Theadvent of the internet and digital technology has posed a significantopportunity to transform organizations by providing new tools thatenhance daily communication. The internet and online activities havebecome part of people’s lives. The duration spent on the web issnowballing as users undertake in social and transactionalactivities. In the year 2012, online spending accounted for 20percent of retail transactions (Kevin et al., 2011).
Althoughthe inception of the internet technology has improved thecommunication convenience, it presents a burgeoning threat as itoffers opportunities to cybercriminals. It has transformed the natureof traditional transgressions through computers and theinfrastructure provided by Information Communication Technology.Technology has advanced the scale and reach of traditional crimes toinvolve financial transactions, sexual offense, harassment, threats,and damage to commercial order (Britz, 2009).
Cybercrimeis a term used to describe various offenses committed through theutilization of computer networks or other forms of InformationComputing Technology. The crimes entail the spread of viruses andmalicious software, hacking, the distributed denial of service(DDOS), fraud, and data theft. Cyber criminals use sophisticatedthreats to attack organizations and individuals for various reasonssuch as business disruption, political agendas as well as financialgains. The offenders target several sites to increase the chances ofsuccess and the spread of viruses. Currently, cybercrimes are a tierone threat to national security in Britain (Albert, 2002).
Thefirst principle of online service identification provides thatsomeone needs certain information to access his or her accounts. Amajority of online activities use the first principle ofidentification to confirm a user’s identity. An online user is onlyrequired to have a username and a password to access internetservices. The system is widely used to guard numerous virtualservices such as email accounts, paperless banking, interactivegaming, and social networking sites. The security system fails sinceanyone with the right combination of the password and username canpretend to be the user (Britz, 2009).
Theidentity system provides room for cyber criminals to masquerade asanother person. Some sophisticated information systems require avirtual user to provide additional information by probing securityquestions such as, “What is the name of your first pet.” However,the scheme does not go beyond the first principle. An appropriatesecurity system should increase the complexity of the firstidentification principle as opposed to providing many recognitionpolicies. Consequently, the multi-step approach is inappropriatesince after obtaining the credentials of others, cyber criminals canget information regarding security questions through breeding. Thelow level of front-end protective techniques used to guard onlineaccounts is extremely attractive to cyber criminals (Kevin et al.,2011).
Thecurrent situation of online security has created the need to examineidentity theft from an analytical angle, with a focus on theincreased versatilities of cybercrime. The study aims at identifyingthe impact of the close relationship between identity theft and thefast growth of the internet. By deconstructing and reclassifying theelements and methods used in identity theft, it is possible toidentify variations in online fraud. The research will demonstratethe horizontal dimension used by cybercriminals to obtainidentification information. It will also illustrate the way thefraudsters penetrate various layers of protection utilized byindividuals and organizations. The paper will also demonstrate thevertical dimension of cybercrime and explore the key places whereidentity theft occurs. Afterward, the paper aims at proposing betterprotective solutions to cybercrimes involving identity-theft (Britz,2009).
Albert,M.R. (2002). E-buyer beware: Why online auction fraud should beregulated. AmericanBusiness Law Journal,39(4),400-575.
Britz,M. (2009). Computerforensics and cybercrimes: An introduction.Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Kevin,S., Wang, Y. & Huang, W. (2011). The evolutional view of thetypes of identity thefts and online frauds in the era of theinternet. InternetJournal of Criminology,1(1),1-18