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What is Cybercrime: Introduction to Cyber Crime

Internet usage has increased drastically in the last few years, and therefore Internet criminal activities are developing. Most people think that cybercrime is just a criminal activity in which hackers steal the user's financial information. But that is not the only thing. Cybercrime is constantly evolving with new threats coming up every year.
What is Cybercrime

In this article, we will understand what is cybercrime, the definition of cybercrime, the impact of cybercrime, how it works, etc. Let's discuss this:

Introduction to Cybercrime

Cybercrime is commonly called a computer-oriented criminal activity that either uses or targets a network, computer system, or network device. Most cybercriminals commit cybercrimes to make money by targeting individuals. However, some professional cybercriminals can threaten an organization by damaging or disabling the entire network. 

Apart from this, the cybercriminal can also use computers or networks to transfer viruses, malware, pornographic content, illegal information, etc. These activities are usually done to damage computers and their data, for reasons other than just a profit. 

Usually, a primary motive of cybercriminals is to generate profit for them. To do this, cybercriminals may commit a variety of profit-driven criminal activities, such as stealing and reselling identities, getting access to financial accounts, misusing credit card to get money or goods, performing email frauds, trafficking in pornography or intellectual property, accessing government data for theft and resale, etc. To be specific, cybercrime can range from security breaches to identity theft.


Cybercrime Definition

Cybercrime is a type of crime that involves a computer and a network to carry out illegal activities through digital means. This can be done by individuals or small groups of people with little technical knowledge, or by highly organized global criminal groups with relatively skilled developers and professionals.

Skilled cybercriminals use advanced tools and techniques to hide their identity and location. Additionally, some cybercriminal conducts cybercrime from countries where there are weak or no cybercrime laws. This helps in reducing the chances of detection and prosecution of cybercriminals.

Defining Cybercrime

The Department of Justice (DOJ) in the U.S. has divided cybercrime into the following three categories:

Crimes in which the computer acts as a weapon, i.e., performing DoS (denial-of-service) attack, etc.
Crimes in which computer is an accessory to a crime, i.e., storing illegally obtained data into the computer.
Crimes in which the computing device is the target, i.e., to get access to a computer or network.


These are the crimes that distinguish cybercrimes from traditional crimes. It only states that cybercrime is an attack on information about individuals, enterprises, or governments. These attacks occur on virtual bodies of individuals or enterprises (it is nothing but a set of informational attributes on the Internet).

In addition, the US has signed the European Convention of Cybercrime. Accordingly, anything including the following is considered cybercrime:

Selling illegal items online.
Illegal gambling.
Infringing copyright.
Illegally intercepting or stealing data.
Soliciting, producing, or processing child pornography.
Interfering with systems in a way that compromises a network.

The Impact of Cybercrime

It is difficult to accurately assess the actual impact of cybercrime. The impact of cybercrime can be devastating due to the high risk of data loss and financial impact. The effects of cybercrime can be classified into the following three categories:


For Individuals

The impact of cybercrime can be mostly seen on individuals. There can be issues like data breaches, identity theft, or trafficking to malicious sites, etc. with the devices. Due to this, one may see suspicious charges on credit cards and loose access to their financial accounts. Additionally, cybercriminals may misuse data stored on devices for harassment and blackmailing.

For Businesses

Businesses may suffer from sensitive data loss, financial loss, or brand damage, etc. It can directly affect the value of a company, the share price, and can also cause loss of reputation, customers, etc.

If companies fail to protect customer data, they will also have to pay fines and penalties. In addition, a cybercriminal may secretly sell the company's sensitive data to other companies.

For Government

This is a very important offense when accessing government data for misuse. Cybercriminals use advanced tools and technologies to gain access to the government's highly sensitive data. The main purpose of targeting government data is to damage data or sell national security and defense data.

Cybercrime Example

The most common examples of Cybercrime include the followings:

Cybercrime Examples - What is Cybercrime

DDoS Attack

One of the most commonly seen examples of cybercrime is a distributed DoS attack. These attacks are mainly performed to shut down systems or networks.

Malware

Malware is used to infect systems or networks and harm users by damaging their software, data, or entire systems. Malware is often used to encrypt or shut down the targeted devices until a ransom is paid.

Phishing

Cybercriminals usually send fraudulent emails or messages to victims and redirect them to fake sites. The site can be an exact copy of any popular site and looks trustworthy. Because of this, users enter their personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank details, or other important data, without knowing that these details are directly reaching cybercriminals.

Credential Attack

A credential attack is the most common example of cybercrime, where a cybercriminal aims to steal information about a user's financial accounts. In most cases, this type of attack is carried out using brute-force by installing the Keylogger software, which secretly logs everything that the user enters via the keyboard.

Website Hijacking

Another common example of cybercrime is website hacking where cybercriminals try to gain access to the website and change or remove content without authorization. In order to perform this type of attack, cybercriminal usually inserts malicious code into a website using the SQL (Structured Query Language) injection method. 

How to know if I’m targeted by cybercrime?

It is not easy to find out if a person is targeted by cybercriminals or has been a victim of cybercrime. However, the following signs may be an indication that something is suspicious and may be the cause of cybercrime:


Malware infection: Computer or other devices may start running slowly even when there is no heavy applications are running. Additionally, several error messages may occur on the screen.

Keylogger: There can be various suspicious icons on your machine. Also, there can be duplicate text issue with whatever you type or paste using the machine.

Botnet: The computer may take a long time to shut down or not shut down properly. In addition, there can be several other activities such as programs running slowly, unable to download windows and antivirus updates, fan running so fast even in the ideal state, etc. It is very difficult to detect if your machine is infected with a botnet.

Phishing or pharming attack: You may see an unknown or suspicious deduction on your credit card or other compromised accounts.

Cryptojacking: You will notice a decrease in performance even performing very basic tasks on the computer. Also, there can be a hike in electric bills due to heavy resource consumption.

Conclusion

If sudden unexpected activities are happening on your computer, tablet, mobile, or any other network device then there may be a reason for cybercriminals activities. Therefore, if your device behaves strangely and sounds suspicious, then advice should be taken from cyber experts. If you have been targeted by cybercrime, it is better to disconnect the device from the network and take some time to report cybercrime using another secure device.


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What is HTTP? Definition and Working

This article is designed to help people learn the basics of HTTP along with the topics such as what is HTTP, working of HTTP, and the advantages of HTTP.

What is HTTP

What is HTTP?

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a networking protocol used for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for World Wide Web (WWW); it means that it transfers the data (i.e., text, images, audio, video, etc.) on WWW.

In other words, HTTP establishes communication between different systems to transfer the hypertext from client-end to the server-end. It basically allows the transmission of data from a web server to a web browser in order to display web pages to the users.

HTTP is also known as a ‘stateless system' because each command is executed separately, without using the reference of the previous run command.

How does HTTP work?

HTTP works in the request and response cycles of the client requesting the web page. Suppose you want to access any webpage from the server using your web browser. You enter http:// in the browser's URL bar before the domain, which tells the browser to connect over HTTP. The HTTP GET request is generated by the browser and sent across the Internet.


As soon as the original server receives the HTTP request, it generates an HTTP response back to the user's browser. If the connection is successfully established with the response code HTTP/1.1 200 OK, a webpage will be provided on a browser. If there is a problem with the HTTP request or response, you will have a status code on your browser so that you can better troubleshoot the issue.

HTTP is considered a less secure connection. It is because HTTP requests are sent to the host server in plain text, whatever the user has entered into the text fields of the web page. This is risky in cases where the user enters important information such as credit card details or any other personal details. Hackers or anyone who is monitoring a session can easily read text data sent or received over HTTP.
What is HTTP - How does http work

Advantages of HTTP

It can be implemented with other protocols on the Internet or other networks.

Web pages are stored as a cache in computers and the Internet, making it easily and quickly accessible.

It is platform-independent, thus, supports cross-platform porting.

It does not require runtime support.

It is usable on firewalls, increasing the potential for global applications.

It is not connection-oriented, therefore, there will be no network overhead when creating and maintaining session state and information.


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Types of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is commonly called a computer-oriented criminal activity that either uses or targets a network, computer system, or network device. It is constantly evolving with new threats coming up every year. In order to keep you safe from cybercrime, it is necessary to have knowledge about the types of cybercrime.
Types of Cybercrime

In this article, we have defined the most common types of cybercrime. This article will help you to know what kind of dangers you should know about protecting yourself in the online medium. 

Categories of Cybercrime

Cybercrime can be divided into the following three categories:

Crime against Individual

This category of cybercrime usually involves one person that might be distributing malicious software or suspicious information online. Apart from this, crimes against individuals might include identity theft, cyber harassment, staling, spoofing, distribution of child pornography, credit card fraud, etc.

Crime against Property

This category of cybercrime includes crimes that occur against property, such as a computer or a network. Cybercriminals might steal a person's bank or credit card details, gain access to funds, make online purchases, or perform phishing attacks to retrieve a person's information, etc. These crimes usually include hacking, DDoS attacks, cyber and typosquatting, virus distribution, copyright infringement, etc.

Crime against Government

This category of cybercrime includes crimes that occur against the government. These crimes are the most serious offense. It is also referred to as Cyber Terrorism. Typically, these crimes are committed by the terrorists or by the governments of enemy nations. These crimes include accessing confidential information, hacking, cyber warfare, pirated software, etc.


Types of Cybercrime

There are various types of cybercrime, but all such types of cybercrime fall into the following three situations:

Crime in which the computer acts as a weapon
Crime in which computer is an accessory to a crime
Crime in which the computing device is the target

These are the situations that form the type of cybercrime. These crimes distinguish cybercrimes from traditional crimes.

Let’s discuss the most common types of cybercrime:
Types of Cybercrime - www.tutorialsmate.com

Phishing

A phishing attack involves attackers sending several spam mails having malicious attachments or links. Once a receiver clicks on a link, he/she may be redirected to a malicious site asking the receiver to respond with confidential details, such as login credentials, billing information, etc. This type of attack may also take place through text messages, websites, or even social media platforms. 

Hacking

Hacking is a type of cybercrime act where an intruder gets access to a few or complete functions within a system without your permission. Hackers (people who perform hacking) are tending to be computer programmers and they have an advanced understanding of computers. However, they misuse this knowledge for performing illegal activities, such as accessing corporate and government accounts, and stealing their financial data or other important information. 


Computer Viruses

A computer virus is one of the most destructive types of attacks where cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to the system and steal personal information and other important data. Mostly, computer viruses are attached to infected software that spreads across other installed software. Viruses can come to your system through removable devices and the internet. Without proper scanning and removing them from your system, the next time you start your system, the viruses will run all over again.

Recommended: Types of Computer Viruses

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most popular types of malware-based attacks. It enters through a computer network on a local machine and encrypts files using public-key encryption. That means you cannot access encrypted files and the information stored in them. The cybercriminal will then ask for ransom (money) to unlock the files and give your data back.

DDoS Attacks

The DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is a blatant attempt by cybercriminals to take down a system or network temporarily or completely. This overwhelms a system with multiple connections requests that it cannot handle. Additionally, there may be spam traffic coming from various sources. This eventually leads to server overload. DDoS attacks are used as a distraction technique to allow cybercriminals to hack into the system meanwhile. 


Botnets

Botnets are networks from comprised computers that are controlled externally by remote attackers, known as ‘Bot Herders'. The attackers target other computers and send spams or malware by using these botnets. This type of cybercrime is usually performed against businesses and governments because botnets mainly target the entire IT infrastructure.  

Cyberstalking

This type of cybercrime involves a person being followed by the cybercriminal online. The stalker will follow the target person virtually, including all the activities. Then, the stalker might harass the victim by using social media platforms, mails, or websites, etc. Cyberstalkers first try to know their victims as much as possible and then make them feel afraid or concerned regarding their safety. In most cases, this type of cybercrime is committed against women and children by individual men and pedophiles.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a specific type of cybercrime in which attackers gain access to the victim's personal information, including passwords, financial accounts, credit cards, and other confidential information. In most cases, cybercriminals use these details to steal money from your accounts, without your knowledge. Additionally, cybercriminals may use your details to commit a crime or claim government benefits, making others think it was you. 


PUPs

PUPs is an acronym for 'Potentially Unwanted Programs'. These are not considered much threatening as compared to other types of cybercrime. These are nothing but a type of malware program that uninstalls important software from your computer system automatically. In addition, PUPs can also remove or change your default search engines within the browsers. They can involve adware and spyware; therefore, it’s a good practice to make use of an antivirus program to prevent any malicious download.

Social Engineering

This type of cybercrime involves criminals making direct contact with the victim through phone, emails, or even in person. Cybercriminals first try to earn trust and then they steal confidential information like passwords, financial accounts data, etc. In most cases, cybercriminals act like a customer service agent of any legitimate company and ask for the important information. Once they get the desired information, they might sell your information or try to steal money from your accounts. 

Online Scams/Frauds

These are crimes that involve spam advertisements or emails offering large rewards or high amounts of money. These offers are presented in such a way that they look very real. Once users click on these malicious advertisements or links, the malware reaches their system and compromises the information.

Exploit Kits

Exploit kits are readymade tools designed by advanced programmers. These tools include vulnerability (bug in codes of the program) that helps gain access to a victim's computer once deployed. Cybercriminals can purchase exploit kits online and use them against different users. The exploit kits receive frequent upgrades just like the other software. These kits are usually purchased via dark web hacking forums.


Prohibited/Illegal Content

This is a specific type of cybercrime that includes the sharing of offensive and inappropriate content over virtual platforms. Cybercriminals distribute offensive materials to make people feel hatred against other people, religions, or countries, etc. Offensive content can include but is not limited to, videos of criminal activities, sexual activities between adults, videos with intense violence, etc. Additionally, it can also contain illegal contents like terrorism supported materials or child exploitation materials.

Spamming

This cybercrime involves criminals using electronic messaging systems to send messages to users. These messages usually consist of malware, fake links of websites, and other malicious software. Email spamming is one of the common spamming methods in which bulk messages are sent to large numbers of users. These messages include deals, and promos from trusted companies to attract users to click on the attachments or the fake links.

Malvertising

Malvertising involves criminals filling websites with several advertisements containing malicious codes or links. Once users click on these advertisements, they will be redirected to fake websites that look like trusted ones. Users will submit the personal details, thinking they are legitimate. This information will further reach to the attackers. Furthermore, the websites can automatically start downloading files containing viruses and other malware. 

Software Piracy

There are many websites that reproduce original content such as songs, movies, books, games, and other software. It falls under the Cybercrime Act as it translates to copyright infringement. Software piracy greatly affects companies and developers as duplicate products lead to huge reductions in their total income.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is one of the biggest crimes occurring in the virtual world. It is a form of bullying on the Internet. However, global leaders are aware of this crime and pass laws and enactments that prevent the spread of cyber-attack.

How to Fight Cybercrime

At present, almost all the devices (such as smartphones, tablets, and computers) are connected to the internet. Cybercriminals may use a device to gain access to personal information, business information, confidential government information, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to have knowledge about preventive measures that can be taken to fight against cybercrime.

Types of Cybercrime - How to fight Cybercrime

The following are some tips that will help you protect your computer and your personal data:

Make use of Anti-virus software and keep it updated.
Keep the operating system and other installed software updated.
Do not install software from untrusted sources.
• Be cautious while browsing the website.
Make sure that websites are safe and genuine before you enter any credentials.
Always use strong passwords with 14+ characters, including upper case, lower case, and numbers.
Flag and report suspicious emails and do not open any attachments.
Do not click on any unfamiliar links or ads.
Do not share suspicious information via digital means unless you are completely sure that it is safe.
Use a VPN service whenever possible.
Keep on tracking your bank statements and other financial accounts.

Conclusion

There can be various ways and types of cybercrime that attackers can use. The only way to protect yourself is to educate yourself about various types of cybercrime and how you can prevent them. Once you are a victim of cybercrime, there is no easy way to get rid of it. 


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Third Generation of Computer: Integrated Circuits

With the third generation of computers, the development of computers was further enhanced and innovations were obtained. Continued development made third-generation computers more superior to second-generation computers.

Third Generation of Computer

This article discusses about the third generation of computers, its history, examples, advantages and disadvantages, and much more. Let's understand this:

What You Will Learn


What is the third generation of Computer?

The development of third-generation computers is marked by the period when the transistors were replaced by integrated circuits. Integrated circuits (IC) were widely used as the main technology in third-generation computers. In particular, the transistors were assembled on silicon chips, called semiconductors, which resulted in faster speeds in the computer and improved efficiency.

The development of computers using IC's had already begun in the 1960s, but they were not in widespread use. However, from 1965 to 1971, almost all computers were incorporated with the IC's. Therefore, the period of the third generation of computers is considered from 1965 to 1971. Due to the use of an integrated circuit, the size of the computer was reduced even more than the second generation computers. This helped to make the computer more portable. 

Note: An integrated circuit refers to a small electronic device developed using semiconductor materials. A single integrated circuit consists of multiple transistors, resistors, and capacitors with associated circuitry. The device was jointly developed by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce around 1958–1959.

The following image shows the structural view of the integrated circuit:
Third Generation of Computer - Integrated Circuit Diagram

In the third generation, computers had better input-output devices. The use of keyboards and monitors was introduced in place of punched cards and printouts, which helped in increasing the speed of input and output operations. Besides, remote processing, time-sharing, and multiprogramming operating systems were also introduced in this generation, which eventually allowed users to run multiple applications at once.

For the advancement of software, third-generation computers used high-end languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN-II to IV, BASIC, PASCAL PL / 1, ALGOL-68, etc. As a result, the computer was made more reliable than the previous generation of computers.

Examples of Third Generation Computers

Some sources claim that the third generation of computers was started with the development of the IBM 360 computer. It was developed to achieve high-speed data processing for various scientific tasks such as weather forecasting, space exploration, theoretical astronomy, and subatomic physics. However, the development of this third-generation computer cost around $5 billion.

There were many successive models of IBM 360 computers. The IBM 360 Model 50 is said to be about 263 times faster than the first generation ENIAC computer. Besides, it was capable of performing approximately 5,00,000 additions or subtractions per second. The more advanced version of the IBM 360, called the IBM 360 Model 91, was estimated to solve more than 1,000 problems, as well as approximately 200 billion calculations in a second.

Third Generation of Computer - IBM 360

Although integrated circuits were the main component in third generation computers, they are still in use in computers. However, they are not used as the main component in today's computers. Even after many years, today's generation (fifth generation) computers have their roots going back to the third generation.

Some other examples of the third generation computers are listed below:

IBM 370/168
Honeywell 6000 series
PDP 8 (where PDP means Personal Data Processor)
PDP 11
TDC 316
ICL 2900, etc.

Characteristics of Third Generation Computers

Some essential characteristics or features of the third generation computers are as follows:

Use of integrated circuits (IC) as basic technology
Use of high-level programming languages such as COBOL, FORTRAN-II to IV, BASIC, PASCAL PL/1, ALGOL-68, etc.
Use of keyboards and monitors as the input-output devices
Use of line printers
Use of magnetic storage devices

Advantages of Third Generation Computers

Some of the advantages of the third generation of computers are listed below:


Integrated circuits helped make third-generation computers smaller and portable than the previous generation.

Third-generation computers were somewhat cheaper than computers that used vacuum tubes and transistors in previous generations.

Third-generation computers had a large storage capacity.

The performance of input-output operations was improved due to the use of the keyboard and monitor.

Computers were relatively fast and reliable in the third generation as compared to second-generation computers. They could calculate data in nanoseconds.

Computers were more energy-efficient than second-generation computers and produced less heat.

Due to better portability, the production of third-generation computers for commercial use was easier and cheaper.

Maintenance costs of computers in the third generation were comparatively low due to low hardware failure rates.

Disadvantages of Third Generation Computers

Some of the disadvantages of the third generation of computers are listed below:

Even after using integrated circuits and producing less heat, third-generation computers needed air conditioning systems.

Highly sophisticated technology was required to manufacture integrated circuits.

Maintenance of integrated circuits was difficult.

Although computers were somewhat cheaper than the previous generation but still expensive for personal needs.

Third-generation computers were a bit difficult to operate, requiring formal training to learn how to use these computers.


Summary

The third generation period began in 1965 and ended in 1971. Third-generation computers used integrated circuits as a core technique. Although the third generation added some advantages to computer technology, there were still some problems. This eventually led to the development of computers in the next generation, called the fourth generation of computers.


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