Yet another dangerous result of the developments in technology and the availability of the Internet has occurred in the field of cyberterrorism, offering terrorists an expanded platform from which to propagate their ideas and launch their attacks (www.ntrg.cs.tcd.ie).
Online crime has now become a multi-billion dollar business. Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the means they use to get users to disclose confidential financial and personal information, which is then misused. According to an expert in online risk management, the world of computer security is increasingly under threat because users leave large online footprints.(Lush, 2007). Online crime may be of three types – phishing, malware, and corporate attacks.
Phishing is the practice of sending emails with links that direct users to websites where they unwittingly disclose confidential data or expose their systems to malicious software. It is mainly financial institutions that are targeted through such methods, with the number of such websites being estimated at 55,000 in April 2007 (Lush, 2007). Malware and corporate attacks may destroy or steal confidential business and customer data or may convert a computer system into a “bot”, whereby it is controlled by someone else who gains access to all the sensitive information that is present on the computer. Banks are most often the targets of online crimes. In a recent study conducted at the University of Berkeley, the Bank of America was found to be the largest target of identity theft, followed by other banks such as HSBC and Washington Mutual (Seltzer, 2008).