Currently, there are nearly 2 billion internet users. Over 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide. Every day, 294 billion e-mails and 5 billion phone messages are exchanged. Most people around the world now depend on consistent access and accuracy of these communication channels.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND CYBER CRIME History has shown that computer crime is committed by a broad range of persons: students, amateurs, terrorists and members of organized crime groups. What distinguishes them is the nature of the crime committed.
The age of offenders ranging from 10 to 60 years. Their skill level ranging from novice to professional. Computer criminals, therefore, are often otherwise average persons rather than super criminals possessing unique abilities and talents.
Any person of any age with a modicum of skill, motivated by the technical challenge, by the potential for gain, notoriety or revenge, or by the promotion of ideological beliefs, is a potential computer criminal.
Whilst the value of the cybercriminal economy as a whole is not yet known, the most recent estimate of global corporate losses alone stands at around €750 billion per year. The scale of the problem is itself a threat to law enforcement response capability – with more than 150 000 viruses and other types of malicious code in circulation, and 148 000 computers compromised per day.
In October 2010, the Prime Minister of Britain pledged to spend £650 million, over the next four years, on managing the risks associated with cyberspace.
David Cameron said the government is developing a National Cyber Security Programme aimed at overhauling the UK’s approach to cybercrime. Under the cyber security initiative an agency, or a single point of contact, will be created where the public and businesses can report cyber crime.
While criminal activity via the Internet is still a fairly new phenomenon, the FBI ranks it just behind stopping terrorism and counterintelligence on their list of priorities.
President Obama plans to increase the US's cyber security budget to $4.7bn to help combat the growing threat facing it from internet-related attacks. The request, which would see cyber security spending rise by $1.3bn from $3.9bn to $4.7bn, comes as a part of the US Department of Defence's proposed $526bn 2014 defence budget.(www.v3.co.uk-11 Apr 2013)
PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES The traditional laws because of many reasons cannot deal with the new challenges in the cyberspace. The existing laws and regulation has it basis on physical world activities.
Crime Scene Today most computers all over the world are interconnected and a person in one country can easily commit a cyber crime in another country without even being physically present in that country where the crime was committed. Wireless technology will make it easier for a criminal to commit crime of a borderless nature.
Problem of Policing Within cyberspace it is often difficult to determine political borders and culprits. Furthermore, the cyber criminal community and their techniques are continuously evolving, making it more challenging for governments and companies to keep up with ever-changing techniques in Africa.
Issues of jurisdictions Jurisdiction and Sovereignty issues have quickly come to the fore in the era of the Internet. The Internet does not tend to make geographical and jurisdictional boundaries clear, but Internet users remain in physical jurisdictions and are subject to laws independent of their presence on the Internet. As such, a single transaction may involve the laws of at least three jurisdictions.
i) the laws of the state/nation in which the user resides, ii) the laws of the state/nation that apply where the server hosting the transaction is located, and iii) the laws of the state/nation which apply to the person or business with whom the transaction takes place.
Issues of jurisdictions So a user in Ghana conducting a transaction with another user in Nigeria through a server in Britain could theoretically be subject to the laws of all three countries as they relate to the transaction at hand.
Obtaining Digital Evidence Another instance where the policing of cyber crime becomes difficult is with regard to obtaining the digital evidence. This is very technical and sometimes difficult to obtain where multiply jurisdictions are involved.
Digital Evidence A police department serious about the investigation of high-tech crime must prepare for any eventuality. Substantial fund may be required in all aspects of investigation. Some of the investigations has to cross borders.
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME 1: Develop multi-stakeholder approach involving the government, industry and civil society organizations etc. (Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME NITA (CERT) JUDICIARY NCA TELICOM SECURITY DPC INDUSTRY GASSCOM ISP CIVIL SOCIETY
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME The coordination and facilitation activities cover Information sharing, Providing mitigation strategies, Incident response, Recovery methods, Research and Analyses of trends, Patterns of incident activity, Clearinghouse for security tools, Advisory and alert services.
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME 2: Engage in international cooperation to the widest extent possible.( ECOWAS, AU, EU, ETC). Establish and harmonize Internet security policies and cyber laws in the West African region.
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME 3: Continual review of the judicial system Evaluate on a regular basis the effectiveness of the criminal justice response to cybercrime and maintain statistics. Such analyses would help determine and improve the performance of criminal justice action and allocate resources in an efficient manner.
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME 4: Online reporting system Establish online platforms for public reporting on cyber crime. This should provide a better understanding of cybercrime threats and trends and facilitate criminal justice action. Such platforms may also be used for public information and threat alerts.
STRATEGY TO FIGHT CYBER CRIME 5: Create awareness and promote preventive measures at all levels.
CONCLUSION The fight against cybercrime requires coordinated effort among all stake holders such as government bodies, educational institutions, telecoms and law enforcement authorities. It is a transnational crime.
CONCLUSION Africa needs strong Information and Computer Technology institutions to train cyber security experts with a strong expertise in system administration, security audit, forensic investigation, information security and software development to deal with the future challenges of cybercrime.
REFERENCE 1: Henry O.Quarshie & Alex M. Odoom, Fighting Cybercrime in Africa, www.henryquarshie. Com. 2: Henry O.Quarshie, Fighting Cybercrime in Africa-Issues of jurisdiction. www.henryquarshie. Com 3: Henry O. Quarshie, Using ICT to fight crime- A case of Africa. www.henryquarshie. Com