Chapter 1
Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Issues:
Stakes and Challenges for
the 21st Century
1.1 Understanding the context
The facts
Citizens into have been robbed, children in danger, ruined corporations, threat-
ened states cybercriminals are spreading their inuence as fast as the Inter-
net is developing. Since we do not see or know them, we inadvertantly trust
cybercriminals, thus giving them their strength. No one is immune. Whether
via the manipulation of opinion, spying, identity theft, terrorism, harassment,
swindles, nancial fraud or various types of crimes, cybercrime touches all of
society. By simply using services offered by the Internet, users are vulnerable
to criminal threat and can become a victim or an unwilling author of a crime.
Cybercrime has become a reality of contemporary life. It has had greater or
lesser consequences for people, organizations and states, but over a few short
years, it has grown into a veritable plague on society.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) allow huge amounts
of information to be stored, processed, accessed, searched, transmitted,
exchanged, and disseminated, regardless of geographic distance. These
unprecedented possibilities lead to new services that can improve economic
development and the dissemination of knowledge. But at the same time, new
types of crime have appeared, as well as old crimes committed with new tech-
nologies (Figure 1.1). Spam, computer viruses, cyberattacks, and identity
theft, for example, increase in frequency by the day.
2 Cyberpower
Figure 1.1 Cybercrime is an extension of ordinary crime.
Internet technologies are facilitators for many kinds of infringements:
theft; sabotage of information; copyright infringements; breach of professional
secrecy, digital privacy, or intellectual property; dissemination of illegal con-
tents; competing attacks; industrial espionage; breach of trademark laws; dis-
semination of false information; denial of service; various frauds; money laun-
dering – the list of possible offences goes on. Information technology resources
have become the potential hostages of cybercriminals. Thus, organizations can
no longer neglect these real dangers and must accept the need to protect their
infrastructures, their processes, ows, and information. They must be prepared
for the threat of cybercriminality, a threat that one day may become reality.
Some examples from the press
Cybercriminality is a reality of the world today. Not a day goes by without
mention in the media of incidents relating to cybercriminal activities, as the
examples below indicate.
From the media ______________________________________________
Case 1
After Anonymous ransacked think tank Stratfors computers and stole away thou-
sands of credit card numbers and other personal information, it claimed to have
also clipped the company’s condential client list. That list contains sensitive
information about Stratfors high- prole clients, such as Apple, the U.S. Air Force,
and the Miami Police Department. However, Stratfor denies that Anonymous got
the think tank’s family jewels. […]
Source: Computerworld – John P. Mello Jr., 26 December 2011.

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