Detection and Control of Cyber Crime

Detection and Control of Cyber Crime

Information explosion and the ever increasing need to harness them for easy and timely dissemination has propelled the establishment of computer networks. The increased need for information sharing among individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations has informed the overdependence on computer networks in our contemporary time, and the resulting security challenges are not easy to contend with.

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A network or communications network according to Hutchinson and Sawyer (2000) refers to an interconnection of devices such as telephones, computers, etc. to enable them share resources and communicate with each another. Computer networks have changed the way we live and work in the world today as they enable so many systems to be interlinked with each other.
The equipment required for setting up networks are cheap and so even small-scale business organizations can own their own networks. Wireless routers and network cards are inexpensive, and any ordinarily competent computer user can network a handful of computers in a couple of hours for business use. As new technologies evolve, they create chances for criminals to thrive In. Computer network, and indeed the Internet is not an exception. Operating an unsecured or inadequately secured computer network can expose a business to a number of risks (Decker, 2015).

Most business transactions are mediated via computer networks due to the ease of setting up such networks as well as the ease of communicating using them. As the reliability on networks for business transactions increases, business competitors and criminals alike use it as a medium to compete with their business opponents and commit crimes respectively. As opined by Decker (2015), when networks are poorly secured, possibilities exist for criminals to exploit. The open source nature of the Internet makes it easy for anyone to easily access some confidential records of an organization. A business opponent who has a clue to such useful records of the other can use the information to threaten the success of the rival.
Evan and Shimon (2015) reported how Russian hackers invaded sensitive State House data in the White House in spite of the sophisticated United States cyber security measures. Though the United States Government claimed that the hackers only had access to unclassified information, it was reported that the hackers were able to pry into the President’s schedules. The scenario has provided fertile grounds for Daniel Trump the United States 2016 presidential candidate for the Rpublican Party to criticize his Democratic Party opponent Hilary Clinton of inefficiency because the hacking occurred in her time as Secretary of State. It was a major point that Trump used to convince the electorate that eventually saw his victory at the 2016 United States presidential polls. It is not only competitors that might be gaining access to the network of an organization or that of an individual. As larger businesses or individuals become more security conscious, criminals of varied kinds also plague the networks for various reasons (revenge, self-esteem, financial gain, etc). In most cases, people with criminal tendencies can set up wireless network nodes with strong signals to deceive others to connect to, and then use the nodes to exploit them.
Obama (2014) while expressing worry over the insecurity of computer networks and the increasing dependence on them emphasized the need to secure applications over the Internet as the interconnectivity of the emerging digital world would bring new opportunities and threats to both the private and public sectors.
According to Williams (2014), security issues resulting from networks have been topical in the last two decades, yet many organizations and businesses are oblivious of the risks associated with unprotected networks. This results in a huge economic loss and damage to such organizations. Information security is really about business continuity while taking precautionary measures against a natural disaster, criminal attack, and errors committed by users or caused by system failure.

The Internet and related technologies according to Broadhurst, Grabosky, Alazab and Chon (2014) are prone to a variety of crimes orchestrated by a variety of persons or groups. According to Hutchinson and Sawyer (2000), actions that are termed criminal are those that deviate from societal laws. Agana and Iyiama (2015) opined that some of those who indulge in such acts are driven by forces of retaliation, avarice, or self esteem. Cyber crime is thus defined as offences mediated through the Internet according to Agana and Iyiama (2015).
Agana and Inyiama (2015) also agree with Halder and Jaishankar (2011) that offences committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet and mobile phones are termed cyber crime.
According to Agana and Inyiama (2015), many more organizations are prone to computer crime because of their increasing dependence on computer networks. They opine that a nation’s security and financial health can be threatened by cyber crime.

According to Clay (2005), the tendency of computers to be attacked prevails across the globe, and those who indulge in such acts remain largely unnoticed. The cyber criminals gladiate in the fact that they can utilize Internet resources anonymously. This explains why cyber crime is on the increase in recent times and law enforcement agents find it difficult to control. In recent times, most insurgent and extremist groups succeed unnoticed because they use the Internet to unleash their terror (Broadhurst, et al., 2014).
There are pointers to the fact that even though cyber criminals operate on loose networks, they live in specific geographical locations and exist as a group of friends and/or relatives (Broadhurst, et al., 2014). A good number of such groups according to Kshetri (2013) exist in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Some of such countries harbor skillful hackers. Broadhurst, et al., (2014) further observed that most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) located in the USA and Nigeria play host to spams. According to Moura (2013), the origin of spam can be traced to Vietnam, Brazil and India. One of the technologies adopted by cyber criminals to succeed is the use of malware. Broadhurst, et al. (2014) asserted that Carberp is a malicious program designed to steal data and related information from banks
Broadhurst, et al. (2014) further reported another instance of an eight-man gang that stole US$ 2.8 million in cash from some ATM machines in New York and were charged on May 9, 2013. The gang was said to have eliminated the withdrawing limit on the cards they carried to enable them succeed. From the foregoing, it is explicit that the most sophisticated cyber criminals (whether individuals or groups) exhibit a high level of skill and division of labour and programmers, distributors/vendors, technicians, hackers, etc. are all involved to form a team of cyber criminals.
The role the Internet plays in reshaping and developing the world has evolved new crime waves. The cyberspace has become an environment where the most lucrative and safest crime thrives. Cyber crime has become a global threat and calls for a didactic approach to tackle it. The blanket that is shielding computer crime has been hard to uncover even by law enforcement authorities and if a proactive measure is not adopted to unveil this secrecy, it will be difficult for both the industries and law enforcement agents to carry out a reasonable risk analysis and control. A major step to overcome this growing trend of insecurity in the cyberspace is to develop a strategy to identify the criminals and report them to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.

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Several measures to control cyber crime abound. Some of such measures according to Echewodoh (2010) include the use of access authorization systems, anti-virus software, cryptographic techniques, firewalls, honey pots, intrusion-detection systems, file integrity monitors, legislations against cyber crime, etc.
Some other existing measures to control cyber crime according to Agana and Inyiama (2015) include the establishment of some Acts in the U.S., for example, in 2010, the US Government established the International Cyber Crime Reporting and Cooperation Act – H.R.4962 ( and the Computer Misuse Act 1990 of the UK Parliament (
It is however worrisome that in spite of these numerous measures and regulations put in place to combat cyber crime, the criminals keep advancing in their techniques to circumvent the control measures. They have it so easy because there hasn’t been a comprehensive measure put in place to identify them. It is therefore important to devise strategies that can aid cyber crime investigators to monitor and identify the culprits for appropriate disciplinary action. This measure can serve as a deterrent to others.

Cyber crime investigators are always faced with the problem of locating and identifying cyber criminals. The extent to which crime is spreading in the society calls for a more proactive measure to stem the tide. According to Agana and Inyiama (2015), it is easier to detect conventional crimes (for instance rape and armed robbery) and prosecute the culprits because these involve physical attacks than is the case with cyber crime which is a virtual reality. This does not apply to cyber crime because the cloud that hosts the Internet is too broad and virtually real.
Agana and Inyiama (2015) opined that the complex nature of the features used in managing and securing Internet resources is responsible for the challenges faced in cyber security. Most cyber criminal activities according to Hutchinson and Sawyer (2000) involve intellectual manipulations rather than physical damage or stealing of equipment. Agana and Inyiama (2015) aptly term cyber crime as intellectual crime. It is these complexities that make it arduous to detect and prosecute the culprits, coupled with the fact that there are neither stringent regulations nor well-equipped policing to check and prosecute cyber criminals (Agana and Inyiama, 2015). This scenario calls for the development of a logical protocol base to synchronize and secure the entire interconnection of network systems (

The aim of this research work is to design a model for detecting and controlling cyber crime by identifying the unique features of the cyber users and reporting their criminal activities to cyber crime investigators for further action.
The objectives of the study are to develop a system that can:
i. Identify each Internet user uniquely (by capturing the system IP address, MAC address, facial image, fingerprint and geographical location of the user) then store them with the user’s activities while online.

ii. Protect data and information in the cloud (cyberspace) from invasion by cyber criminals.

iii. Detect cyber crimes as well as the criminals and report them to authorities in charge of cyber crime investigation for appropriate action.

iv. To provide a framework for future researches n cyber crime detection and control.

This study is important in number of ways. Cyber crime investigators will find the outcome of this research work useful because it will aid them to easily identify cyber criminals and where they operate. This can be achieved by the biometric features (facial image and finger print of the user) that the system will capture mandatorily at the point of access. With this, it will be easier to identify and prosecute cyber criminals.
The implementation of the system will serve as a deterrent to cyber criminals due to the access requirement that mandatorily captures a user’s identity at login time. The reason is that ordinarily, it is easier to prosecute a criminal who has been identified and this can deter others. Criminals often avoid being noticed. The model if implemented will also give confidence to people about the security of their data and information in the cyber space because it will be easy to identify and locate those who pry into other people’s information in the cloud without authorization.

With the growing use of the Internet for business transactions and the attendant insecurity, this study will also spur researchers to explore the new dimension that focuses to divulge the hitherto anonymous identity of Internet users. Various governments have expressed concern about the rate of insecurity in the cloud and the attendant socio-economic implications. More so, the outcome of this research work will assist them in promulgating laws that will guide against the cyber insecurity.

This study will also be of immense importance to the contemporary society that is experiencing a growing trend in insecurity. Most terrorists utilize the Internet to mediate their activities because they find cloud too wide for them to be traced.
The cyber user identification system implemented in this study will help the society to experience peace in business transactions, socially and politically because cyber terrorists can be easily detected by the system. Once such terrorists are detected, it will be easier for law enforcement agents to prosecute them. This will in turn scare others with such tendencies from indulging in crime.

This study is limited to cyber crime detection and its control mechanism that focuses on the aspect of identifying the users of the Internet. The scope of the study is therefore summarized as follows:
i. The system so modeled cannot capture all identity features of a cyber user except the facial image and finger prints.

ii. Due to the diverse nature of crimes in the cyberspace, the model is constrained to detecting only some criminal activities (identity theft, data theft, espionage and phishing).

iii. Also due to the fact that it would be difficult to control the corporate websites of other people, the implementation of the design is a model of a corporate or enterprise website ( which is an eduportal website created by the researcher.

iv. There is no provision for arresting and prosecuting the criminal after detecting and reporting him to the cyber police (this responsibility is out of scope of the study).

However, the control measures put in place in this study can be propagated to all cloud entities (the cyberspace) if it is accepted as an international standard..

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It is a known fact that any perfect system is “Utopian fantasy”. This study is therefore not an exception. There are certain shortcomings as a result of financial constraint and other uncertain/unknown variables.
The research was capital intensive. The financial resources needed to create and periodically pay subscription to maintain the website on which this design is implemented are huge. The researcher found this stressful especially as there was no funding from any source other than the researcher himself.
There is no 100% guarantee that all cyber attacks and the criminals can be detected or identified by the system designed because attackers keep improving on their strategies as technological advancements evolve to track them down. Due to the global nature of the cyber space, it is almost impossible to monitor all cyber users.
These constraints do not however invalidate the study since the specific objectives have been achieved. More so, it is an obvious fact that people tend to avoid indulging in crimes to avoid being apprehended by law enforcement agencies once they know that they can be easily identified or monitored. This applies to this study that is modeled to detect the identity of cyber users and report the crimes they commit to relevant authorities.

Some basic terms and abbreviations are defined in this section as used in this research.

Biometrics: This accordind to Wikipedia ( refers to the record of physiological features of a person (e.g. fingerprint, iris scan, etc.)

Crime: An unlawful act (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990)

Cyber: This is used in refering to the Internet (Hutchinson and Sawyer, 2000).

Cyberspace : The entire region of Internet coverage in the world (Hutchinson and Sawyer, 2000).

Detection: Discovery or identification of something.

Espionage: The practice that has to do with spying someone or an enemy (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990).

Fraud: A dubious or criminal act.

Global Positioning System: It is a system used in identifying geographical locations (Hutchinson and Sawyer, 2000).

Identification: Showing or knowing what something, or who someone is.

Intrusion Detection System: It is a computer software technique of detecting computer network intrusion (unauthorized access or misuse of network resources) (Prashant, 2013).

Investigation: The act of carrying out findings to know the truth.

Local Area Network (LAN): A network of computers in a small geographical location (like a building, a room, a school compound, etc.)

Pre-shared Key (PSK):. It is an authentication system used for communication encryption between a node and an access point that is wireless (Wilkison, 2015).

Security: Protection of life and property.

Service Set Identification (SSID): It is a network identification data.

Trasmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): This is an Internet protocol that operates as a twin layer. It controls data transmission in packets and routes the data to its destination (Hutchinson and Sawyer, 2000).

Unified Modeling Language (UML): It is a system design tool or language that utilizes design models (drawings) independent of any programming language, that can be implemented developing information systems (Whitten, et al., 2004).

Universal (Uniform) Resources Locator (URL): It is a unique wesite or web page address (Hutchinson and Sawyer, 2000).

User: Someone who uses/accesses the resources of the computer

Wide Area Network (WAN): A computer network that covers a large geographical location.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN): A local area network that is not wired.

According to Moore (2005), any crime committed using a computer and a network of telecommunication devices is termed cyber (computer) crime. The computer may be the target or it may be used in committing the crime (Agana and Inyiama, 2015; Warren and Jay, 2002). According to Clay (2005), computer attacks are actions that are targeted against computer installations to either corrupt data, alter processing or disrupt equipment operations. Crimes committed using computer networks such as the Internet are termed cyber crimes. Halder and Jaishankar (2011) defined cyber crime as offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet and mobile phones.
Cyber crime is tagged cyber terrorism by some authors. Cyber terrorism is equally defined based on the intent of the attackers. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (2013) for instance defined cyber terrorism as unlawful attacks and threats of attack against computers, networks, and the information they store, designed to emasculate government and citizens for social or political gains.. In the opinion of Denning (2001a), cyber terrorism is a hacking operation that is politically motivated and intended to take human life or cause economic hardship. Cyber terrorism is any deliberate use of computer and telecommunication resources by miscreants and their agents to cause havoc. Cyber terrorism in the opinion of some security experts has destructive effects on their targets (Denning, 2001b; Verton, 2003).
Clay (2005) has identified the following as three different methods of cyber attack.
i. Physical attack: Certain weapons such as knife, fire, bombs, and hammer are used to destroy computer installations and networks.

ii. Electronic attack: This involves using energy from electronic and magnetic sources to destroy computer installations/networks.

iii. Network attack: Use of malicious codes to infect network installations.
The Internet is the medium for committing cyber crime. The vulnerability of organizations, companies and individuals to the impact of computer crime is due to their increasing dependencies on computer systems (Agana and Inyiama, 2015). Due to these increasing dependencies and the attendant vulnerabilities,, the risk of computer crime worries most companies and organizations than the fear of product liability, fraud and theft. A nation’s security and financial health can be greatly threatened by cyber crime.
There is a great concealment of computer crimes, making it difficult for law enforcement agents to investigate. If there is no reliable threat assessment or accurate data on which to assess the impact of the menace and detect the culprits, it would be difficult for both law enforcement agents and industries to manage the risk or structure a coherent national response. Neil (1997) holds the view that computer crime investigators believe that only few computer crimes are reported out of the numerous that occur. One of the reasons why most victims prefer to conceal cyber crimes committed against them is because such victims are scared of accepting that they have loose security systems for fear of losing patronage.



Several theories that explain why some people commit crimes exist. Some of such theories are reviewed in this section as they relate to cyber crime.

The General Theory of Crime
According to Marenin and Reisig (1995), the general crime theory was proposed by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) and the proponents claim that this general crime theory remains relevant at all periods and has universal status. They maintain that various cultures have their own definitions of crime and have therefore argued that variation in cultures is not relevant or responsible for why people commit crime, rather there should be a permanent and universal definition of and reasons for crime. Therefore, there is no universal theory yet to explain why crimes differ from one culture and place to another. In relation to cyber crime, this theory explains why various forms of network attacks abound from one location to another and the methods keep evolving.

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Technology-enabled Crime, Policing and Security Theory
McQuade (2005) propounded the Technology-enabled, Crime, Policing and Security Theory which states that it is technologies that enable and co-evolve crime. He opined that the competition between security agents and criminals for technological edge results in relatively confusing and therefore unmanageable threats to society. People may therefore gainfully use technological developments for betterment of living or misuse them. This theory applies to cyber crime because people take undue advantage of the versatility of the Internet as a new technology to anonymously commit crime.

Other Theories in Criminology
According to Briggs (2015), in criminology, it is vital to examine the rationale for people to indulge in crime. Briggs (2015) outlined the following as some theories that support criminal tendencies:
i. The rational choice theory: This theory was propounded by Cornish (1986). The theory argues that people decide to commit/not to commit crime after carefully analyzing whether they will gain or not from their actions. People therefore have to weigh the consequences of committing crime before indulging in it. Every rational being should therefore have a self conviction before committing a crime and should be liable for his actions. In relation to cyber crime for example, there are security measures such as firewalls, access control mechanisms, etc. that can deter criminals because they have potentials of trapping the criminals. Cyber criminals are aware of these security measures and as such decide whether to dare them or devise means of circumventing them.

ii. The social disorganization theory: This theory postulates that physical and social environments where people dwell influence their tendency to commit crime or not. Such an environment or situation may have loop holes for crime to thrive. In relation to cyber crime, the versatile and virtual nature of the Internet makes it susceptible to crime (Briggs, 2015).

iii. The strain theory: This theory tersely states that people who fail to achieve their expectations or cannot measure up due to their personal inadequacies resort to committing crime. In relation to this, most cyber criminals are school drop-outs or deviants who have failed in one way of life or the other Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990).

iv. The social learning theory: This theory postulates that skills and the motivation to commit crime are developed based on influence by those the criminals mix or interact with. In relation to cyber crime, persistent association with Internet users and constant surfing of the net can assist people with criminal tendencies to develop skills of using the Internet to commit crime (Marenin and Reisig, 1995).

v. The social control theory: This theory states that control measures and legislations deter criminals from indulging in crime. This applies to cyber crime because firewalls, access authorization and authentication systems, etc. help in deterring cyber criminals from committing crimes

vi. The biology, genetics and evolution theory: This theory postulates that crime can be hereditary or can be as a result of biological problems such as malnutrition, illness, etc. Most cyber criminals are therefore people with such attributes (Briggs, 2015).

According to Longe, et al., (2012), the following are theories of criminology with respect to cyber crime.
i. The routine activity theory: Cohen and Felson (1979) propounded the routine activity theory. This theory highlights that for a crime to be committed, there is the possibility that there is a target, lack of an inhibitor to prevent the occurrence of the crime and somebody must have the motivation to commit the crime. These three scenarios have to occur simultaneously for crime to be committed. This theory aptly applies to cyber crime. The mobile technology nature of the Internet and its unrestricted access make it easy for cyber crime to be successfully committed.

ii. The opportunity theory: Longe, et al., (2012) opined that crimes are committed due to the opportunities that exist for them to occur. Cyber criminals succeed because the unbridled nature of the cyberspace, the anonymous nature of Internet users, etc. provide opportunities for them to do so.

iii. The technology theory: Computer technology provides means of protecting data and information from unauthorized access or criminal tendencies. Some of such security measures that apply to cyber crime include access authorization, user authentication, firewalls, etc. The security models and measures use such techniques as cryptography, steganography, network protocols, etc. The success of cyber crime in our contemporary time is as a result of the failure to incorporate into the cyberspace these security measures at the earlier design stage. The ubiquity of the web has heightened this problem.

iv. The crime displacement theory: Longe, et al., (2012) postulated that criminals always devise strategies to displace or move crime from one place to another as well as to targets geographically and temporarily according to the crime type. This theory may be applied in combating cyber crime with varying outcomes which may be positive, negative, neutral, attractive, etc.
Of all the theories enumerated in relation to cyber crime, the technology and crime displacement theories are adapted to this study because these theories reflect the philosophical assumptions upon which this study is based.

According to Agana and Inyiama (2015), there are various forms of cyber crime such as cyber stalking, fraud and identity theft, data theft, cyber bullying, phishing, hacking, session hijacking, plagiarism, espionage, etc. Plagiarism negates computer ethics because it involves the appropriation of the intellectual property of another to oneself without acknowledgement. Plagiarism is considered to be an act of intellectual dishonesty. Romero (2012) reported that in the Philippines, plagiarism is a punishable offence under the Cyber Crime Prevention Act since it is considered as a copyright infringement and offenders can serve a jail term of 3-6 years. Cyber terrorism is a crime in which the criminal uses information technology resources to intimidate or coerce a government or organization for the purpose of advancing his or her socio-political purposes. Other types of cyber crime according to Agana and Inyiama (2015) include scamming, telemarketing fraud, website cloning, online gambling and abuse of privacy.

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