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Cyber Crime Tips
Any Criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrument, target or a means for perpetuatingfurther crimes comes within the ambit of cyber crime. A generalised definition of 'cyber crime may be unlawful acts, wherein the computer is either a tool or target or both.'
Last Updated -19th December 2005
The Computer may be used as a tool in the following kinds of activity -
- Financial Crimes
- Online Gambling
- Intellectual Property Crime
- e-mail Spoofing
- Cyber Defamation
- Cyber Stalking (Following a person's movement through the Internet)
The Computer may, however be target for unlawful acts in the following cases -
- Unauthorised access to the Computer, Computer system, Computer Network
- Theft of information contained in the electronic form
- E-mail Bombing
- Trojan Attacks
- Internet Time Thefts
- Theft of Computer Systems
Cyber Crimes could be directed against individuals (in person or property), organisations (Government or firms) or the society at large.
Cyber-Terrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace. It is generally understood to mean unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in the furtherance of political or social objectives.
How is an e-mail Traced?
- E-Mails are one of the most common tools to carry out a crime. e-mail tracking is one of the most common duties of cyber crime investigators. The investigator needs to look at each point through which the e-mail passed, working step by step back to the originating computer, and, eventually. the p[er[etrator. Forensic e-mail tracing relies on computer logs. A computer log is a record of each e-mail message that passes through a computer in a network and provides an audit trail of every machine an e-mail has passed through.
- Any computer on a network has an Internet protocol address (the virtual equivalent of a street address). For evidence purposes, an investigator needs to prove that a certain e-mail originating address traveled through a machine by verifying the message ID on a log of e-mail transactions together with the date and time the address was recorded. If an e-mail is not faked, it becomes a matter of determining who used the machine at the time the suspect message was sent.
- More sophisticated suspects will fake their e-mails. There are several ways of faking e-mails, which include spoofing, remailing, relaying, spamming, stealing, and bogus accounts. Some of these use e-mail programs that strip the message header from the message before delivering it to the recipient or bury the message header within the e-mail program.
- In other cases, the "form" line in a message header is faked. Other offenders steal someone else's e-mail account or set one up temporarily using bogus address information. Once the physical presence of the perpetrator's PC has been located, it is confiscated, and the forensic analyst makes exact copies (called image copies) of the computer's hard drives. The forensic analyst looks for the file fragments or portions of any emails that contain specific references to the offending message.
Why is e-mail Tracing Becoming more Difficult?
- There are trends that suggest e-mail tracing will become more difficult in the future. For example, some new products comming on the market strip e-mail headers, encrypt the message, and then destroy it after a period of time. Terrorists were found to be resorting to using the 'dead letter box' system: someone creates an e-mail account, gives the password to several members of a group and communicates by saving messages in a draft messages folder without sending them.
- Communication by this method cannot be monitored because government systems for tracking emails work only if someone sends an e-mail.
- Smart programers are always looking for ways to get around the audit trail, and investigators always seem to be playing catch-up when tracing e-mail However e-mail tracing is likely to remain an essential part of computer forensics.
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