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A Research Proposal on “Identity Theft”
In Today’s competitive world identity theft is increasing throughout the world. The main purpose of this research is to make people aware of what identity theft is, how it’s happening, and what kind of technology has been used. How do you protect yourself from Identity theft?
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The main study of research is regarding identity theft in Cyber Crime. Well first and foremost, what is meant by the term ‘identity theft’? A very short and simple definition for identity theft is stealing other people’s personal details like Social security number, credit card details, Date of Birth etc. What are the criminals going to do with these details? Why they do that? What kind of technologies are they using to steal the other person’s details? Is it becoming very dangerous nowadays? How is it possible to protect yourself from identity theft?
In the UK, almost all of the people are using broadband services (BT Group Plc, 2006). The Internet is making everything easy for the consumer. Almost half of the population in the UK is using online banking, paying their bills, shopping and using the Internet to fulfil their day to day tasks. The Internet is a form of global communication throughout the world.
Almost 60% percent of the people in the UK use online banking (BT Group Plc, 2006). It is quick, and reliable; however people are not aware of the threads in online banking. The majority of the people in the UK are becoming victims of online banking.
Online business, internet auction, Phishing E-Mails, Trojans, and Man – in – the – Middle attacks, Easy Password, Spyware, Adware, Payment system and cookies are the threads on the Internet (BT Group Plc, 2006). Besides the technology mentioned above, there is more technology that will indicate, at the time of execution, the research?
However consumers can protect themselves from the above threads by using effective Anti-virus software, Spyware and Adware remover, Secured Wireless connection by using WAP or WEP, avoid unnecessary cookies, delete unwanted e-mails and never give out their identity in instant messaging. If the consumers follow these systems they could protect themselves from Identity theft.
These cyber crimes become a global issue throughout the world (Shinder, 2002). The hackers are using up-to-the-minute technology to get the identity. Criminals are using technologies like liberate effective virus and Phishing e-mails to millions of Internet users to capture their personal details, social security number, credit card details, and date of birth. Therefore, recently, online fraud has greatly increased day by day. The news released by Metro in 2007 says that 9 out of 10 people are affected by identity theft. So what is the solution to solve this major problem and avoid not becoming a victim of identity theft?
Why do I chosen Identity Theft in Cyber Crime?
As stated earlier Identity theft in Cyber Crime is increasing throughout the world. The reason why that I selected this topic is to make aware of in depth knowledge of what is Identity theft? And make the Internet users aware of the tools, technology, and programs are available in the market to protect them from Identity theft in Cyber Crime. I am going make an animation website to guide the Internet users, how to use and install the tools, technology and programs to protect them from Identity theft.
Background and Literature Review
Overview of Identity Theft
In the UK (BT Group Plc, 2006), the USA and some parts of Europe the Identity Theft is spreading like a virus. It’s become one of the major problems throughout the world. Each and every day someone becomes a victim of identity theft. The Internet is a form global communication throughout the world as we all known very well. Every individual, company’s, students, Solicitor, Banking and almost in the entire field, the Internet is the key form of communication to make their work quicker, easier, more reliable and effective.
Why it is Significant?
As we are seeing, nowadays, online business is booming each and every day, as shown by news released by Federal Trade Commission (Loza, 2001), online businesses reach up to £3.2 trillion by 2004. However online fraud is also increasing along with the increase in online business.
Well it’s quite weird how millions of people are becoming victims of identity theft. The majority of the people losing their personal details are losing them by using the internet. The news releases by the Federal Trade Commission about online business fraud are as follows
- In United States of America online business reach up to £3.2 trillion by 2004 (Loza, 2001)
- The consumers are making online business around £3.5 million each month (Loza, 2001).
- The estimated online payment was £1.5 billion in 1999 and £30 billion in 2005 (Loza, 2001)
In the UK almost five Million people use broadband (BT Group Plc, 2006). In UK almost 62% of Internet users are not aware of the threads and vulnerability in online, furthermore 40% of users said that they are not even bothered whether they become a victim or not. Some users say they don’t even mind to giving out their Personal details to the third parties. Internet crime is not only the regarding credit card details but also the online Identity theft, which is increasingly rapidly throughout the world, especially in developed countries like the UK, the USA and Canada. This online ID Theft is one of the fastest growing Internet crimes in the UK especially. More or less 8% of the UK PC users are falling victim to online fraud. 15% know already that they have been targeted by an internet crook.
The Internet crooks using technology to retrieve the personal information from the users, release Viruses, phishing e-mails and other effective technology. With this technology they can attack millions of Internet users very quickly.
The identity theft has become a big hassle for Internet users (Atwood, 2007). Some Internet users might use E-Bay. It is the online website from which we can buy and sell whatever things that we need. It is a giant online shopping website. In this website we might need to exchange our card details to third parties, but the third party has more possibility to cheat us. This gives evidence that there are many threads and a user’s information is very vulnerable on the Internet.
ID theft has developed online because the number of consumers surfing and shopping online has greatly increased (Insight Consulting, 2003) (Acxede, 2006). Unfortunately more from the personal information is derived from the electoral registration. Mainly we have started to use and exchange the credit card details with banks and other retailers. This project’s main aims are to show the risks associated with e commerce and the Internet communication technologies. Further, discussion continues on personal ID theft
As a result we are losing our privacy in the Internet (Burchell et al, 2004), for example, when we register for any subscriptions from a service from an online company or when downloads bring increased risk of giving away personal information. The main issue the world is facing now, when we submitting our personal data, is that the companies give this information to third parties. They behave dishonestly to us. Cookies, adware and web bugs are used to retrieve the personal information.
As we all known, most of the Companies from the UK have their customer service in India (BT Group Plc, 2006). In lndia, Labour is cheap, that’s why Almost 80% of the international call centres are located in India. Because of cheap labour in India, employees start selling the ID’s to the third parties. BT (British Telecom) holds almost 90% of British people’s identity information, addresses and other security information, in the department of customer service for BT in India. Due to cheap labour they won’t get panic to sell Personal Details. So no one is safe in UK.
There are some websites which sell fake ID cards and deliver the ID on the same day (FraudWatch International, 2003).
The above ID is a Fake ID, so the crooks are not worried nowadays about making online fake ID. The fake ID will cost you only £10 and the delivery charge is £5. So there is a separate website for making fake passport, ID, National Insurance Number and Student ID card. Just for £10. So any one could make one fake id and NI number and they can start working in the UK.
The online scam means sending fake web pages to your email from a well-known ISP (BT Group Plc, 2006) (Insight Consulting, 2003). This email will tell the addressee to update their ISP Billing information and it will direct them to click on the fake link. This is to turn the people to the bogus webpage. They are both similar in appearance. It contains the same company logo and all the other infrastructure of the website remains the same. The focal seek of the scam is to instruct to enter their credit cards details, social security number, Date of Birth and the security number. This information would be more than enough to earn thousands of pounds and dollars.
In most people’s Curriculum Vitae personal information is mentioned, including Date of Birth. Millions of people register in famous job’s websites every day. In that case, many crooks will come across our personal information. If our personal information gets in to the hands of cyber criminals, then we will become the victims for identity theft.
The main purpose of the research is to bring together the skills, experience, and research about the online Identity theft. It will examine what is online Identity theft is, how it’s happening, what technology has been used, and how to prevent the online identity theft.
My methodology for this proposal is how people are losing their data, in what kind of way they are becoming gullible by the information supplied by the crook and how to protect them from this identity theft on the Internet.
At the current situation, the modernised world is facing lot of tribulation from well educated crooks (Insight Consulting, 2003). As the technology develops along X -axis, they generate equal antagonist clout to overcome the security issues along Y-axis. My project mainly concerns identity theft in Cyber Crime. There are some effective technologies currently being used for online ID theft. Following, are the technologies that I recently found from my research from journals, books and online. (Shinder 2002)
- Network Intrusion and Attacks
- Password Cracking
- Man in middle attack
The above mentioned points are responsible for ID theft and other kinds of crimes over the Internet (Shinder, 2002). Thus meaning, the cyber criminal cleverly hacks the personal details by using any one of the above mention points. So the criminals use the above technology, tools and programs to make a tragedy on the World Wide Web.
Network Intrusion and Attacks
The Network Intrusion and attack comes from all direction (Shinder 2002). It may come from external threads or from internal threads. The external threads mostly come from the Internet and the internal threads possibly from an inside job. Internal threads may come from Local Area Network (LAN) or some kind of physical access to attack the system. Nowadays the attackers don’t need to have more skills, because there are some tools available to attack.
There are more than 100 tools are there in the market to crack the password (Shinder 2002). As far as my secondary research is concerned, password cracking tools are available in the market to crack the password. To use this tool you need to be a computer literate. It’s all users friendly as anyone who has the intention to do it can do so. This is one of the ways that crooks are using to steal identities through Cyber Crime.
Trojans, Viruses and worms
Trojans simply called as Trojan horse (Shinder 2002). The Trojan is a software program, which is mostly written by hackers to avoid a system security (BT Group Plc, 2006). If the Trojans are installed the hackers can utilize the security gap to gain the unauthorized access. If the program is installed in the system, hackers can have full authority to delete or modify the files and install other programs and viruses.
So the Trojans are hazardous if any unwary user who installs it is an administrator and has the access to the system files.
Virus is another program which is more dangerous (Shinder 2002). Viruses are installed without the user’s awareness and it executes actions that are very harmful. The viruses can come from anywhere; mostly they come from the Internet and network services such as the World Wide Web (WWW), E-Mail, instant messaging and file sharing systems.
Worms is also a program that is able to pass through crossways over the network from one system to another system (Shinder 2002). The worm was used to illustrate the code that harms multiuser systems. These programs are mainly design for legitimate users to manage the multiple systems at the same time. Perhaps hackers use worms to perform some harmful actions.
One of the major concerns for Internet users is phishing E-Mail (BT Group Plc, 2006). The e-mail ids are available for sale on the Internet for a cheap price (Shinder 2002). The crooks take advantage of this opportunity to send bogus e-mails. The E-Mail claims to be from a bank, financial institute or other online fake website and asks the addressee to enter whatever information they required like personal details, username and password etc. This kind of technology is one of the major concerns for the internet users, because it’s quite weird to recognise which is the original website and that of the fake.
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Man in the middle man attack
The man in the middle attack is able to read, insert and modify at desire, (BT Group Plc, 2006) the message between both the parties without either party significant in the knowledge that the connection among them has been compromised.
The Spyware is software installed on the system without user knowledge; it is somewhat like Trojan horse. The spyware program can also collect also the information like personal details, username and password and the Internet history. This may lead to harmful disruption to your system.
The Network Intrusion and Attack, Password Cracking, Trojan, Virus, Worms, Man in the middle man attack and spyware (Shinder, 2002) (BT Group Plc, 2006) are the responsible for the identity theft in Cyber Crime. However I am doing primary research about these technologies, tools and programs for my dissertation with the help of my supervisor. I hope my primary research will be very helpful for Internet users, government companies and private companies to protect, learn and become aware of the Identity theft in Cyber Crime.
How to prevent yourself from cybercrime?
Cyber crime is spreading like a virus throughout the world (BT Group Plc, 2006), how can you protect yourself from cybercrime? What should we do to avoid becoming a victim?
- Awareness of Network Security Concepts
- Awareness of Basic cryptography concepts
- Awareness firewalls
- Awareness of Phishing E-Mail.
- Awareness of Virus, Trojan and Worms.
- Awareness of Anti-Virus Software.
Internet user, Government and Private concern should know the Awareness of Network Security, Password Cracking, firewalls, Phishing E-Mails, Trojans, Virus, Worms and Spyware to protect themselves from Identity Theft. My primary research will definitely help them to protect themselves from Identity theft in Cyber Crime. I am keenly performing primary research in awareness of the above tools, technology and program. I think that hopefully, my primary research would be more effective for the Internet user, Government and private concern.
What would be my contribution for Identity theft in Cyber Crime?
As we all are aware of the Identity Theft in Cyber Crime, but why still 70% of the people are becoming a victim for Identity Theft? The reason is most of the people are not aware of the protocol and other technology, tools and programs that are available in the market.
I am working towards creating awareness of the Identity Theft in Cyber Crime.
I hopefully think that my research will be more effective for the Internet user to protect them from Identity theft and not to become a victim.
The maximum budget for my project will be approximately £500. I will be visiting to research centres, and some companies to do primary research about tools and technology used by the crooks.
The software requirement are
- Microsoft Office 2007
- Adobe Photoshop CS3
- Adobe Premier
- Macromedia Flash
- Smart Draw
- Corel Draw 12
The System requirements.
Intel Pentium 4 / Duo core / Core to Duo
Minimum 20 GB
Windows Vista/ Windows XP
CD-ROM Readable/ Rewritable
The estimated time for my project will be around 4 months. During my project I plan to visit some companies and research centre to gain more knowledge about Identity Theft in Cyber Crime and also I will be doing surveys about Identity Theft with the public.
The migration of Identity Theft in Cyber Crime is not at all an easy task. It requires a huge effort, patience and understanding the fundamental architecture. This research will give a sound knowledge to Internet users, Government and private concern about what is Identity theft? How it’s happening? By whom it’s happening and how to protect yourself from identity theft?
Acxede (2006) Hack #12: Add a PayPal Button to your Office Live Basics Page [Online] http://www.acxede.net/hack_12_add_a_paypal_button_to_your_office_live_basics_page [Accessed: 29 April 2008]
Atwood, J. (2007) Coding Horror: Phishing: The Forever Hack [Online] http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000852.html [Accessed: 29 April 2008]
BT Group plc (2006) Security Report: Online Identity Theft [Online] http://www.btplc.com/onlineidtheft/onlineidtheft.pdf [Accessed: 28 April 2008]
Burchell, D., Nielsen, D., and Sofield, S. (2004) PayPal Hacks. Sebastopol, CA, USA: O’Reilly Media Inc.
FraudWatch International (2003) Types of Identity Theft [Online] http://www.fraudwatchinternational.com/identity-theft/idtheft-types/ [Accessed: 28 April 2008]
Insight Consulting (2003) Identity Theft: Managing the Risk [Online] http://www.insight.co.uk/files/whitepapers/Identity%20Theft%20(White%20paper).pdf [Accessed: 30 April 2008]
Loza, E. (2001) Internet Fraud: Federal Trade Commission Prosecutions of Online Conduct. In: Communications and the Law, Vol.23
Shinder, D. L. (2002) Scene of the Cybercrime: Computer Forensics Handbook. 1st Ed. London, UK: Syngress Publishing
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