Essay on Computer Virus Hoax !
A virus hoax generally appears an e-mail message that describes a particular virus that does not in fact exist. Such messages are intended to create panic to computer users. The writer or writers e-mail the warning and include a plea for the reader to forward it to others.
The message then spreads like a chain letter, propagating throughout the Internet as individuals receive it and then innocently forward it. For example, “Good Times” virus hoax was written in 1994 and since then has circled the globe many times. It is always advisable to ignore or delete such hoax virus rather than acting upon it.
Besides virus, there are some common cyber offences which are directed against computer systems, networks or data while there are others in which computer is used as an instrument for committing crime. Therefore, considered from this point of view, cyber crimes may broadly be classified into two major categories:—
1. Cyber crime where computer is itself a target of the crime; and
2. Cyber crime where computer is an instrument of the crime.
1. Computer as a target of the crime:
In this category of cyber crime, computer itself is a target of the crime. These crimes generally include:—
(i) Sabotage of computer systems or computer networks;
(ii) Sabotage of operating systems and programmes;
(iii) Theft of data/information;
(iv) Theft of intellectual property, such as computer software;
(v) Theft of marketing information; and
(vi) Blackmailing based on information gained from computerised files such as personal history, sexual preferences, financial data, medical information etc.
2. Computer as an Instrument Facilitating Crime:
In this category of crime, the computer is used as an instrument to commit the crime. The terrorists and criminals are using Internet methods such as e-mail to flesh out encrypted messages around the world.
In these crimes, computer programs are manipulated to facilitate the offence. For example, fraudulent use of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and accounts, frauds related to e-banking or e-commerce, electronic data-interchange etc. are committed by using computer. Cyber pornography, software piracy, on-line gambling, copyright infringement, trademark violations are some other illustrations of such crimes.