CYBER ACTIVITIES AND CRIME AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

A new technology research survey has found that one-third of college students consider the Internet as important as air, food, shelter and water. About half of those surveyed said the Internet is close to the importance of air, food, shelter and water, the Cisco report found.

The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report asked students and young professionals in 14 countries about their media consumption habits and impact on the workplace.

Cisco surveyed 1,441 18- to 24-year-old college students and about 1,400 young professionals in their 20s. More than half of the college students and young professionals said, “they could not live without the Internet, it is an integral part of their daily life.”

The younger generation also can’t live without their mobile devices including smart phones, laptops, and tablets — 66 percent of students and 55 percent of young professionals said mobile devices are the “most important technology in their lives.”

Interestingly, 40 percent of students consider the Internet to be more important than social activities including dating and spending time with friends.

DEFINITION:

The definition in SA Policy — National Cybersecurity Policy Framework for South Africa, 2012 (7 March 2012) states:

“Cyber crime” means illegal acts, the commission of which involves the use of information and communication technologies

The new definition proposed in SA law — Electronic Communications and Transactions Amendment Bill, 2012 (26 October 2012) states:

“cyber crime” means any criminal or other offence that is facilitated by or involves the use of electronic communications or information systems, including any device or the Internet or any one or more of them

Any activity commissioned via computer, digital devices, and networks used in the cyber realm, and facilitate through the internet medium. It can include the distant theft of information belonging to an individual, government or corporate sector through criminal tress-passing into unauthorized remote systems around the world. It includes from stealing millions of rupees from online bank to harassing and stalking cyber users.

Cyber Crime also includes sending viruses on different systems or posting defamation messages. Commission of cyber crime can be:

  • The computer as a target-attacking the computers (e.g., spreading viruses, etc.)
  • The computer as a weapon-to commits fraud or illegal gambling
  • The computer as an accessory- to store illegal or stolen information

CYBER CRIME CATEGORIES

Hacking

Identity theft

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Stalking

Financial fraud

Digital Piracy

Computer viruses and worms

Malicious Software

Intellectual property rights

Money Laundering

Denial of Service attack

Electronic Terrorism, Vandalism, and Extortion

By current analysis, we have concluded some additional findings. Most of the University students waste their time on the Internet. Male students are more Internet addicts than that of female students. More than 70% students want to make associations and friendships through the Internet. Only one third of the students want to use the Internet with their friends. Only a few students use Internet for research, reading books, journals and news papers. Almost 30% of the students are Internet addicts. They use Internet 40–50 hours weekly. More than 50% students want to use the Internet at night while they are at their home. More than 50% students use the Internet less than eight hours daily. Most of the addicts suffer from severe mental, psycho, health, study, and social problems. Departments related to science and technologies found enthusiasts.

Students remained sleepless, continue restlessness may cause depression, sickness, weakness, and due to excessive use of Internet. In extreme cases, students use cigarettes and tea for longer use of Internet; it may cause a headache, backbone, and eye problems. Relationships also affect such as parent-child, teacher-student, and close friends. Students involved in Internet addiction can ignore important activities and events. Online relationships create a lot of problems. Most of the addicts suffered from academic problems like study decline, missed assignments & quizzes, low attendance, a late comer, low grade & exam failure. Online entertainment like games, movies, dramas, tournaments, and porn sites affect the students

FACTS :

• Cyber crime has now surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal moneymaker

• Somebody’s identity is stolen every 3 seconds as a result of cyber crime

• Without a sophisticated security package, your unprotected PC can become infected within four minutes of connecting to the Internet.

Currently, according to in depth statistics, there are more than 1.6 billion social network users worldwide with more than 64% of internet users accessing social media services online. Moreover, social networking is one of the most popular ways for online users to spend their time, and a preferred way to stay in contact with friends and families.

That is precisely why cyber attackers love social media as well! Users that spend a lot of time on social networks are very likely to click links posted by trusted friends, which hackers use to their advantage

It is alarming that due to unawareness rate of E-victimization is increasing. E-Victimization is the type of victimization that does not occur face to face. It occurred through a computer or other electronic devices or software. That may take place to harm the reputation of victim or group unintentionally. Cybercriminal is similar with traditional criminals. The aim of Cyber criminals to earn money as quickly and easy as possible and the same phenomena we study in regular crimes (Kunz and Wilson, 2004). We try to save our houses, buildings, and offices to equip them with technical checks (CCTV, Alarms, etc.). Similarly, we can prevent ourselves in cyberspace with the help of little technical education and common sense. In Pakistan a department with name of “(National Response Center for Cyber Crimes) (NR3C)” under the umbrella of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is functional, but awareness towards NR3C is a mark able question

TYPES OF CYBER CRIMES

. Here are some of the most popular types of cyber attacks directed at social media platforms:

SPREADING VIRUS OR WORMS:

· Like-jacking occurs when criminals post fake Facebook “like” buttons to webpages. Users who click the button don’t “like” the page, but instead, download malware.

· Link-jacking: this is a practice used to redirect one website’s links to another which hackers use to redirect users from trusted websites to malware infected sites that hide drive-by downloads or other types of infections.

HACKING AND DATA THEFT:

· Phishing: the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by disguising itself as a trustworthy entity in a Facebook message or Tweet.

· Social spam is unwanted spam content appearing on social networks and any website with user-generated content (comments, chat, etc.). It can appear in many forms, including bulk messages, profanity, insults, hate speech, malicious links, fraudulent reviews, fake friends, and personally identifiable information.

IDENTITY THEFT:

It is a form of fraud or cheating of another person’s identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity, typically to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name.

EMAIL SPOOFING:

Email spoofing is sending an email to someone else in such a way that it appears that email was sent by someone else. A spoof email is one that originates from one source but appears to come from another. Spoofing is the act of electronically disguising one computer as another for gaining as the password system.

· FAKE PROFILE:

In an updated regulatory filing released Wednesday, the social media company said that 8.7 percent of its 955 million monthly active users worldwide are duplicate or false accounts.

“On Facebook, we have a vast commitment in general to finding and disabling false accounts,” Facebook’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan told CNN in a recent interview. “Our entire platform is based on people using their real identities.”

So what are those 83 million undesired accounts doing? They’re a mixture of innocent and malicious, and Facebook has divvied them up into three categories: duplicate accounts, classifieds accounts and “undesirable” accounts.

· PASSWORD HACKING:

Passwords are used to prohibit strangers and unwanted individuals from gaining access to computer systems. A personal computer can store vital information about its owner, including his/her schedule, social security number, bank account number, credit card information, and billing address. If a computer hacker obtains this personal information, he/she has all of the information necessary to steal the victim’s identity. Malicious hackers could exploit this information quickly, causing severe complications for his/her victim.

A password hacker uses common knowledge of an individual to make educated guesses regarding his/her passwords. However, using educated guesses may take an extended period, as there millions of password possibilities, even if a hacker does know some detailed information about a victim. A password hacker may use algorithms, which generate number, letter, and symbol combinations.

CYBER BULLYING:

Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Examples of cyber bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Cyber bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. By definition, it occurs among young people. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyber stalk, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail time.

Effects of Cyber bullying

Illustration of two teens is texting. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyber bullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.

a. Use alcohol and drugs

b. Skip school

c. Experience in-person bullying

d. Be unwilling to attend school

e. Receive poor grades

f. Have lower self-esteem

g. Have more health problems

According to a study that did in 25 countries about cyber bullying, it was found that Pakistan does not stand at the first of the row in online bullying, yet it also takes the twenty second highest rate in cyber bullying.

PHISHING:

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.

Spam: unwanted, junk email, typically sent to scores of people, for advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.

Phishing: fake email messages that claim to be from an organisation that you may trust (e.g., universities or banks). Often ask you to provide your personal details by replying or clicking a link. They may suggest you’ll lose your account if you don’t do so.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

· Keep your computer current with the latest patches and updates.

One of the best ways to keep attackers away from your pc is to apply patches and other software fixes when they become available.

While maintaining your computer up-to-date will not protect you from all attacks, it makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your system, blocks many basic and automated attacks completely, and might be enough to discourage a less-determined attacker to look for a more vulnerable computer elsewhere.

More recent versions of Microsoft Windows and other popular software can be configured to download and apply updates automatically so that you do not have to remember to check for the latest software.

· Make sure your computer configures securely.

Keep in mind that a newly purchased computer may not have the right level of security for you. Configuring popular Internet applications such as your Web browser and email software is one of the most important areas to focus. For example, settings in your Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox will determine what happens when you visit Web sites on the Internet. The strongest security settings will give you the most control over what happens online but may also frustrate some people with a significant number of questions or the inability to do what they want to do.

· Choose strong passwords and keep them safe.

Selecting a password that cannot easily guess is the first step toward keeping passwords secure and away from the wrong hands. Strong passwords have eight characters or more and use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols (e.g., # $ % ! ?). Avoid using any of the following as your password: your login name, anything based on your personal information such as your last name, and words that can find in the dictionary. Try to select exceptionally strong, unique passwords for protecting activities like online banking.

· Protect your computer with security software.

Several types of security software are necessary for basic online security. Security software essentials include firewall and antivirus programs. A firewall is usually your computer’s first line of defense-it controls who and what can communicate with your computer online. You could think of a firewall as a sort of “policeman” that watches all the data attempting to flow in and out of your computer on the Internet, allowing communications that it knows are safe and blocking “bad” traffic such as attacks from ever reaching your computer.

· Protect your personal information.

Exercise caution when sharing personal information such as your name, home address, phone number, and email address online. To take advantage of many online services, you will inevitably have to provide personal information to handle billing and shipping of purchased goods. Since not divulging any personal information is rarely possible, the following list contains some advice for how to share personal information safely online:

Don’t respond to email messages that ask for personal information. Legitimate companies will not use email messages to ask for your personal information. Pay attention to privacy policies on Web sites and in software. It is important to understand how an organization might collect and use your personal data before you share it with them.

· Review bank and credit card statements regularly.

The impact of identity theft and online crimes can significantly reduce if you can catch it shortly after your data steals or when the first use of your information attempts. One of the easiest ways to get the tip-off that something has gone wrong is by reviewing the monthly statements provided by your bank and credit card companies for anything out of the ordinary.

Additionally, many banks and services use fraud prevention systems that call out unusual purchasing behavior. To confirm these out of the regular purchases, they might call you and ask you to confirm them. Don’t take these calls lightly-this is your hint that something bad may have happened and you should consider pursuing some of the activities mentioned in the area covering how to respond if you have become a victim.