The impact of computer fraud to our present day development is increasing and having a strong negative impact to our society. The use of computer to all aspect of human endeavor will be developed if and only if the act of computer fraud in our society is abolished. This paper presentation we elaborate the areas of computer fraud in our society.
Computer fraud is any dishonest misrepresentation of fact intended to let another to do or refrain from doing something which causes loss.
Anybody, who dishonestly misrepresents facts to cause loss to data or information, money or resources with the used of the computer for selfish gain is known to commit computer fraud.
Anybody can be victims to computer fraud. Even these fraud stars can fall victims. Anybody, organization who has their computer infected with virus, or being operated by fraud stars themselves can fall victim.
Another way to understand computer fraud is to examine examples of major types of criminal activity involving computers. The typically involves activities such as theft of money, services, programs and data, destruction of data and programs by “computers virus”, malicious access or “hacking”, violation of privacy, and violations antitrust or international law.
TYPES OF COMPUTER FRAUD
i. MONEY THEFT
Money computer fraud involves the theft of money. Major examples are bank fraud where the falsification of computer –based systems allows million to be embezzled.
ii. SERVICE THEFT
The use of computer hardware or software for one’s own benefit may be for commercial or non-commercial purposes. One of the examples is the case of programmer who kept private files in his possession for the purpose of using it to commit fraud. In addition, an employee can manipulate the central computer to hinder services in an organization
iii. PROGRAM AND DATA THEFT
Data and program are themselves valuable properties and thus are subject to theft from the computer system. Employees have been charged with computer fraud or trade secret theft on several occasions and disputes frequently occur between employees and employers as to what the employees is entitle to take upon leaving the company.
iv. PROGRAM COPYING
This is another major form of program theft. Several major cases involving the unauthorized copying of software by users of competing software companies such as lotus development corporation and ash ton – total have been widely reported. This include lawsuits by such companies against major corporation allowing unauthorized copying of their programs, as well as lawsuits against competitors marketing purposed copies or clones that copy the took and fee” of their popular software packages.
v DATA ALTERATION
Some reported cases include change in credit information, and change in department o major vehicles that facilitate the theft the cars to which the referred.
vi PROGRAM DAMAGE
Programmers familiar with a system can do considerable harm by erasing or replacing parts of major programs. In a reported case, a “Logic bomb” was used to interfere with the operations at the Department of water and power in Los Angeles. A logic bomb is a program routine that is deliberately designed and timed to disrupt the operations of a computer system.
vii DATA DESTRUCTION
These are mostly acts of mischief that destroy content of files. In San Francisco USA, a company discovered that several people replaced words in their files with curse words, friends, names, and similar material.
In other case, a hidden program routine called a “Worm” was used maliciously to erase the data program contents of magnetic disks. A worm can also be designed as a computer virus, thus spreading by copying routines to destroy the data of many computer users.
Hacking is the unauthorized access and use of computer systems. One of the leading issues in reaction to hacker gets access to a computer system, reads some files, but neither steals nor damages anything. This situation is becoming increasingly common in the computer fraud cases that are prosecuted.
ix VIOLATION OF ANTITRUST OR INTERNATION LAW
Computer-based information system can violate antitrust international law and regulations. For example, some strategic information system involves the sharing of telecommunications network or other information systems resources among organizations that are competitors in the market place. Such arrangement have been challenged by the U.S. Department of justice as anti competitive and in violation of the antitrust laws. In other cases, the use of international telecommunications network by the computer based information system of multinational corporations has been challenged by the nations involved as violating their national sovereignty. Data flows that may violate Tariff, Taxation, Privacy, or Labor regulations of host countries.
x COMPUTER VIRUSES
One of the most insidious computer frauds is the use of computer viruses that copy destructive program routines into the computer systems of anyone who accesses “Infected” computer system, or uses, compiles data or programs taken form such computers: the word “VIRUS” use in the case of computer is analogous to the human biological virus by reason of its sickening behavior which is seen to fully mean vital information. Resources under siege (VIRUS). A computer virus can destroy the programs and data of many computers users.
Computer fraud in our society can be seen as a anti-catalyst in technological advancement of any nation, and bring a bad image to the citizen of a country.
However, by applying the information technology revealed at this seminar, the use of computer in our society will be more reliable, while the fight computer fraud should be a collaborative effort.
SOLUTION TO COMPUTER FRAUD
Computer fraud is growing and it is extensive. It will be difficult to have solution to it. The best way is to prevent it, just as the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”. Some of the major ways to check computer fraud are:
1. Install good antivirus software into computer system.
2. Computer system should be password protected, and this password should be restricted to specific persons.
3. Employ God-fearing person in organization.
4. Use good fire wall system in the computer security.
5. Use software like “Antispy” to monitor system to avoid it from be hacked.
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