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Causing psychological, physical or financial harm to a nation or person’s financial health and security using a network and computer, is known as cyber-oriented warfare or cybercrime. It includes financial theft, espionage and cyberwarfare cross border, evoking a nation-wide security response. A 2014 report stated that annually $445 billion worth of damage caused to global economy. According to CSIS, a $600 billion worth of damage is caused to global GDP annually, which is almost worth of 1% global GDP.


The following form of crimes are a few types of different cybercrime categories:

  1. Cyberterrorism
  2. Financial fraud crimes
  3. Cybersex trafficking
  4. Cyberextortion
  5. Computer as target
  6. Computer as tool
  7. Online harassment
  8. Drug trafficking
  9. Obscene/ Offensive content


Cyberterrorism is generally defined as, use of computer and cyberspace to commit terrorist attacks. Cyberterrorism coerces and coerces organizations or government by attacking the information stored in their network and companies to further their social and political aims. There has been a rise in server scams and internet related problems since 2001. These are believed to be the work of cyberterrorists, who target weak points in critical systems. The organized group can target individuals and families through blackmailing, robberies, evoking fear, power demonstration and kidnapping.

Financial Fraud crimes:

Causing loss to someone through data or information tampering, which causes the person committing the crime to gain some benefit by:

  • Hiding illegal transactions by stealing, suppressing, destroying or changing output.
  • Alteration of data by a company’s employee. This is done by entering false data or using unauthorized methods and, entering unauthorized information.
  • Tampering with stored data.

Monetary and private information can be lost in many other types of computer related crimes like extortion, identity theft, carding, fraud and classified information theft.

Cybersex Trafficking:

Cybersex trafficking is the live streaming of rape and coerced sexual acts with kidnapped, trafficked victims. These crimes occur in Cyberdens, where victims are taken forcefully by abduction, blackmailing and threatening. Cyberdens can be located anywhere, where the perpetrator has a computer, smartphone, tablet, camera and an internet connection. These hideous sexual performances are ‘live-streamed’ on videoconferences, online chat rooms, dating websites, social media websites, dark websites and other platforms. Reports of these type of crimes number in millions. The perpetrator involved conceal their identities using cryptocurrencies and online payment methods. The 2018-2020, South Korea’s nth room case is an example of cybersex trafficking.


Cyberextorsion is the attack of hacker and malware on a corporate’s website, network and e-mail address. The websites are unable to operate and provide services to their users in form of recurring denial-of-service messages. The attackers demand payment from the company for the restoration of hacked website’s functionality and promising protection from further such attacks. Almost, the FBI reports more than 20 cyberextorsion cases each month, And many more cases go unreported. Most common tactics used in cyberextorsion are bug poaching, doxing extortion and denial-of service attacks. The 2014 attack on Sony Pictures is an example of Cyberextorsion.

Computer as target:

Computer related crimes are committed by groups of people, who use their technical knowledge to commit the crime. The nature of these crimes change as technology evolves. These are not individual crimes but instead are performed by groups or organizations. These crimes target only computer networks and devices through:

  • Malwares
  • Viruses
  • Denial-of-service-attack

Computer as a tool:

In cybercrimes, computer is used as a tool to target individuals and corporations. A person or company’s weak point is exploited, and hence these type of crimes require less technical expertise. Fraud, theft and, scams have been committed in the past and are still a routine occurrence. The victims are damaged psychologically and monetarily. They are left helpless and are unable to take action or complain against the perpetrator. With the computer and internet these criminals can now cast a wider net and the number of potential victims to exploit are increased.

Crimes committed using computers are:

  • Phishing scams
  • Spams
  • Identity and financial theft
  • Information warfare
  • Spread of offensive, reprehensible contents including threats and harassment.

Phishing uses emails to redirect a person to a malware-infected website and fake online banking websites where a person’s private bank account information is stolen.

Online harassment:

Directing harsh online comments and offensive material directly to some person based on their religion, gender, nationality and political views is considered as ‘online harassment’.

These acts are illegal in some cases, and may lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. Not all form of free speech is protected by ‘the freedom of speech law’. Direct threat intended to harm is a serious offense.

Drug Trafficking:

Many dark websites are involved in buying and selling of illegal drugs online. Although these type of websites are blocked and removed by law enforcement agencies, they keep on re-emerging repeatedly. Silk Road, a major website used for dealing trade in illegal drugs is banned by law enforcement. Silk Road 2.0 also banned, after which Silk Road 3.0 Reloded emerged. This website went by a previous name ‘Diabolous Market’

Offensive and Obscene Content:

The uploading and sharing of offensive, obscene content on the internet is illegal in many cases. Often the severity and punishment of sharing such offensive content vary from country to country. 

One example is the display of portraits of Mohammad on the internet, in the past recent years.  This lead to a strong negative reaction by the Muslim communities.

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