The act of stealing has always been considered as a form of personal violation, especially when an individuals home or personal space is invaded to obtain their possessions. The various modes of theft have diversified over time however, so that it is now far more likely that citizens will become vulnerable to online predators and the machinations of cyber thieves. The remote and anonymous nature of cyber theft makes it extremely difficult prevent, while also providing a degree of security for those who perpetrate it.
We live in the age of the cyber thief, whose aim is to seek both illicit and significant profit through the collection of personal data and financial information. This can be sourced from discarded household bills, poorly protected personal computers or even through the information contained on company specific databases. These can be stolen and traded between relevant parties, and the information can included can lead to the theft of your wealth and financial assets.
Recent Events and the Rise of Cyber Theft
Just last week the new broke that the personal information of over 77 million Playstation users had been exposed, after a computer intrusion compromised and accessed Sony’s relevant customer database. Although the identity or purpose of the thief has not yet been revealed, the most likely answer is that the database was infiltrated by a cyber thief who wished to use the information for financial gain, whether by using the personal information for themselves or illegally selling it on to interested parities.
This is largely an assumption, but the combination of an individuals date of birth, address and credit card details (even without the security code digit required for online purchasing) opens up a diverse range of remote security threats from those who perpetrate Internet fraud. It is this breadth of information included that marks the database as potentially quite valuable to those of a certain criminal persuasion, and suggests that it fell prone to the intentions of a financially orientated cyber thief.
Identifying and Challenging Cyber Theft
This type of crime is particularly difficult to tackle through the processes of law enforcement, due to its advanced nature and the protection that its methodology offers to would be perpetrators. Given the pace of technological advancement and the speed with which it becomes influential in society, it is difficult for the police and federal officers to keep in touch with those who manipulate progress to suit criminal aspirations. This is a challenge that is made even harder by the fact that the majority of technological developments are driven towards to improving everyday processes, and so are widely accessible and vulnerable to every single element of society.
In many ways this leaves law enforcers somewhat at a disadvantage when it comes to online computer fraud or cyber theft, as they are dealing with everyday and lawful tools being misused for the purposes of financial gain. It is a specialist crime where knowledge and expertise is used to access, manipulate and steal sensitive online data, so law enforcement bodies need to be utilize more than diligence and traditional policing methods in order to identify those who carry out such crimes. In fact, the resistance of this type of crime is reliant on the precautions of citizens and organization to act as the first line of defence, by taking extreme care with their data and private information.
More Than One Way to Prevent Crimes
With any type of crime that is not overt in its nature or seeks to prey upon poor security or lapses of attention to detail, the vigilance of the potential victims is key to preventing it. In the instance of cyber theft, both corporate organizations and individuals have the duty to protect their personal data and maintain their online security, with a view to minimizing the risk of fraud and assisting the police in their duties. Without this consideration by online users, they are persistently vulnerable to cyber thieves and bereft of the usual protection offered by law enforcement bodies.
This is a new type of crime that has only become prevalent over the last decade, and the truth is that it will only become more advanced as the technology of new and digital media continues to improve. As this progress is accessible to anyone with a personal or mobile device and the requisite knowledge, it is entirely unfair and unrealistic to expect that law enforcement bodies can keep pace and tackle cyber theft by themselves. So if it is to be dealt with and prevented in any genuinely significant way, then we must all make a united stand through the application of caution.