Existing criminal offences which feature the use of computers could be treated in the same way as offences involving driving suggest researchers.
Like the car or gun, technology enables existing crimes to be committed more easily.
The report Understanding cyber criminals and measuring their future activity is by Claire Hargreaves and Dr Daniel Prince of Security Lancaster, an EPSRC-GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research at Lancaster University.
They suggest distinguishing between two types of cybercrime: computer enabled and computer dependent.
Computer enabled crime is a traditional crime facilitated by technology – like online fraud. Computer dependent crime is a crime which could not exist without new technology - like phishing, which attempts to acquire bank details through email.
Security Lancaster brings together Lancaster University’s research in cyber security, transport and infrastructure, security futures, violence and society and investigative expertise.