An Overview of Computer Crime Charges


Computer crime charges have steadily progressed over the last forty years, allowing for action to be taken against the cybercrime criminals who commit them. The progression of laws and statutes that prohibit any kind of criminal activity involving computers has been a slow one, but nevertheless these laws and statutes are certainly on the rise.

Computer crimes range as far back as the early seventies when one of the first forms of a computer virus was created known as the "creeper virus". The suspicion was that the virus was invented as a mere prank or experiment by young computer programmers in order to see how far the virus could travel. 

About a decade later, another virus known as the "elk cloner virus" was one of the first viruses known to travel steadily over a network of computers. It would attach and replicate itself at a fast pace, causing an overwhelming amount of damage to computer systems.

The spread of viruses grew in the eighties as pirated software became more dominant within the public. Many times, a virus is a direct result of a harmful program known as "malware" (malicious software). Malware contains a hazardous code that is uploaded into a computer's system and can cause serious harm, such as data loss and information theft.

Many times, criminals will use malware as a means to commit cybercrimes. These crimes may include: computer fraud, identity theft, a denial of services attack (DOA attack), cyberstalking, information warfare, child pornography/child abuse, and creation of phishing scams.

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