Applying the Theory of Cybercrime to Hacking for Fun

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1838 Words
Date:  2021-05-27

The term crime characterizes any form of activity that directly or indirectly violates a law resulting in punishment. The punishment offered as a remedy for the bleach of the law could range from the payment of a fine in a court of law to incarceration in prison. More severe forms of crime are penalized using a lengthy period of confinement in jail or the capital sentence. Today, with the development of human society in different parts of the world, the forms of crime have also evolved. Cybercrime is one among the many forms of crime in todays contemporary society. This form of crime has immensely evolved as a result of the development of Internet connectivity in different parts of the world. This case study discusses the concept of cybercrime and an application of the theory of cybercrime to hacking for fun.

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Cybercrimes are forms of crime that involve a computer and network CITATION Cro16 \l 1033 (Cross Domain Solutions, 2016). In most cases, the computer may have been used as a tool to execute a crime or it could be the target for cyber criminals. Cybercrimes are all the offenses that could be perpetrated towards individuals or groups of persons with a criminal motive focused on hurting the reputation of the victims or cause physical or mental harm to persons employed by using the modern telecommunication networks like the internet. Such crimes can be perpetrated online through emails, groups, chatrooms as well as notice boards that are often used by the victims. They are also subjected using mobile devices through features such as the SMS and MMS. Over the past decade, such crimes have immensely affected the national security of governments as well as the financial health of victims. Most of the issues revolving around this include copyright infringement, child grooming as well as child pornography among others.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is the primary agency in the United States that is focused on investigating cases of cyber-attacks (FBI, 2016). Such are crimes performed by criminals locally and overseas. In the United States and other parts of the world, the threat of cybercrimes has immensely escalated. Cyber intrusions have also become more dangerous and sophisticated. Most cybercrime adversaries today are targeting critical infrastructures in both public as well as private sectors in the nation. There are various reasons as to why cybercriminals attack persons and entities. For instance, most American corporations are targeted by cyber criminals for trade secrets among other valuable corporate data. The universities are also targeted by cyber hackers for their top research as well as development. Citizens are targeted for their money on virtue accounts while children are targeted online by cyber stalkers.

Cyber Criminology

The field of research that is fundamentally focused on the study of cybercrimes. It is a multidisciplinary area of study that is focused on the research of cybercrime from various fields such as computer science, criminology, sociology, victimology computer science as well as internet science. The cyber criminology discipline was established by Jaishankar (2007), and he defined the terms cyber criminology as the study of the various causative factors of crimes that take place in cyberspace as well as their impacts on the physical presence. The field of cyber criminology was established for two primary reasons. First, Jaishankar thought that there should be a field of knowledge that is explicitly dedicated on cybercrimes one that should not be associated with investigation or be combined with forensics. Secondly, he felt the need to have an independent field of study that is specifically focused on exploring cybercrimes from a social science perspective.

Left Realism

One of the theories that can be employed in the definition of cybercrimes is the theory of left realism. Left realism is a phrase that refers to the perspective in crime that was advanced in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. It was employed to illustrate the failures of the left-leaning political parties in the nation in their efforts to seek a solution that addresses the issue of cybercrime as an everyday act of crime. According to the left realism tenets, all crimes with the exception of the white collar crimes should be explained as well as tackled.

Application of the Theory of Cybercrime to Hacking for Fun

Cybercrime theories have been a significant part of various criminological literature that has been developed over the past few decades. They have facilitated researchers with a platform to seek knowledge of the major contributors of criminals to engage in cybercrimes. Some of the widely employed cybercrime theories include the routine activities theory, general strain theory, deterrence theory, deviant subcultures theory as well as social learning and social control theory. Cybercrime researchers have offered numerous factors that may trigger researchers to indulge in cybercrime activities. Among them, is the proposition that some cyber criminals hack for fun. There are five fundamental theories under the theory of cybercrime that can illustrate the reasons as to why people hack for fun.

Routine Activities Theory

It is one of the theories that can be used to explain the reasons behind the occurrence of cybercrimes. The theory is considered to be an environmental, location-based description of the crime. It onsets where the behavioral patterns, as well as the intersections of persons in both time and space, influences the time and the location where the crimes occur. The theory offers a suggestion that the calculated organization of routine functions in the society develops opportunities for crime. Such functions include the usage of the internet in schools, homes, and work. According to the theory, cyber criminals develop a tendency to indulge in crime as a result of regularly interacting with the internet on a regular basis.

The insider threat is considered to be part of a malicious threat in an organization. It occurs when persons inside an organization, such as the staff, former staff, and other business associates possess inside information pertaining an organizations security practices information as well as computer systems. This theory can be supported by a publication authored by Spyridon Samonas (2013) in her discussion about insider fraud as a consequence of the routine activity theory. The publication was a case study offering an examination of three different scenarios in the Upper-tier Budget Hotel that is situated in London illustrating the empirical data of an insider fraud CITATION Sam13 \l 1033 (Samonas, 2013).

The findings of the case study were reviewed using the routine activity approach to cyber criminology. The findings of the study illustrated that corporations today must be flexible, agile as well as aggressive in eradicating bureaucracy and formalization inside their organizations. In addition, such corporations must also be open to risk as well as innovation that may occur as a result of the constant interaction of its workers with internet connectivity. The case study supported the theory of cybercrime by illustrating that a calculated behavior function such as the usage of the internet at the workplace, and the exposure of such a routine to persons could offer a habitable ground on the perpetration of cybercrimes.

Deterrence Theory

These are forms of cybercrimes in which the computer networks and systems are the primary target for substantial tools. In this form of crime, criminals aim at manipulating computer operated systems, either for fun or profit. Such systems include the national nuclear weaponry systems aimed at offering protection to a nation. The increase in cybercrime cases in the United States has turned into a growing concern by the FBI and other branches of the national security. As a result, the government has enacted policies aimed at reducing and controlling the increasing trend of cybercrime events in the nation. Such policies are aimed at increasing the risks of cybercrime detection, apprehension, prosecution as well as punishment.

Today, increased measures have been put down by the military intelligence in the United States in an effort to prevent themselves from cyber-attacks against their nuclear weaponry. Such protectionism has occurred in the wake of an increased threat of cyber criminals who are focused on discrediting the military cyber protection policies put in place by the military forces in the nation. In most cases, such cyber criminals attempt to hack the nuclear defense systems merely for fun. This phenomenon can be supported by a publication authored by Christopher Harley in 2013. The publication was a systematic review discussing the theory of cyber deterrence in cyber criminology. According to the publication, the United States defense forces is faced with thousands of cybercrimes threats per day and at times, they are even unable to distinguish between the critical and minor threats CITATION Hal13 \l 1033 (Haley, 2013).

Social Learning and Self Control

According to the social learning theory, most people participate in crime as a result of their constant engagement with other persons who engage in crime. Their criminal behavior is reinforced by the other persons around them. They learn beliefs and behaviors that are favorable to the execution of a crime. Consequently, such persons result into believing that crime is a desirable phenomenon or even justifiable when perpetrated in certain scenarios. From this analysis, persons who constantly interact with others people who partake in criminal activities may result in performing criminal acts themselves. Such an engagement could be viewed as fun by the crime perpetrators despite its potential to cause harm of destruction to others.

Although there are a variety of reasons as to why such persons may decide to indulge in crime, one of the primary reasons they may perpetrate in cyber offenses is for fun. A persons constant interaction with other persons who indulge in crime for fun may also contribute to the persons participation in the crime. The concept of social learning as a theory aimed to explain the reasons as to why people participate in cybercrime for fun can be supported by a publication authored by Holt, Burruss, and Boosler in 2010. The publication was the summary of a theoretical research performed to examine the importance of having a social learning model to be used by all persons in the virtual world (Holt, Burruss & Bossler, 2010). The research also illustrated the relationship between social learning and the aspect of cyber-deviance.

On the other hand, social control theory is a concept that proposes that some persons participate in crime since they lack self-control. Lack of self-control is considered to be the primary factor that contributes to their criminal behavior. Past research has ascertained that persons who have low self-control levels have a correlational criminal conduct. According to the social-control theory, by exploiting the socialization process, a person can attain social learning that in turn builds self-control. It also minimizes a persons ability to indulge in any criminal behavior, which is considered to be antisocial. If persons who have low self-control maintains a constant interaction with others who perform cybercrimes, they too might result in perpetrating the crime themselves.

The research was aimed at illustrating the relationship between digital piracy as a cybercrime, self-control theory as well as rational choice. The social control theory as a core sub theory of the theory of cybercrime can be supported by a quantitative re...

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Applying the Theory of Cybercrime to Hacking for Fun. (2021, May 27). Retrieved from

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