Eliminate The “Cyber” from Cyber-Crime

-=] RANT ALERT! [=-

Finally, I see that others are beginning to come around.  Notice that I try hard to steer away from the use of the term “cyber” when dealing with Incident Response or crime stories.  I despise the use of “cyber” as a way to indicate and differentiate online crime from other forms of criminal activity, unless it serves some special, definable purpose.  Fraud perpetrated electronically is no different than fraud perpetrated using the snail-mail system, forgery, or through any other scam.  One exception might be if we are parsing the various tpyes of fraud out for comparison:

  • Cyber-crime
  • Violent-crime
  • Street-crime
  • Hate-crime

Crime perpetrated online is just crime, perpetrated online.  Criminals that use the internet and technology to fleece their marks are just criminals with a modern set of tools and a newer medium for plying their trade.  An online attack to cripple a country’s Internet access is a combat tactic, not “cyber-warfare”.  An electronic attack to cripple a country’s radar capabilities is a combat tactic, not “radar-warfare” (although back in the 80’s it was sometimes referred to as “Electronic warfare” or jamming). 

I hope but do not expect that the media will eventually abandon the all too catchy term “cyber” and start calling it what it is.