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The psychology of cybercrime
The psychology of cybercrime

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Cyber bullying
Cyberbullying has been defined as ‘an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself’ (Smith et al., 2008, p. 376).
Cyberstalking is aimed at a specific individual and entails ‘using the Internet as part of a targeted campaign that causes fear, distress or alarm’ (Cavezza and McEwan, 2014, pp. 955-956).
Bypassing security systems to make an unauthorised intrusion into a computer or network.
Image-based sexual crimes
The use of nude/sexual images of a victim for criminal purposes.
Malicious software that interferes with the normal functioning of a network or computer.
Online financial crimes
Illegally obtaining money or other financial rewards using online methods.
Online Fraud
Fraud that is committed using online methods. You can read about the many different types of online fraud at the Action Fraud website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .
Password cracking
The process of recovering or guessing the correct password needed to gain access to a system or account.
Techniques used to persuade people to divulge information that can be used in online fraud (e.g. bank account passwords).
Hacking that is specifically targeted at gaining unauthorised access to photos, particularly nude images.
A type of malware that renders a computer and/or its files inaccessible, with a demand for payment to unlock it/them.
Revenge Pornography
Kamal and Newman (2016, p. 361) describe revenge pornography as ‘the online release of explicit photographs or videos of an individual without permission for the purpose of humiliation.’
‘Situations in which perpetrators threaten to expose sexual images to coerce victims to provide additional pictures, engage in sexual activity, or agree to other demands’ (Wolak et al., 2017, pp. 1).
A malicious piece of software that misleads users into activating it by masking its true intent. For example, a file that destroys software which is named ‘virus protection program’.
‘The act of ‘trolling’ is generally defined as being a negative online behaviour intended to disrupt online communications, aggravate internet users and draw individuals into fruitless debates’ (Coles and West, 2016, p. 44).
Software that replicates by inserting its code into other programs and files, often causing damage by corrupting data or creating a ‘back door’ to allow attackers to access the system.
A stand-alone malware program that can self-replicate and spread to other computers.