FORECASTING DIGITAL CRIME AND DIGITAL TERRORISM Forecasting Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism Trends Introduction The ongoing cyber-criminal threats all around the United States result in major financial losses. Cyber-crimes also have an impact on the critical substructure of an organization such as supply chain and intellectual property matters. Thus, various critical infrastructures face a major cyber threat. As the society is evolving and inventing, criminals are also deploying great adaptability to attain the greatest benefit from information technology. The infrastructure of this country is, therefore, at a critical point from the mounting cyber threats. The threat is also as a result of the progressions in the complexity and availability of malevolent software tools. In fact, the new technologies raise new security concerns that may not be under consideration for their adoption. Thus, the developing mechanization in our infrastructure poses more cyber security threats that can be easily abused by opponents. This paper will show how the law enforcement personnel in this field need training with various upcoming technologies. This way they will be one step ahead of digital terrorism and digital crime (Police Executive Research Forum, 2012). Outline of Computer Crime Forecast Digital crime and digital terrorism will, in the future, be worse than it is right now. The law enforcement agencies and laws have not managed to keep up with the changing technology. They always have something new to deal with immediately after discovering an approach to solving the current problem. As a result, the law enforcement agencies are always behind the power curve. It is, therefore, necessary to train new personnel of various law enforcement agencies on the currently existing technology and the upcoming new technologies. It is because technology changes on a daily basis that this trend will never end. The law enforcement agencies can learn a lot from the past to help them predict the future criminal trends so as to facilitate best practices for prosecuting and investigating computer crime. They will also learn how to research the past, present, and future emerging methodological aspects relating to digital crime. By overview, there are eight forecasts developed from data collection and analysis. It is possible to understand the digital terrorism and crime happening in the future. The eight forecasts are as follows: 1. The number of reported offenses to the police on issues relating to electronic storage media and computers will continue to rise. It will call for a change in priority in terms of new training for investigators and officers, resource allocation, new knowledge for prosecuting judges and attorneys and new police specialties. 2. Major computer related crimes that are addressed by the local law enforcement will continue to represent the largest monetary loss and number of victims as a result of internet fraud from identity theft. 3. There will be an increase of virtual crimes against persons than it was in the past years. It is as a result of the widespread expansion of personal computing, networking, and social networking sites. The hybrid crimes will have the same characteristics similar to those of psychological warfare. These crimes will need new laws to address these problems and other new approaches to educating, prevention ad investigation of these crimes. 4. The fourth forecast is that various hacker groups will emerge from various developing countries, and this means an increase in malicious attacks. These external attacks are mainly political, religious and money oriented. 5. The present day organized crimes; mainly the entrepreneurial crimes will continue to increase with the increase of computerization. Organized criminal groups will use computer instruments for record keeping just like the legal businesses. These groups will use databases and spreadsheets to cover their criminal activities. Criminals can easily obtain counterfeit documents and currency and make fake none and passports through various technologies like the fax machine, printers, scanners, and copiers. Thus, contributing to illegal immigrations. Organized criminal groups have discovered a way of smuggling immigrants into this country without the trace. They also smuggle counterfeit products such as man-made video tapes, audio tapes, computer software, and DVDs among others. These criminals steal the copyright information of legit companies and sell to the public at a much cheaper price. Another challenge related to this is the rise of black market business whereby organizations do not follow the right licensing channels or tax payments. They go through the illegal means of making money. Fraud and theft online happen when criminal obtain the personal information of someone and uses them to their advantage. Telecommunication crimes occur by hacking telephones and mobile phones so as to access personal or corporate information that can be of use to criminals. Sexually based commerce is engaging and arranging prostitution via the internet. It is different from the old method of standing in the streets and picking up prostitutes. Gambling also has on the internet, and people can access a person’s identity and lose money when personal information is stolen for gambling purposes. 6. There will be an increase of terrorist groups using global networking as a means of attaining their goals. They can use the internet for surreptitious communications, recruiting and coordinating purposes. The groups can also use the network to gain access to critical systems leading to information chaos and destruction of files. All this is the destruction-cyber terrorism. 7. There will be much broader cases of character espionage in areas like economic espionage, information welfare, and intellectual property theft. 8. Last is that anarchists, patriots, nation-states, criminal terrorists will increasingly make of technology-based approaches and instruments, thus contributing to the surreptitious capture of data or information. Also, it makes it possible to destroy technological processing of information, communications and storage appliances. For example, the use of technology instruments like the high energy radio frequency and electromagnetic pulses are used as weapons in China. Criminals can use the instruments to jam signals so that they disrupt the communication for their benefits. Also the Tempest/Emissions Security (MSEC and Compromising Electronic Emanations compromising are used for surveillance and espionage. This way the criminals can find the location of police and also hear what they are saying over the radio calls (White Paper, 2011). Mitigating Future Forecasts For the police to improve the mitigation of the future forecasts, it is important for them to be aware of malicious software such as worms, Trojan horse’s unwanted software and viruses from computers. These unwanted software programs are activity being created every day by criminal groups. Therefore, the law enforcement officials have to be knowledgeable in computer uses that will them to identify and eliminate malicious software from their computers. Computer knowledge is not necessary so as to access malicious software. Criminals use them in obtaining information and become knowledgeable of the top secret information in the United States (Taylor, Fritsch, Liederbach & Holt, 2011). The sophistication and number of cyber-attacks have dramatically increased in the recent past, and they will continue to grow in types and number. When the cyber-criminals gain more time, they will gain motivation, funds and more time to engage in criminal activities. Criminals will have access to any form of information on the internet. Though the law enforcement agencies will manage to identify the common threats from cyber-attacks, it will still be hard for them to keep up with the constant changing versions of these attacks. The drastic changes in technology also make it hard to keep up with the new changes happening on a daily basis. Thus, the evolvement of technology also means the evolvement of digital crime. The arrival of new technologies is equivalent to the worst forms of digital crimes. We can use our cell phones in completing all forms of transactions both the legal and the illegal ones. The efficiency of these technologies is it fax machines, copiers, printers, scanners and much more also means efficiency in criminal behavior. Criminals make use of these technologies to access any information or to undertake an illegal task. For example, online shopping or visiting the store both poses major challenges. When visiting a store, it is possible to scan one’s credit even without your knowledge. It happens when paying for merchandise. Online shopping has much worse risks because the online websites may require the buyer to give out personal details on a site that is not secure when making the purchase. The criminal can drain all the cash in your bank account after stealing one’s personal information. Terrorism is also available in the digital form. Terrorists use the Internet to recruit new members and gain financial support. When trying to read information about a terrorist group, your IP address is visible to the terrorists operating the website. They may start giving you good promises so that you join the group. These groups have ways of making themselves unnoticeable. So as technology evolves, so does the terrorists. They are well aware of what technology can do even before they hit the market (Ferguson & Bernache, 2008). Thus, it is essential for the law enforcement personnel to receive in-depth training on the evolving technology even before they hit the market. They have to be versatile when it comes to addressing technology matters. They should not just be concerned about the basics of technology, but everything starting from computer fraud to malicious software. Conclusion There is the need to track the various networks and databases used by criminals in committing the crime. Training will assists the law enforcement personnel are aware of the new demands of growing technology. They will be training on matters relating to security processes, issues, and practices. They will also have to up their game on internet investigative techniques and undertake forensic analysis using electronic devices (Taylor et al., 2011). Thus, there is a need for enough manpower in keeping up with the new forms of crimes arising from digital terrorism and digital crime. It is essential to undertake data collection on computer related crimes. They will know the target and implement a plan of finding the criminals. Prevention of these criminals will require the law enforcers to step ahead and be more advanced than they are now. References Ferguson, A. G., & Bernache, D. (2008). The ‘high-crime area’. American University Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 6. Police Executive Research Forum. (2012). How are innovations in technology transforming policing? Washington, D.C., p. 1. Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., Liederbach, J., & Holt, T.J. (2011). Digital crime and digital terrorism (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. White Paper. (2011). Prospective analysis of trends in cybercrime from 2011 to 2020. Retrieved from
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