Security and Hacking: Reporting Cyber Crime

Filed as Guides on April 9, 2009 10:48 am

security-keyboard-handcuffsOver the past few months, I’ve been writing a lot about cyber crime and security vulnerabilities, especially as it impacts social media and blogs. The April 1, 2009, expansion of the Conficker/Downadup Worm Infection worried many as the 1 in 16 ratio of infected computers increased dramatically around the globe and attacks were aimed at social media services like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

With the increase in cyber crime and security issues, and the growing profit found in cyber crimes, where do you go to report cyber crime if you find it or are a victim of it?

The first step is prevention. As a rule, don’t open email and delete all blog comments that look suspicious. Never click on a link that looks suspicious. Keep your web browser upgraded and patched to ensure your protection from attacks from malicious websites.

Pay close attention to detail. Never give out passwords, usernames, or private information. Never publish your email, phone, or contact information unless you want to invite a response from anyone and anything.

If you won’t do it in your offline life, don’t do it online.

These simple steps will help you prevent a lot of cyber crime, but what happens when you experience it?

How to Report Cyber Crime or Security Issues

In Security and Hacking: Protect Thyself and Thy WordPress Blog, I wrote about how to protect yourself and your WordPress blog and how to report security vulnerabilities and bugs to WordPress. Let’s look beyond to how to report cyber crime in general.

If you spot unusual behavior on your blog, on other blogs, on social media tools, or elsewhere on the web, report it to the blog owner/webmaster or company immediately. It could be a simple problem with their design, code, Plugin or Theme, or it could be something worse. Report it to the person most likely to respond and take action.

Take care reporting security issues to the world before reporting them to the proper authorities. Know the difference between a bug and a security vulnerability. For WordPress users, bugs in WordPress are to be reported via the WordPress Bug Report, but security issues are to be made to [email protected]. The same applies to other online applications and programs. Know the difference and report it appropriately.

The United States is part of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and other international agencies fighting against cybercrimes. To report a cyber crime, US citizens should read “How to Report Cyber and IP Crime” for information on cyber crime reporting within that country. In Canada, try the Reporting Economic Crime On-Line, and in London, the Metropolitan Police Service – Computer Crime Unit handles cyber crimes.

Other international organizations that track and help report cyber crimes include:

There are just a few of the locations for English speakers I found for reporting cyber crimes. Find out where to report them in your area and language.

Remember, comment spam and content theft are generally not yet considered a cyber crime, nor is most spam email. These are handled differently.

Cyber-stalking is a cyber crime, as is harassment. Misleading, fraud, theft, worms, viruses, computer infections, hacking, and online criminal activity are cyber crimes. The odds are that if it is illegal to do it offline, it’s illegal online.

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  1. By JY posted on April 13, 2009 at 12:33 am
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    with the unfortunate economic downtown, you are absolutely right that cyber crimes and threats are more abundant than before. also as our society becomes close to being fully digital, we need to be aware and smart about the dangers/threats out there.

    Reply

    • By Lorelle VanFossen posted on April 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm
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      @JY: Just so you know, cyber crime is not “on the rise” due to the economy. It’s on the rise because it has been growing as technology grows and changes, and there are more things worth attacking. Folks who are laid off are not turning to cyber crime in droves. :D

      Reply

  2. By Anti Virus posted on August 28, 2009 at 10:21 am
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    This is the ideal event for government personnel and contractors who are responsible for protecting and defending their networks against threats, attacks, and exploits.

    Reply

  3. By firewall configuration posted on September 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm
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    Hi! nice post and the information which is given its really useful,article on Hacking, Cyber Crime, and Security on the Web this having nice links so best post for the nw generations so keep it the nice post and wnts some more updates.Thanks a lot.

    Reply

  4. By shane watson posted on July 7, 2014 at 4:46 am
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    The illegal use of computers and the interne.crime committed by means of computers or the internet.criminal activity or a crime that involves the Internet, a computer system, or computer technology: identity theft, phishing, and other kinds of cybercrime.
    there are more things worth attacking. Folks who are laid off are not turning to cyber crime in droves
    thanks for sharing this important discussion.

    Todd Foster

    Reply

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