Curriculum Guideline

Introduction to Cybercrime

Effective Date:
Course Code
CRIM 3365
Introduction to Cybercrime
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

This course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • audio visual material
  • small group discussions
  • research projects and research papers
Course Description
This course explores technical, legal, and social issues related to cybercrime. Cybercrime is a broad term that includes offences where a computer may be the target, crimes where a computer may be a tool used in the commission of an existing offence, and crimes where a computer may play a subsidiary role such as offering evidence for the commission of an offence. The operation of computers and the internet will be discussed. The origins and extent of cybercrime, responses from legal systems to cyber-criminals, and the social impact of cybercrimes will be addressed. Various types of cybercrimes, cyber-criminals, as well as the motivations and methods involved in cyber-offences will be explored. The etiology of cybercrimes will be analyzed from cultural, subcultural, sociological, and opportunity perspectives. International issues and jurisdictional challenges will be critically examined.
Course Content

1. Computer and internet basics:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Operation of the Internet
    • Infrastructure and usage

2. The legal composition of cybercrime:

  • Defining cybercrime
  • Classifying cyber offences
    • Computer offences
    • Computer-facilitated offences
    • Computer-supported offences
    Prevalence and frequency of cybercrimes
    • Globally
    • Canada

3. Methods and techniques used in the commission of offences:

  • Malicious software
    • Viruses
    • Worms
    • Trojan horses
    • Spyware, adware, and scareware
    • Classification of hackers
    • Techniques used by hackers
    Spamming, phishing, and skimming
    Distributed denial of service attacks

4. Computer offences:

  • Illegal access
  • Illegal interception
  • Data and system interference
  • Misuse of devices

5. Content-related offences:

  • Child pornography

6. Offences against the person:

  • Cyberstalking
  • Grooming
  • Voyeurism
  • Cyberbullying

7. Fraud and financial crimes:

  • Fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Money laundering
  • Copyright infringement
    • Software piracy

8. Theoretical explanations for cybercrimes:

  • Cultural and subcultural
  • Sociological
  • Opportunity

9. International issues:

  • Cyber-terrorism
  • Cyber-warfare
  • Human trafficking

10. Jurisdictional issues:

  • Canadian laws and jurisdiction
  • Global nature of cybercrimes and jurisdictional issues
    • Prescriptive jurisdiction
    • Adjudicative jurisdiction
    • Enforcement jurisdiction
    Canadian laws and jurisdiction
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to: 

  1. Illustrate the operation of computers and the internet.
  2. Identify various classifications of cybercrimes and cyber-criminals.
  3. Describe the prevalence of cybercrimes in Canada and other nations.
  4. Identify the methods and techniques commonly used by cyber-criminals.
  5. Distinguish between various types of cybercrimes with respect to the motivations and methods of operation of offenders, the types of victims or targets, and the spatial, temporal, and legal domains in which they are carried out.
  6. Analyse international issues such as cyber-terrorism, cyber-warfare, and human trafficking.
  7. Examine the ability of existing criminological theories to explain cybercrime.
  8. Analyse existing Canadian cybercrime legislation and the dynamic nature of the ways cybercrimes are documented in legislation.
  9. Explain jurisdictional challenges that nations face when responding to cybercrime.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on some of the following:

  1. Participation
  2. Essay
  3. Oral presentation
  4. Exams and quizzes

An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:



Midterm Exam 1


Midterm Exam 2




Oral Presentation


Final Quiz







Textbook Materials

Title: Principles of Cybercrime

Author(s): Clough, Jonathan

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: 2010


Title: Cyber Crime Fighters: Tales from the Trenches

Author(s): Donovan, Felicia & Bernier, Kristyn

Publisher: Pearson Education

Publication Date: 2009


Title: Cybercrime: Key Issues and Debates

Author(s): Alisdair A. Gillespie

Publisher: Routledge

Publication Date: 2015


Title: Cybercrime: Investigating High-Technology Computer Crime

Author(s): Robert Moore

Publisher: Taylor and Francis

Publication Date: 2014


Title: Cybercrime and the Law: Challenges, Issues, and Outcomes

Author(s): Susan W. Brenner

Publisher: Northeastern University Press

Publication Date: 2012


Title: Cybercrime in Canadian Criminal Law

Author(s): Sara M. Smyth

Publisher: Carswell

Publication Date: 2010