Define the five categories of cybercrime and give an example for each category.

Expert Answers
rogal eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cybercrime is a crime that targets the users of computers and other devices that are connected to the internet, such as mobile phones. Cybercrimes can be classified as:


A hacker is a person highly skilled in computer systems who uses this know-how to access people’s computers without their permission. Through hacking, the intruder can access a person’s personal files, which may contain sensitive data such as banking information, credit card numbers or social security numbers, a corporation’s client database or financial data, passwords, and so on. Hackers can even install malware on other people’s computers.


This happens when an individual is monitored online without his or her knowledge. The stalker monitors an individual’s online activity with an aim of gathering useful information that can later be used to harass the individual. For instance, there has been an increase of cyber-stalkers on social media sites. These stalkers use public groups or pages to pick on their victims, who they then harass via incessant messages, hurtful public comments, and so forth. Sometimes, stalkers collect their victims’ personal data, such as physical addresses from social networks, then use this data to physically accost their victims. Attempts have been made to curtail this kind of crime on social media sites through the use of “block” and “report to administration” features.

Software piracy

This is the illegal use and distribution of software online. Examples include the use of “cracked” software versions or unlicensed software on computers and mobile phones. Usually, users of pirated software also run the risk of installing malware on their devices, because pirated content is often infected by malicious code.

Identity theft

This happens when an intruder steals an individual’s online identity with the purpose of committing cybercrimes or just making gains using this identity.

Web jacking

Here, the hacker takes control of a web page without the knowledge or approval of the owner. The hacker then can maliciously modify the page’s contents or even divert an unsuspecting user to a fake similar page, where the hacker can then control the user's actions.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you need exactly five categories of cybercrimes, you should probably look in your textbook or your notes to see which five your instructor expects to see.  There are many different ways to categorize cybercrimes.  For example, this link shows us a three-part typology of cybercrimes.  However, here is one way to separate cybercrimes into five categories.

  1.  Financial.  This is cybercrime that steals financial information or that disrupts firms’ ability to do business.  So, for example, when Target’s credit card data were stolen, that was a financial cybercrime.
  2. Hacking.  This consists of unauthorized access to a computer system.  This can be used to commit other crimes (such as when Target’s computers were hacked) or it can be done to steal data or plant malware.
  3. Cyber-terrorism.  This consists of hacking that is serious enough to cause fear in target populations.  For example, if a foreign country were to hack into American banks’ records, it could cause enough fear that our economic system might be damaged.
  4. Online illegal pornography.  The most important type of this is child pornography.  The internet gives unprecedented opportunities to disseminate illegal pornography.  There are many examples of child pornography being widely distributed.
  5. Cybercrime in schools.  This consists mainly of people gaining personal information from young children who do not know better.  The information can be used to harm the children or for purposes of identity theft.

I do not know if these are the five categories that you are expected to put in your answer.  It would be best to check your book and/or notes to see what categories are used by your particular instructor.