Real Cost of Cyber Crime

Cyber crime is a type of of crime that not only destroys the security system of a country but also its financial system. One supporter of legislation against cyber crime, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), stated, "Our mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb." Cyber attackers should be penalized and punished severely and most cyber crimes have penalties reflecting the severity of the crime committed. Although in the past many laws against cyber crimes were insufficient, law enforcement agencies and governments have recently proposed many innovative plans for fighting cyber crimes.

Punishment

Cybercrime must be dealt with very seriously because it causes a lot of damage to businesses and the actual punishment should depend on the type of fraud used.

The penalty for illegally accessing a computer system ranges from 6 months to 5 years. The penalty for the unofficial modification on a computer ranges from 5 to 10 years.  Other penalties are listed below:

Telecommunication service theft: The theft of telecommunication services is a very common theft and is punished with a heavy fine and imprisonment.

Communications intercept crime: This is a Class-D crime which is followed by a severe punishment of 1 to 5 years of imprisonment with a fine. Other cyber crimes like telecommunication piracy, offensive material dissemination, and other cyber frauds also belong to this category.

Information Technology Act-2000: According to this act, different penalties are available for different crimes. Some of the penalties are as follows:

Computer source document tampering: The person who changes the source code on the website or any computer program will get a punishment up to 3 years of imprisonment or fine.

Computer hacking: The individual who hacks the computer or computer devices will get an imprisonment up to 3 years or a fine.

Government protected system: An act of trying to gain access to a system which is a protected system by the government, will result in imprisonment for 10 years and a heavy fine.

The introduction of such penalties have lead to a drastic reduction in the cyber crime rates as more and more criminals are becoming aware of the penalties related to them. Spreading the word about the penalties of cyber crime can serve as a deterrent against such crime.

Penalties relating to cyber crime will vary depending on the country and legislation in place.

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In 2003, more than 10 million Americans fell victim to identity theft.

Identity theft costs business and individuals $53 billion dollars annually

In 2003, Americans spent 300 million hours resolving issues related to identity theft.

70% of all identity theft cases are perpetrated by a co-worker or employee of an affiliated business.