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As the Internet growth, it creates convenience for human and benefit for the market. However, there are some hidden negative effects behind, the computer crime. The following table showing numbers of computer crimes in Hong Kong.
The computer crimes are in a increasing shape. In this study, we will look into different kinds of computer crimes. And provide some prevention for different crimes.
The E-auction fraud is a kind of crime that happened in E-auction. There are different kinds of E-auction fraud. The most common type is stealing fake products.
There is news about the e-auction fraud in Hong Kong in January, 2010. A 19-year-old youth was arrested in suspected of e-auction fraud of HK$100,000, and it involved more than 20 cases of e-auction fraud. In the case, the youth post some information of foreign fashion clothing and accessories on the e-auction site, and asked the buyer to deposit the money to the designated bank account first, and claimed that the goods will be sent after payment. But the delivery didn’t happen, and the buyer had lost his money. (Sing Tao Ltd., 2010)
2.1.1 Prevention and Solution
Check the e-auction websites about the protection policies.
Learn the selling history of the seller before placing a bid. If can’t find anything out about the seller, than avoid doing business with them.
Never ever give out the personal information to others, like the credit card number, or bank account information until have thoroughly checked out the seller and the escrow service.
Always save the history of the transaction information.
2.1.2 Legal and Ethical issues
As for the e-auction fraud, there is not a specific law for every kinds of e-auction fraud. But selling fake products, cheating money and stealing buyer personal for criminal use, then it will be against the laws in Hong Kong. In the case sample, the teenager opposes the morality. He tried to make money in an illegal way. It’s immoral, because the youth is too greedy. He tried to earn fast money without paying effort on it. And he lost integrity to the one who trust him and buy his products.
According to the Yip, Tse & Tang (2010), spamming is the act of sending unsolicited electronic messages in bulk, whether for commercial or non-commercial purpose. Sending unsolicited messages does not confine to emails. It happens with postal junk mails and junk fax. Spam by emails is the most often seen form of spamming on the Internet. Emails are delivered with contents or messages for commercial advertising. Because of the little cost on sending email emails in massive scale, Non-commercial junk emails are also found.
There is news about spamming, this time not on E-mail; it’s on the cell phone. IT companies has set up websites and send SMS to the cell phone users. Its selling point is “free registration”, but there is a hidden charge for each SMS. When the users register the account, it means the company can send the SMS to the registered users and receive charges. And the company sends 80 messages to a user within 1 hour; each message cost HK$5, the user being charged more than ten thousand dollars a month. (æ±æ-¹æ-¥å ±, 2010)
2.2.1 Prevention and Solution
The following solution and prevention are based on the E-mail spamming:
Open different email accounts for different purposes, like Gmail for school work, Hotmail for office work, etc.
Simply delete emails from unknown senders because reply or click on the link in the email means the sender is confirming that the email address is a valid one.
Ask the ISPs for any anti-spam solution or install email filters to make a black list for reducing the amount of spam emails.
2.2.2 Legal and Ethical issue
In Hong Kong, there doesn’t does have any specific anti-spam legislation. But there are detailed guidelines on spam prevention found in a Code of Practice issued by the Hong Kong ISP Association (HKISPA) in 2000.
The HKISPA asks its ISP members, to include terms in their Internet access agreement that require the subscriber to not engage in sending spam messages. But it isn’t a law.
For the company, they send out junk mail is because they want to promote their company’s products or services. Bu they don’t understand that this will cause problem to the one who received the junk mail. For who receive the mails need to waste time on deleting the mails.
Digital signatures help organizations sustain signer authenticity, accountability, data integrity and non-repudiation of electronic documents and forms.
According to Will (2002), Counterfeit website security certificates can be generated and used make sites appear secure when they are not, says a US computer programmer. The trick could tempt surfers into handing over personal information, such as credit card details.
The forgery technique relies on the way Microsoft’s Internet Explorer handles the security certificates that verify the identity of a web site, says Mike Benham. These certificates are used to establish an encrypted connection to a web site so that private information can then be safely handed over.
2.3.1Prevention and Solution
Provide different kinds of security certificates, like the digital signature and digital watermark. Also, all data for issuance encrypted into a metafile.
Moreover, prevent entering any personal information on the Internet. And try not to download any unknown certificates and access to any unknown websites.
2.3.2 Legal and Ethical issues
Counterfeit a website security certificate is not illegal, but using the fake certificate and try to collect others personal data may against the laws in Hong Kong. And there is no laws for just counterfeit the website security certificates.
It’s immoral for collect the personal data from others without their permission. And propose to counterfeit the website security certificates and replace the original one is also immoral. The malicious intent of doing is not acceptable.
The identity theft usually cause by hackers. The hackers stole others personal information, like the credit card numbers, and for criminal uses.
Manhattan prosecutors announced that they uncovered a large multinational group of credit card and identity theft. The defendants were charged with enterprise corruption, theft, money laundering, fraud, and other offenses. The crime syndicates used a multinational Internet company to carry out criminal activities from 2001 to 2007. They smuggling credit card numbers and others identity information for selling and earning profit. (é æ¢æ-¥å ±, 2009) The identity theft is usually caused by hacker.
2.4.1 Prevention and Solution
First of all, handle the account and password carefully. Then encrypt data when transmitting personal information on the Internet. Moreover, don’t reply or click any links embedded in unexpected e-mails. Last but not least, don’t submit personal data on the Internet that may be irrelevant to the purposes of collection, such as credit card number.
2.4.2 Legal and Ethical issues
In Hong Kong, there is Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance to protect the use of personal information. But posting others’ basic information on the Internet, like name, age, e-mail address or personal website is not a crime. Only stealing without permission for criminal use is illegal.
The one who steal other personal information and use others’ information is immoral. They should respect others’ privacy. But they don’t respect it or may be lack of this kind of knowledge. So they may violate others’ privacy. They are malicious intent.
Hactivism is a conference that holds by hackers. And they shared the latest hack technologies on the conference.
In 2002, there were about 2000 hackers from different countries gathered in New York. They held a big hactivism. At the conference, hackers want to hold “information guerilla warfare” due to the dissatisfaction of network security for more than 20 countries. And develop out a new software tool as a declaration of war. Then, the U.S. network security institutions and other large companies worried about the software. Because the new software is likely to become the tool for criminals or even terrorists for stealing trading secrets, and transferring terror information. (åŒ-äº¬é’å¹´å ±, 2002)
2.5.1 Prevention and Solution
The large companies should be aware of the latest information about the hactivism, because they will announce any latest bug that they find. And the companies should try to keep update their software to fix the bug of their software. For the normal computer users, they should keep updating their software and system to protect from being hacked.
2.5.2 Legal and Ethical issues
Holding the conference actually is not illegal. And hacking the software is not illegal too. But publish those hacked software and cause any criminals to other then will be illegal. And hacking to other system is also illegal.
The reasons why they hold the conference is due to challenge. They want to compete with other hackers and try to become the first to find out the bugs or problem of the software.
Discussion on Hacking
According to George (2008), Apple wanted to hire a iPhone hacker to the company. The company wants to improve the security of the OS system. People may argue that why they hire a hacker to hack their system. But in my view, I think hacking is beneficial to the company’s products or services. The reason why I’m saying this because hacking can draw the company’s attention to their released products or services. Hacker will try to find out the bug from the system security and then attack the system. For the Apple case, people may “jail break” the iPhone and get the root management of the iPhone. Apple then want to hire the hacker to hack their system for improvement. So when the company found that their systems are being hacked. Then they will notice that their products are not perfect. So, they will try to keep update the system to avoid being hacked again. The company profit may be affected if their products can be easily hacked due to the comparison of the similar products from other companies. So the companies may keep improving their products and provide the best services to their customers. That’s why I’m saying hacking is beneficial.
3.1 Action to reduce hacking activities
There are some suggestions from the H.K. Government to reduce hacking activities. The suggestions are as follow:
Install the anti-virus software and personal firewall software on the computer devices.
Keep updating the anti-virus software, because the outdated software can be easily hacked or affected by the new virus.
Try not to install any unauthorized software on the computer.
Apply the latest security updates and patches to the software.
Disconnect from the Internet when not in use. Because connected to the Internet all the time has a high risk of infection, and has a greater probability of being hacked.
Computer and Internet have brought us convenience to our daily. People should get well use of them. And try to avoid commit any computer crime. The computer users should aware of the latest news of computer crimes and protect their personal information. The Social and Schools should pay more attention on the computer crimes. And promote the proper way to use network resources.
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