Melissa virus affects Microsoft word and spreads as an attachment. If an unsuspecting recipient opens it the virus affects the computer storage. The virus disables the mail servers of a corporate. For example, Microsoft Corporation shut down all its incoming emails because of the Melissa virus. The virus also affected other companies for example Intel.
The virus spread through email around the US and caused the closure of email servers in government agencies (Mills, 2009). David L Smith, the man behind the virus was arrested. The computer programmer was found guilty of creating and distributing the virus to many computers in the world in 1999. He was detected by the IP address that was proven to be originating from New Jersey.
He was given a twenty-month jail sentence and a fine of $5000. The virus posed a security threat to government agencies because it interfered with the normal working through forced closure of email servers. The shutting down of the servers compromises the effectiveness of the agencies, and criminals could use such lapses to carry out acts that endanger the lives of the people.
In conclusion, cybercrime affects security, and governments must put concerted efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, and ensure citizens of security in the cyberspace. Moreover, people need to be educated on cyber attacks and how to avoid falling prey to cyber criminals and stay safe online. The capture of David is a good sign that the US government is serious about tackling cybercrime.
The war against cybercrime is a difficult one to win because new viruses keep coming up, but if the government and other stakeholders work together, they will not be caught off guard by new viruses. The government should devote its resources into the study and investigation of how criminals use the click fraud system because genuine advertisers lose their money by making them pay for automated advertisement clicks.
Such advertisers do not get human traffic to their sites hence cannot make sales. The attack of personal computers without the knowledge of the users is very dangerous because the virus steals personal information. The theft of identity can pose very serious risks to innocent people. Working hand in hand with other stakeholders in the cyberspace will help to apprehend criminals that pose security threats.
Moreover, the government will help to cushion genuine advertisers and online users from financial frauds. More importantly, through vigorous and constant checks on cyber crimes, the government will be able to stop any threats at the early stages and mitigate large damages before they occur.
The kinds of cyber attacks run by Chinese hackers organizations Unit 61398 are dangerous as they breach the privacy of the US government and corporations. The hackers can steal confidential information that they can use against corporations or governments. The hackers compromised the state security with the confidential information they lay their hands on making it a very worrying trend.
Stakeholders ought to work together to curb cyber attacks. However, the Chinese government denies any cyber attacks originating from its country. Hence, it is difficult to win the war over cybercrime because of the mistrust between nations; thus hackers will continue to have a field day hacking systems.
Different countries must put away their differences and fight the common enemy of cybercriminals because they make the world a dangerous place for all. The fight against cyber attacks must continue.
Mills, E. (2009). Melissa virus turns 10. Web.