While you may be an upstanding member of your community and someone who has never done anything more illegal than run a red light, you could still be caught up in a cybercrime (computer-related crime) investigation if you make a mistake.
Most cybercrime investigations are focused internally — at an organization’s employees. While a significant number of threats online come from outside, 48% of security breaches involving cybercrimes involve employees on the “inside.”
Here’s why you could get blamed for a cybercrime even if you didn’t have anything to do with the act:
- You left your account open, and another employee took advantage of your lapse in attention. They committed the breach or theft using your identification.
- Your log-on identification was hacked or obtained via malware and then used to commit the crime.
- A co-worker claims that you were on or near your computer when the data breach or crime occurred.
- False emails, spoof accounts, duplicated IP addresses and more can be used to make it look like you are the guilty party.
Many computer crime investigations rely on a combination of forensic and circumstantial evidence. Not all forensic evidence is as ironclad as you might think. Many forensic “investigators” aren’t as savvy as the criminals committing cybercrimes and can be fooled or misdirected.
Further, you may be arrested long before anyone has a chance to evaluate the possibility that your identification or computer was hacked — because the police often don’t understand the complexities of computer crimes all that well. They tend to “arrest first” and figure out whether they’ve made a mistake later.
If you’re charged with internet fraud or another computer crime, get experienced legal help right away.