HOW TO REGISTER A CYBER CRIME COMPLAINT?
WHAT IS CYBER CRIME?
Criminal conduct that targets or involves the use of a computer, computer network, or networked device is characterized as cyber crime. It is one of the various categories of e-crimes. Malevolent and suspicious cyber activities have not only threatened public safety, national security, but has also become a growing concern worldwide. It is very interesting that the earliest “hackers” emerged in 1960, and were more inclined towards making the toy train tracks work efficiently.
It was as quick as flash when these toy train hackers began to utilize their hacking skills on the computers, and that is how the hackers were born. The first ever person to be found guilty of committing cybercrime was Ian Murphy alias Captain Zap – this incident dates back to 1981. Captain Zap hacked the American telephone company to control its internal clock, so that the users could make free calls at peak hours. Well, if at this juncture you are wondering if Captain Zap hacked for helping people, well the answer is crime, at the end of the day, is an offence that is punishable under law.
HACK GOT INTO YOUR COMPUTER
Perhaps, as of today the most interesting question is how many people, despite being in modern digital era, choose offline mode of work over online. A survey revealed that 41% of consumers in the United States appeared to have security concern as their prime reason for not adopting internet banking. In 2005, a study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that annual loss faced due to cybercrimes in around $67.5 billion.
Furthermore, McAfee conducted research in 2005 and concluded that data theft and breaches from cybercrime may have cost businesses as much as $1 trillion globally in lost intellectual property and expenditures for repairing the damage. As much alarming these figures seem, it is noteworthy that cybercrime is increasing at a rapid pace. Accordingly, cybercrime has appeared to pose a grave threat to the integrity and dignity of the nation as whole.
Hackers and other online predators pose a threat to anyone who uses a computer and other devices that are linked to the Internet. These online baddies frequently employ fraudulent websites, spam emails or instant messages, spam emails or instant messages, and phishing scams to infect your device with harmful malware and jeopardize your computer security. If you do not have a firewall protecting your computer, cybercriminals may not only endeavor to directly access your computer and personal data, but they can also listen to your discussions or look around your personal website’s back end. Such predators can trick you into disclosing critical personal and financial information, or worse, by misrepresenting.
SOCIAL ACCOUNTS GOT HACKED
In this age whereby cybercrime is a direct threat to our societies in all aspects, the users must be informed to take extreme measure to ensure to make social media a secure platform for themselves. According to Criminal Use of Social Media, the White Paper from the National White Collar Crime Centre report it has been revealed that since majority of the people have been using social media as a communication tool, the criminals have begun to use social media to satisfy their malevolent motives.
The report further revealed that the crimes through social media included burglary, social engineering and phishing, malware, identity theft, cyberstalking, and cyber casting. To avoid falling victim to social media cyber crimes the users must become cautious of their activities on social media, people they befriend, cross check the authenticity of emails and calls.
However, since the breaches pertaining to social media are on rise to the extent that 22% of the internet users have reported their hacked social media accounts, the first move shall be to notify your connections and report to the authorities right away, install and activate security software.
It has been reported in 2022 cybercrimes that have continued to affect businesses and individuals include phishing scams, website spoofing, ransomware, malware, and IOT hacking. Victims are tricked through phishing emails or mimic messages that are specifically designed to manipulate people into giving their personal information or downloading malware. Moreover, through website spoofing websites are portrayed as legitimate to obtain easy access into users’ devices, steal data, money, and spread malware. Cybercrimes do not end here, its just a matter of a click and you can end up installing corrupted files, malicious software, that could not only threaten your finances but also your personal information such as photos, videos, past records etcetera.
As early as 1983, since the threats pertaining to cybercrimes began to excel and most importantly since there was no statutes regulating such heinous crimes, the US government identified the dire need to pass the legislation governing cybercrimes specifically computer crimes. By enacting Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the US government having their prime focus on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1986; other laws particularly relevant to specific types of cybercrime; and future legislation which may deal with the cybercrimes.
LAWS OF CYBER CRIME
Cyber crimes are the subject of legislation that has been adopted in the United States at both the state and federal levels. According to certain principles, the U.S. Constitution divides up the power to make laws between the two branches of government. One of these principle states that even if the federal government has the power to legislate, it ought to only do so when warranted. Federal criminal statutes frequently overlap with state restrictions that deal with the same general issues, even while federal legislative authority has the potential to pre-empt state authority to legislate in a particular area.
In addition, some of the other significant laws regulating penalties against cyber crimes include the Electronic Communications Protection Act under which protection for communication in storage and in transit is available and these laws further restricts intentional interception in electronic communication in transit under the Wiretap Act, and violation of these laws result into penalties including but not limited to 10 years. Further regulations governing civil and criminal penalties against cyber crimes include, The Economic Espionage Act 1996, Defend Trade Secrets Act 2016, and N.Y Penal Laws. Both at federal and state levels, a variety of laws have been passed and enacted to ensure protection against cyber crimes.
Moreover, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has made things even easier. Their main aim is to provide a reliable and convenient platform to the internet users to file a complaint with FBI pertaining to cyber crimes without visiting any authorities. Complaints are analyzed and disseminated for investigation and for public awareness. The states have worked towards ensuring safety of the citizens, now it is the responsibility of the people to step forward and report the crimes.
Criminals found guilty of violating federal cybercrime rules face harsh fines and lengthy jail sentences. Maximum sentence for committing cybercrime may extend to 10 years. Introduction of such harsh penalties have revealed a drastic fall in the rates of cybercrime.
It is noteworthy that complaints pertaining to computer intrusion such as hacking, and password trafficking can be filed with the local office of FBI, US Secret Service, and Internet Crime Complaint Center. furthermore, the US Secret Service deals with crimes that involve counterfeiting of currency. In addition, crimes such as internet fraud and spam, internet harassment, internet bomb threats are to be reported directly to the local FBI office. Moreover, the users can file complaints with the Internet Crime Complaint Center if they fall victim to child pornography or exploitation, internet fraud having mail nexus.
It is most pertinent to acknowledge that in this digital era only a strong cybersecurity along with effective laws can allow people to take complete advantage from the online facilities available, as it will sharply curtail rapidly rising malicious cyberattacks of all kinds. Cybersecurity is a vast field designed for the protection of internet users, and includes operational security, application security, network security, information or data security, critical infrastructure security, cloud security, physical security, and end-user security.
It is most unfortunate to highlight that new attack avenues emerge with such fast pacing emergence of new technology and the same has posed a huge threat to cybersecurity and has provided ample opportunities and tactics for the hackers to invade in users’ personal and professional information. However, to overcome such challenges experts like National Institute of Standards and Technology has recommended to adopt the continuous monitoring strategy and real-time assessments to detect and defend known and unknown threats.
It is crucial for the internet and technology users, if they fall victim to cyber crimes, they can file complaint with the FBI. FBI is a federal agency working to unmask the ones involved in malicious cyber activities, and progressing towards curtailing the rise in victims of cyberattacks. Moreover, Internet Crime Complaint Center is another department designed to entertain complaints filed against cyber crimes. It is pertinent to mention that FBI has trained cyber squad, who are known for their rapid response. Upon receiving complains they deploy their Cyber Action Team within hours to catch the cyber criminals.
Conclusively, the threat of cybercrime is rapidly progressing Investigative and legal expertise are two crucial components that are essential to mounting a sufficient response to this threat. Cyber crimes must be reported to relevant law enforcing agencies at that local, provincial, federal, and international levels provided the scope of the crime.