What constitutes a computer crime? This type of crime is the illegal exploitation of computer technologies, usually involving the Internet, to support crimes such as fraud, identity theft, sharing of information, and embezzlement. Exactly what is illegal varies greatly from territory to territory. Consequently, the growth of international data communications and in particular the Internet has made these crimes both more common and more difficult to police. Luckily there are people fighting computer crime and it is taken very seriously by government agencies. What kind of software is a computer virus? In computer security technology, a virus is a self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents. A computer virus behaves in a way similar to a biological virus, which spreads by inserting itself into living cells. Extending the analogy, the insertion of the virus into a program is termed infection, and the infected file (or executable code that is not part of a file) is called a host. Viruses are one of the several types of malware or malicious software. What differentiates a worm from a macro virus? Worms are programs that replicate themselves from system to system without the use of a host file. This is in contrast to viruses, which require the spreading of an infected host file. Although worms generally exist inside of other files, often Word or Excel documents, there is a difference between how worms and viruses use the host file. How does a denial of service attack work? DoS is the short form of a denial-of-service attack, a type of attack on a network that is designed to bring the network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic. Many DoS attacks, such as the Ping of Death and Teardrop attacks, exploit limitations in the TCP/IP protocols. For all known DoS attacks, there are software fixes that system administrators can install to limit the damage caused by the attacks. But, like viruses, new DoS attacks are constantly being dreamed up by hackers. What is the effect of a virus hoax? With the increased use of the Internet, there is a growing number of viruses that can be spread via email. Many computer users use the Internet to warn friends and colleagues of these threats. At the same time, there has also been a growth of virus hoax warnings. These warnings describe viruses with impossible characteristics. They can cause panic and lead to misconceptions about computer viruses. Forwarding these hoax warnings on only perpetuates the problem, and can waste time and system resources. What is the difference between the Klez family of viruses and previous worms? Klez is a computer worm that propagates via E-mail. It infects Microsoft Windows systems, exploiting a vulnerability in Internet Explorer, used by both Outlook and Outlook Express to render HTML mail. Later variants of the worm would use a false From address, picking an email address at random from the infected machine's Outlook or Outlook Express address book, making it impossible for casual observers to determine which machine is infected, and making it difficult for experts to determine anything more than the infected machine's Internet Service Provider. What is a white-hat hacker? A white-hat hacker, also rendered as whitehat or white-hat, is, in the realm of information technology, a person who is ethically opposed to the abuse of computer systems. Realizing that the Internet now represents human voices from all around the world makes the defense of its integrity an important pastime for many. A white hat generally focuses on securing IT systems, whereas a black hat (the opposite) would like to break into them? but this is a simplification. What do crackers do? To crack means to break into a computer system. The term was coined in the mid-80s by hackers who wanted to differentiate themselves from individuals whose sole purpose is to sneak through security systems. Whereas cracker's sole aim is to break into secure systems, hackers are more interested in gaining knowledge about computer systems and possibly using this knowledge for playful pranks. The two terms are nowadays used interchangeably due to the difficulty of differentiation. What is computer forensics? Computer forensics is the process of investigating data storage devices and/or data processing equipment typically a home computer, laptop, server, office workstation, or removable media such as compact discs, to determine if the equipment has been used for illegal, unauthorized, or unusual activities. It can also include monitoring a network for the same purpose.