The Law Office of Mark S. Guralnick defends those who are falsely charged with computer crimes including computer fraud. These crimes may include using computer technology to manipulate or alter electronic data, or for hacking in order to gain unlawful access to a computer, system or network.
Among the various computer crimes that have been tracked and outlawed by various law enforcement agencies are:
- Cyber-Terrorism – Premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, programs and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets.
- Cyber-Bullying – The use of computers, text messages, emails, and social networking sites to bully another person, often by dispatching rumors, threats, and embarrassing pictures, statements, videos, websites or fake profiles.
- Cyber-Stalking – The use of computers and other online technology to harass another person, often persistently, and frequently by sending emails, instant or text messages or social media posts intended to annoy, alarm, control, manipulate or intimidate the victim.
- Espionage – Using computers and other technology to spy on another person or business.
- Fraud – The intentional use of computer technology to alter bank records, transfer money, manipulate data, or otherwise materially modify property or asserts of value.
- Harvesting – Unlawful gathering of email addresses or instant messaging addresses from the internet.
- Identity Theft – Unlawful use of unsolicited e-mails that promise victims some benefit while requesting identifying data, with no intention of providing the promised benefit or service. Identity theft includes a wide range of false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name.
- Intellectual Property Theft – Theft of another person’s or company’s copyright, trademark, patent, or licensing rights via computer technology.
- Phishing – Masquerading as a legitimate business to con a person, via the internet, into disclosing personal information, including usernames, passwords and credit card details.
- Salami Slicing – Any series of computer transactions, sliced into small actions or fractions, designed to avoid detection. Thus, for example, a thief might electronically transfer one cent from thousands of different accounts every day, but the missing penny would be likely to go unnoticed by any single account holder.
- Scamming – A general reference to conducting a swindle, a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme designed to trick a victim out of money via the internet or by online technology.
- Spamming – The annoying process, illegal in many states, of dispatching great volumes of unsolicited emails indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals or newsgroups. Spam can be used to spread computer viruses, Trojan horses or other malicious software, where the objective may be to conduct identity theft or advance fee fraud operations.
- Spoofing – A breach of network security in which a person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data; creating an email message with a forged sender address.
- Spyware and Malware Spreading – Spying software (“spyware”) and malicious software (“malware”), as well as adware, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are all the work of criminals who may intend to steal your personal information.
- Wiretapping – Unlawful use of electronic technology, with a phone connection, to listen to conversations.
In addition to these areas of computer crime, the federal government has outlawed computer crime through the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The CFAA imposes stiff penalties, including lengthy jail sentences, for unlawfully using computers to obtain national security information, trespassing in a government computer, accessing a computer to defraud or obtain value, intentionally damaging by a knowing transmission and by negligently causing damage and loss by intentional access. Penalties are also imposed for trafficking in passwords and for extortion involving computers.
Defending Computer Crime Charges
The first thing to understand if you or somebody you know is charged with a computer crime is that the law enforcement officials are NOT the experts. They must rely on experts themselves in order to build a case against you. Their case against you, therefore, is only as good as the integrity of the evidence they have collected, and the quality of the experts they have retained.
The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick employs a systematic and strategic approach to computer forensic examination, which embraces every stage of data collection, retrieval, examination, storage, transmission, analysis and interpretation, and reporting.
Popular forensic software tools, such as Encase Forensic Edition, Forensic Toolkit (FTK), X-Ways Forensics, and SANS Investigative Forensics Toolkit (SIFT) are used by crime scene investigators to reconstruct network traffic and specific transactions. Proper use of these tools can also be used to demonstrate a party’s innocence, or to establish reasonable doubt as to a party’s guilt.
Every case is different. A suspect may have reasonable grounds to believe that he was authorized to use the computer in question, or that he was permitted or instructed to alter or destroy the computer data in question. In fact, a suspect may even have a reasonable basis for believing that he had a legal right to copy or reproduce data or software, or that he was given permission to do so. Our law firm thoroughly explores each and every one of these possibilities.
If you or someone you know has been implicated in a computer crime, please contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick at 1-866-337-2900 for a free case evaluation.