Along with its ability to enhance collaboration and proliferate information, the Internet has introduced a new level of computer crime. Computer crime consists of a wide array of issues including identity theft and privacy violations, misuse of intellectual property, theft and espionage, and general computer-based attacks. Of the threats facing information systems security, computer crimes make up the largest percentage and are often the most severe. Additionally, would-be criminals can use the outcome of other threats such as human error or forces of nature as an opening for computer crime (Whitman & Mattord, 2009).

Although tracking computer criminals is a difficult task, law enforcement officials have many tools at their disposal. One of the most important tools for law enforcement is voluntary disclosure. When the victim of a computer crime surrenders the contents of their computer to law enforcement for analysis, it provides evidence of what steps an attacker used to compromise the system. This can make electronic surveillance easier in the future, as law enforcement knows what to look for. Once law enforcement has a suspect they may obtain a search warrant in order to search the suspect's premises. Computer equipment seized in a search may be analyzed for evidence of computer crime (Morris, 2005).


Morris, D. A. (2005). Tracking a Computer Hacker. Retrieved November 6, 2009.

Whitman, M. E. & Mattord, H. J. (2009). Principles of information security (3rd ed.). Boston: Thomson Course Technology.