Computer and Internet Crimes

Computers have revolutionized our lives. Just as they have brought ease, they have also caused many problems.  Computer crimes have rapidly spread over the past few decades. A computer crime is broadly defined as a criminal act which primarily uses a computer or a network. Any unauthorized usage of computers, uninvited encroachment on computers or networks, operation of malicious programs, or online harassment constitutes computer crimes, also known as cyber crimes.

The line between criminal and non-criminal computer acts is not always clear. Therefore, it is essential to understand the nuances of computer crimes so that one is aware of acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in the computer world. If you or someone you know has been charged with a computer crime, be sure not to panic and imagine the worst possible scenario.

At Eisenberg Law Offices, located in Madison, Wisconsin, our criminal defense lawyers are experienced in cyber crimes and will work tirelessly to defend you. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal jargon and procedures while keeping you meticulously informed about the progress of your case.

Kinds of Computer Crimes

Computer crimes are increasingly taking new forms. Whereas older crimes included computer viruses and malware, newer ones can range from cyber stalking to identity theft to phishing scams.  Possession of child pornography and grooming a child for sexual abuse are also considered computer crimes. Here is a brief overview of different types of computer crimes for which ELO’s Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys can represent you.

  • Computer Viruses: computer viruses replicate themselves by infecting files sent via the Internet or through shared items such as CDs and USB drives. While some may simply release pop-up messages, others can delete or alter data on one’s hard drive.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: these occur when an Internet server is swamped with a constant flow of fake requests for websites, so much so that ordinary people are unable to access that page; at times, such attacks cause the web server to crash.
  • Malware: such malicious codes and programs damage one’s hard drive by releasing viruses, worms, and Trojan horses which then proceed to infect files, copy itself, or introduce deceptively-labeled programs into the computer or network, respectively. Some kinds of Trojan horse malware can actually enable someone to remotely control your computer.
  • Cyber-stalking and Cyber-bullying: Cyber-stalking includes activities performed online like false accusations, harassment of individuals by using the internet, or solicitation of minors for sex and even making threats to others.  Cyber bullying is unwanted contacts using emails, online messaging and online discussion forums.  The content communicated may contain threats, rumors, gossips, and even false speech about an individual with the intent to embarrass, intimidate or even harass one another.
  • Fraud and Identity Theft: Pretending to be someone else by assuming another person’s identity to access resources or benefit in the person’s name is termed as Identity theft.  Fraud may be perpetrated as a result of an identity theft using credit cards which can result in severe consequences to the victim including financial losses.
  • Phishing Scams: Acquiring personal information such as user name, passwords and credit card details by scamming to be a trustworthy entity is a commonly used practice.  Such information obtained is further used to obtain a material benefit for those who carry-out these scams.
  • Possession of Child Pornography: child pornography includes any images or videos of a minor under 18 involved in sexual behavior or suggestive sexual poses on your computer.
  • Grooming a Child for Sexual Abuse: a child is engaged online with the intention of sexual abuse during an in-person meeting at a later point; the cyber interaction may or may not involve explicit conversations of a sexual nature.

Pinning a computer crime on someone is not always a clear-cut process. Often, computers are shared or infected by rampant malware, causing other people to introduce questionable material on one’s hard drive or to remotely control its data. Even viruses can be accidentally released, with the amount of harm they create completely unintentional.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices, based in Madison, Wisconsin, expertly handle cyber crime cases. They can skillfully defend you against any computer crime charge, and work out potential options to lessen or eliminate fines and jail time. If you or someone you know has been charged with a cyber crime, do not hesitate. Contact Eisenberg Law immediately for a free consultation.