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Cyber Crime is Rising

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Unlike our ancient legal system, the law of cyber crime has only made itself as an important structure in our system with the rise of the Internet. Today, as we progress our daily lives with ease and speed thanks to our little gadgets, it can be forgotten how exposed we are to malicious internet crime and, importantly, how we can legally protect ourselves.

Although the internet age has given us many opportunities; a raft of threats came with it. These threats present themselves in various forms :

• Computer Intrusion − hacking and unauthorised access by someone into a personal computer.
• Unauthorised modification and destruction of data − voluntary damage of data in a personal computer.
• Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks using botnets − emails sent with malicious links that unknowingly download viruses.
• Identify theft
• Credit Fraud.

Each of these has a different degree of crime, depending on the severity of the attack.

The Cybercrime Act 2001 (Cth) regulate these offences and provide remedies to victims. Significant guidelines and resources are also available on the Internet to help us understand cybercrime and how to avoid being the next victim.

Because cybercrime as a legal concept is still in its infancy, it has been difficult to implement solutions and considerable resources need to be channelled into increasing security.

A major problem is making offenders pay, as they may not fall under the definition of the law. The limitation has previously been confined to offending Australian Citizens, but now it is possible to incriminate a non-Australian offender if they have caused a crime on a computer situated in Australia.

Regulations imposed by ASIC and Office of Australian Information Commissioner cover access to personal data, credit data, requirement to reduce risk of computers being attacked and reporting attacks.

Cybercrime reported for 2015 disclosed identify thefts increased by 17% in 2015 and 59% over two years, fraudulent on line credit application increased by 33%.

Do you think you are at risk?