GC: n

CT: Cybercrime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crime (hacking, phishing, spamming) or is used as a tool to commit an offense (child pornography, hate crimes). Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. Criminals can also use computers for communication and document or data storage. Criminals who perform these illegal activities are often referred to as hackers.

S: Techopedia – (last access: 15 January 2019)

N: 1. Term composed from word-forming element “cyber-” (ultimately from cybernetics; It enjoyed explosive use with the rise of the internet early 1990s) and word‎ “crime” (from mid-13c., “sinfulness, infraction of the laws of God,” from Old French crimne “crime, mortal sin” -12c., Modern French crime-, from Latin crimen (genitive criminis) “charge, indictment, accusation; crime, fault, offense”).
2. The use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.
3. Cybercrime: Although many sources list computer crime as a synonym of cybercrime, the two terms are not synonymous. Cybercrime requires a connection to a network, while computer crime can be committed offline.
4. Most cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, corporations, or governments. Although the attacks do not take place on a physical body, they do take place on the personal or corporate virtual body, which is the set of informational attributes that define people and institutions on the Internet. In other words, in the digital age our virtual identities are essential elements of everyday life: we are a bundle of numbers and identifiers in multiple computer databases owned by governments and corporations. Cybercrime highlights the centrality of networked computers in our lives, as well as the fragility of such seemingly solid facts as individual identity.
5. An important aspect of cybercrime is its nonlocal character: actions can occur in jurisdictions separated by vast distances. This poses severe problems for law enforcement since previously local or even national crimes now require international cooperation. For example, if a person accesses child pornography located on a computer in a country that does not ban child pornography, is that individual committing a crime in a nation where such materials are illegal? Where exactly does cybercrime take place? Cyberspace is simply a richer version of the space where a telephone conversation takes place, somewhere between the two people having the conversation.
6. On November 23, 2001, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime was signed by 30 states. The convention came into effect in 2004. Additional protocols, covering terrorist activities and racist and xenophobic cybercrimes, were proposed in 2002 and came into effect in 2006. In addition, various national laws, such as the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, have expanded law enforcement’s power to monitor and protect computer networks.
7. Types of cybercrime:

  • It ranges across a spectrum of activities. At one end are crimes that involve fundamental breaches of personal or corporate privacy, such as assaults on the integrity of information held in digital depositories and the use of illegally obtained digital information to blackmail a firm or individual. Also at this end of the spectrum is the growing crime of identity theft. Midway along the spectrum lie transaction-based crimes such as fraud, trafficking in child pornography, digital piracy, money laundering, and counterfeiting. These are specific crimes with specific victims, but the criminal hides in the relative anonymity provided by the Internet.

8. Cultural Interrelation: One can mention the film Backhat (2015) directed by Michael Mann.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 15 January 2019); OED – (last access: 15 January 2019). 2. EncBrit – (last access: 15 January 2019). 3. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 15 January 2019). 4 to 7. EncBrit – (last access: 15 January 2019). 8. IMDb – (last access: 15 January 2019).


CR: computer science, cracker, cybernetics, cybersecurity, cyberspace, malware.