Cyber Crime Offenders

The purpose of this document is intended to discuss motives, opportunity, and means of typical cyber offenders. Also included within this document are three different reasons of why some cyber crime offenders are prosecuted, while others are not. This document is intended for anybody looking to gain a basic understanding of why different people partake in cyber crimes and why everybody who commits a cyber crime is not prosecuted.

When a cyber crime to be prosecuted there needs to be proof that shows the suspect displayed intent to commit a crime. In many cases suspects are not prosecuted because there was not intent to commit a crime. In order for a person to display an intent to commit a crime they need to display that their intentions were for monetary gain, power, vindictiveness, peer recognition, curiosity, or testing computer network security (Rogers, 2000). There are many reasons behind why a person commits a cyber crime either knowingly or unknowingly. Some of the possible reasons a person commits a cyber crime can range anywhere from revenge to identity theft. This paper breaks down different motives behind why a person commits a cyber crime and an explanation of why some crimes are prosecuted and why others are not.

An individual may commit a cyber crime for many different reasons; one of those reasons is simply ego. Their ego can be a motivation behind committing a crime because the individual is presented with a challenge to defeat the computer security either by gaining unauthorized access onto a computer network or if they cannot gain access onto the network the suspect utilized the philosophy of, “If I can’t gain access, then nobody can.” That philosophy is most likely seen during the event of a denial of service attack against a website or a company’s services. Another reason ego can be the root cause behind why a cyber crime is committed is because the individual may be looking to gain recognition amongst their peers. There are many different types of hackers on the Internet or even a person whom cannot be classified as a hacker and looking to gain recognition from others for what they have done. Ego is a motive behind why many cyber crimes are committed, whether an individual is committing the crime for personal satisfaction or if they are looking to gain gaining access to an organization or club or just simply looking to get recognition from their peers.

Over the course of time there are many different crimes that have been committed and as technology grows the different types of crimes evolve and the leading cause behind a crime being committed is money (Krone, 2008). Money is a major motivating factor behind many things; it is no different for cyber crimes. There are different ways a person can commit a crime when money is the motivating factor. One way that a person can commit a crime when money is their motive is by phishing. When a person is phishing this means they sent e-mail to many users requesting their credentials so that the suspect can steal their money. Another method of gaining monetary value is by identity theft. Identity theft is when a suspect illegally acts on behalf of another individual in attempt to gain money. Another method a suspect can gain monetary value is by selling lists of people’s information. These are just a few methods that hackers can use to gain monetary value, however money is the root cause behind why many cyber crimes are committed.

As fore mentioned, there are different reasons why one person is prosecuted for committing a cyber crime and why others are not. One reason is due to the lack of intent to cause a crime. When there is not intent displayed that the individual knowingly wanted to commit a crime, and then the legal proceedings can be rather cumbersome to ensure the individual is convicted. Another reason a person may not be convicted of a cyber crime is because the evidence was tainted either when it was be collected or when it was analyzed. Evidence can be tampered in many ways, but one way that evidence is tampered is by when a forensic investigator is examining the evidence they modify the original evidence instead of working with a duplicate of the evidence. In some events a person can get away with a cyber crime because there is not enough cooperation between different governments or laws prohibiting another government to intrude on an individual’s privacy (Swartz, 2008). Even though laws have came a long way, there are still many laws that are outdated or do not apply to certain instances of cyber crime.

In conclusion, there are many motivating factors behind why a person or persons would want to commit a cyber crime. The motivating factors behind cyber crimes may vary, however money is the leading reason, ego, power, revenge, peer recognition, curiosity, and conducting network security tests. When a person is caught committing a crime there are different reasons behind why one person may be convicted and another may not. The reasons behind why some people are convicted and others are not can be because evidence was tainted, out dated laws preventing the prosecution of an individual, lack of evidence showing intent to commit a crime, or even because the lack of cooperation between different government agencies of different countries.

1. Rogers, Larry (2000). Cybersleuthing: Means, Motive, and Opportunity. Security Matters, 3, Retrieved April 25th, 2009, from
2. Krone, Tony (2008, March 25th). Hacking motives. High Tech Crime Brief, 6, Retrieved April 25th, 2009, from
3. Swartz, Jon (2008, November 17th). Hackers, phishers can’t get away with it like they used to. Retrieved April 26, 2009, from USA Today Web site:

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