud

Amid the prevalence of electronic commerce, the application of digital technology to fraudulent endeavors has increased. Such action has seen telephone utilization for bogus investment ventures, deceptive charitable solicitations, and fraudulent sales pitches. It has led to numerous investment opportunities in cyberspace that could be anything from traditional securities to global telephone lotteries and the sale of ATMs.

Digital Investment and Sales Fraud

The digital era has exacerbated unprecedented opportunities for misinformation. Offenders, at a minimal cost, can instantaneously enjoy direct access to populations of prospective victims from all over the world. Additionally, 5G technology and the fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) will present unprecedented challenges when it comes to detecting and mitigating e-commerce and online investment fraud.

Quantifying Computer Crimes

Financial Impact

Measuring the impact of computer crimes is complicated. From an economic perspective, it may get categorized into the following. Wealth transfer, i.e. the transfer of wealth within the economy and opportunity costs. These factor in the extent of a computer crime, its consequences, and the response of the organization to such crime. Damage is incurred not only in finances but also in the erosion of trust.

Loss of Reputation

While there are quantifiable direct impacts of financial losses incurred by a company from computer crimes such as data breaches, this loss may be inconsequential as compared to the loss of reputation the company suffers. Numerous companies have lost the trust of their customers after admitting to having been breached. Millions and millions of consumers’ information is wrongfully accessed, exposing them to identity theft. The malicious hackers sell this information and can even hack a company’s online system just for bragging rights.

Do you shop online?

Impact on Commercial Business Transactions

The digital revolution coupled with the utilization of the internet for strategic leveraging has left society open to the dangers of computer crimes, especially in commercial business transactions. On the onset of growth in e-commerce, this commercial dark cloud that gets referred to as computer crimes has shaped itself in many forms, affecting the perceptions of the ways shopping gets done online.

Strategic Impact

Threats to corporations’ online businesses have strategic implications for their business future. The way we shop has increasingly become monitored as part of organizations’ big data mining and business intelligence. Even as these activities should be geared towards improving customer experience on various e-commerce platforms, they can also be used to wrongfully acquire personally identifiable information and data.

The Socio-Economic and Political Impact of Computer Crimes

Crime, including computer crime, is subject to the pertinent sociopolitical and economic changes occurring in the societal systems that are in place. Due to the dynamic nature of crime, it is influenced by the changes taking place in the value system and the correlated phenomenon that is generated by changes and growth in technology. Changes in technology have shaped society in a way that money is more important than values. Consequently, there has been a hike in incidences of computer crimes.

Technology-Assisted Misinformation

Political systems have also seen a lot of technology-assisted misinformation and voter manipulation. We all need to be increasingly vigilant when we interact online. We should all educate ourselves on how to become increasingly secure online. It would be beneficial to us and would ensure that we can avoid online bullying and improper access to our information. The same can be said when we interact on social media with individuals, we don’t personally know.