Computer fraud is the use of computers, the Internet, Internet devices, and Internet services to defraud people or organizations of resources. In the United States, computer fraud is specifically proscribed by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which criminalizes computer-related acts under federal jurisdiction and directly combats the insufficiencies of existing laws. Types of computer fraud include:
- Distributing hoax emails
- Accessing unauthorized computers
- Engaging in data mining via spyware and malware
- Hacking into computer systems to illegally access personal information, such as credit cards or Social Security numbers
- Sending computer viruses or worms with the intent to destroy or ruin another party's computer or system.
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