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Cyber Criminology Classifications and Countermeasures

Nafeel Ahmed's profile image

By: Nafeel Ahmed

May 12, 2020

What is cybercrime?

A crime that involves using a computer and a network is classified as cybercrime, and people who commit these crimes are called cybercriminals. A cybercriminal can target individuals by targeting their property, the person himself, harming their mental health, and can even cause damage to governments. Anyone using a computer and a network can be targeted.

What motivates young people to become cybercriminals?

Popularity, recognition, and a sense of success often become the biggest influencing factor that motivates youngsters to indulge themselves in cybercrimes. The motivation of one hacker can range from a financial need to just some popularity. Hackers can also be State-Sponsored to conduct various activities. There is no defined reason why a hacker would commit such a crime.

Classifications of cybercrime activities

Computer Crime includes a variety of activities such as:

  • Financial Fraud Crimes
  • Cyberterrorism
  • Cyber Extortion
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Online Harassment
  • Drug Trafficking

The three main categories of cybercrime are as follows:

  • Property
  • Individual
  • Government

DDoS Attacks & Botnets

DDoS attacks are used to make an online service/site unavailable and take the site down by overflooding it with traffic from a variety of sources. These large networks of infected devices that are used in DDoS attacks are known as botnets and created by depositing malware on the user's computer.

Identity Theft

Cybercrime involving identity theft affects both a virtual and a real body, but the effects are different depending upon the situation. Access to a person's Social Security Number (SSN) affords the opportunity to gather all the documents related to that person's citizenship, i.e., to steal their identity. In addition to this, stolen credit card information can be used to reconstruct an individual's identity.


Counterfeiting means the imitation of something to deceive a target. It is also known as fake, replicas, or unauthorized products. These products often tend to have fake branding and logos, which often results in trademark infringement. Counterfeiting of money, currency, consumer goods, products like watches, clothes, shoes, bags, and pharmaceuticals are more famous.


Forgery is a crime that generally refers to creating an unauthentic instrument or an alteration to a legal instrument with specific intent to harm or to defraud the target. Forgery of money and currency is often called Counterfeiting. Forgery can be done of anything from documents to products, e.g., passports, visa cards, identity cards, branded goods, etc.

Child pornography

The term child pornography means work, including the sexual behavior of children under the age of 18. The possession of child pornography is defined as images/videos of children under age 18 engaged in sexual conduct. It is illegal in many countries, but it remains a problem that has no easy solution. Some organizations believe that child pornography represents a $3 Billion a year industry and that more than 10,000 internet locations provide access to these materials.

Dark web and cybercriminals

In today's time, an increasing number of cybercriminals are involved with the use of anonymous services like the dark web. The section of the internet that is encrypted and cannot be tracked or accessed using normal browsers is called the dark web. It is the non-indexed portion of the worldwide web that cannot be accessed by standard search engines such as Google; it usually requires encrypted network connections such as a TOR browser. One of the most significant features of this world is that the identity of its users are hidden and cannot be tracked, which is why several illicit products such as weapons, drugs, pornography are widely available here. The deep web makes up about 65-75 % of the world wide web. Bitcoin is the preferred mode of payment for purchases on the dark web as it is an untraceable form of digital currency often used by cyber-criminals.

How do cybercriminals get caught?

Since every hacker commits his/her crime in a unique way, this complicates things for the investigators to catch them. With the popularity of using secure software, which is not only anonymous but also does not store your data, it becomes even harder for agencies to track them down. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, there was a total of $700+ million loss. For hackers, no target is too small, and they have no preference in whom the target is, as long as someone takes the bait. This makes finding their main motives and catching them become even harder.

How to stay safe from cybercriminals?

One should be very cautious online, and as we all know, once information goes online, it never gets deleted. It will always be stored somewhere on the world wide web. We should be cautious when receiving unsolicited communications from individuals from other countries, generally including emails, phone calls, friend/follow requests on social media, etc. Be suspicious of such communications. Do not respond to, open, or download attachments or click on links from unknown emails. Phishing scams are one of the major attack vectors that victimize people. One of the ways to avoid falling victim to a phishing attack is always to verify that the URL associated with websites you use begins with HTTPS.

  • Use strong passwords
  • Use a full-service security suite/AV
  • Keep all your software, programs and applications up to date
  • Manage your social media privacy
  • Monitor your home network

Concluding this blog, I would suggest readers join Cybrary and be updated with cyberspace, Cybrary offers many courses that teach and give an insight into cybersecurity. This platform will help you learn, understand, and practice cybersecurity better.

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