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NCJ Number: 89896 Find in a Library
Title: How To Recognize the Computer Criminal
Journal: Information Age  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:(1982)  Pages:194-199
Author(s): J BloomBecker
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the various environments and motivations underlying computer crime.
Abstract: Existing laws do not generally cover the specifics of computer system abuse, and as computer use becomes more prevalent and more employees devise clever uses for their company computers, problems will only increase. Computer crime is currently very attractive, because such crimes are rarely detected or reported, and when they are, any sanctions applied are relatively mild compared to the gains that may be achieved from the crime. Environment, rather than the personality of the perpetrator, appears to be the most useful factor in predicting and preventing computer crime. A criminogenic environment is one that stimulates an employee to view the computer system as either a 'playpen,' 'land of opportunity,' 'cookie jar,' 'war zone,' 'soap box,' 'fairyland,' or 'toolbox.' The 'playpen' environment encourages employees to view the computer system as a source of exciting games to be played as long as they like. The 'land of opportunity' environment conditions employees to perceive nothing wrong with exploiting an obvious vulnerability in a computer system, while the 'cookie jar' perspective views the computer system as a source of funds when legitimate income does not meet the demands of a preferred lifestyle. Computer crime may also be a vengeful act by a disgruntled employee ('soapbox' view). Computer crime may also result when computer transactions, particularly those involving the transfer of large sums of money, take on an unreal or 'fairyland' quality such that the abuse of these transactions is not viewed as a serious crime. A computer system may also be viewed as simply another tool for committing fraud or larceny ('toolbox' view). Brief suggestions for dealing with each of these criminogenic perspectives are offered.
Index Term(s): Computer related crime; Environmental influences; Motivation
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