Due to the proliferation of computer use and the expansion of the Internet, computer crimes have not only increased, but are taking on a variety of new forms. The U.S. Department of Justice defines computer crime as “any violations of criminal law that involve knowledge of computer technology for their perpetration, investigation, or prosecution.”
There are three main categories of computer crime.
- The first category primarily involves the theft of computer hardware or software.
- The second category refers to when the computer is the site of the crime itself, such as hacking, spam, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.
- The third category involves crimes committed while using the computer, such as identity theft, child pornography, copyright infringement, and mail or wire fraud.