Catch Me If You Can

Every three and a half minutes, a crime is committed in the streets of New York. Every two minutes and a half, a crime is commited in the streets of Tokyo. But every three seconds, an identity is stolen on the web, what represents approximately 10 and a half million identities every year (2008 Identity Fraud Survey de Javelin Strategy & Research).

The Department of Justice categorizes computer crime in three ways:

1. The computer as a target - attacking the computers of others (spreading viruses is an example).
2. The computer as a weapon - using a computer to commit "traditional crime" that we see in the physical world (such as fraud or illegal gambling).
3. The computer as an accessory - using a computer as a "fancy filing cabinet" to store illegal or stolen information.

Identity thefts lead the classification of cybercrimes. Many technics exist : Use a false e-mail address or a name of misleading domain, create a false profile on Facebook… Others are more sophisticated: spywares (hostile running without knowing the user), spoofing (diversion of address IP), phishing (combination of a fraudulent e-mail and a distort web page intended to get back passwords).
During the last presidential election campaign in the United States, a student had managed to open Sarah Palin's Yahoo! e-mail box after having tried diverse passwords corresponding to the biography of the candidate that he has found on Wikipedia.
Which is terrible is that now cybercriminals give tools to anybody to do the same thing :

There is no law punishing directly identity thefts on the web. Moreover, the OECD published in the end of March, 2009 a report Online Identity Theft showing that most of the western countries have not a specific legislation repressing identity theft which is unbelievable.

Romain A.

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