Just as the internet and other new technologies are opening tremendous possibilities, they also provide opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and to carry out old crimes in new ways.
What is Cybercrime?
In Australia, the term ‘cybercrime’ is used to describe both:
- crimes directed at computers or other information communications technologies (ICTs) such as computer intrusions and denial of service attacks; and
- crimes where computers or ICTs are an integral part of an offence (such as online fraud).
Statistics show that cybercrimes continue to grow in Australia and pose a serious threat to individuals, businesses, and governments (Australian Cyber Security Centre Annual Cyber Threat Report July 2020 to June 2021)
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) provides a list of common online threats that can occur to individuals and families.
- data spill
- denial of service
- identity theft
- malicious insiders
- phishing – scam emails
- web shell malware.
Instruct students to access the ACSC website or Scamwatch and research each of the online threats. Using the Cyber threats: Note taking template they are to describe the threats and what they can do to protect themselves and their families. (This information will be used in the concluding presentation activity.)
The Australian government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is responsible for strengthening the nation’s cyber resilience. It identifies and responds to cyber threats against Australian interests. The ACSC also manages ReportCyber on behalf of federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies. This is a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cybercrime. (Australian Cyber Security Centre Annual Cyber Threat Report July 2020 to June 2021)
- Conduct this activity as a class. Display page seven and eight of the ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report July 2020 to June 2021 on an interactive whiteboard or provide students with a copy of the page and ask the following questions.
- Look at Figure 2 and describe the key cyber incidents and groups affected?
- Which cyber incident was the most prevalent across all sectors? Suggest why this may be the case?
- Look at Figure 3 and suggest reasons why the figures of reported individual incidents are low?
- Which Australian infrastructure sectors are deemed critical? Suggest reasons why these sectors may be the target of cyber incidents?
- Look at Figure 4 and identify the two key cyber security incidents. What type of criminal activity are they associated with? Can you give examples of these criminal activities that have featured in the media?
- Conclude the lesson by asking students to use their notes from the previous activity and the information on the ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report July 2020 to June 2021 website to write a summary focusing on the statement ‘The downside of digital technology.’ Once completed, groups present their findings to the class.