Cybercrime is a growing global problem, and the international community has recognized this. Many countries have passed legislation tackling cybercrime. The European Union has a Cybercrime Directive that requires stronger national laws and tougher criminal sanctions to combat the problem. Some countries have also adopted legislation dealing with specific cybercrimes, such as child sexual exploitation.
Many government and private agencies have created partnerships to combat cybercrime. For example, the FBI Cyber Division works closely with other federal agencies to identify and combat cybercriminals. Other federal agencies include the Federal Trade Commission and State law enforcement organizations. In addition, many private companies are developing technology to protect against cybercrime.
Many of the earliest cybercrimes revolved around telephone systems. As early as 1895, teenage boys broke into Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone company, and phone hacking became widespread in the 1960s and 1970s. The first ethical hacker, Rene Carmille, hacked into the Nazi data registry in the 1940s to prevent them from tracking Jews. The 1980s also saw the introduction of email, which was used to spread malicious software and phishing scams. By the 1990s, malware was being delivered via email attachments and web browsers.
A common type of cybercrime is identity theft. This type of fraud often involves scammers who pretend to be legitimate to gain access to crucial data. They may even pose as a victim to obtain personal information.