Master Thesis Abstract
Thesis Title: Internet Crimes in the Saudi Society
Prepared By: Mohammad A. A. Alminshawi
Superuisor: Colonel Dr. Mohammad I Alsaif.
Thesis Defence Committee:
1. Colonel Dr. Mohammad I Alsaif (supervisor and reporter)
2. Professor Ibrahim Alsha'ir (discussant)
3. Dr. Ali A. Almusallam (discussant)
Defence Date: 27/2/1424 H – 29/4/2003 AD
Research Problem: Specifying and determining the most recurrent internet crimes in the Saudi society, specially those that pertain to sex, hacking, finance, creating or surfing opponent websites, and piracy. And also characterizing those who commit those crimes.
Research Importance: The study can be utilized to face, deal with, and control internet crimes. It might also help researchers in creating useful concepts on explaining behavioral phenomena that pertain to internet usage, and also to draw the attention to such criminal acts order to set judicial and legal standards for treating and judging such cases.
Research Objectives: The purpose of this study is to uncover the most recurrent internet crimes of any nature such as sexual abuse, immorality, hacking, financial crimes, opponent websites, and piracy. The subject of this study is the internet users in the Saudi society. It also tries to characterize those who commit such crimes.
Research Questions: How recurrent are sexual, immoral, hacking, financial, opponent websites' surfing and managing, and piracy crimes that are committed by internet users in the Saudi society? And what are their main characteristics?
Research Methodology & Tools: the method used in this study is social surveys. The whole community targeted in the study is all of the internet users in the Saudi society who reach about 150.000 users according to KACST's (King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology) census issued at the time of determining the study community.
. Important findings:
1. The recurrences of sexual and immoral practices done by internet users in the Saudi society is as follows: 5341 users of the total users visiting websites of sexual contents, 1675 searched for pornographic contents, 1791 subscribed to mailing lists of sexual nature, 235 constructed website(s) of sexual contents, 410 established mailing lists of sexual contents, 283 defamed others, 278 were subjected to defamation, 428 had their relatives subjected to defamation, 4055 used a proxy to visit blocked websites, 1660 used special software to surf anonymously, 1156 used special software to send email messages anonymously, 1153 users disguised in other users' identities in surfing or using email.
2. The recurrences of hacking crimes committed by internet users in the Saudi society is as follows: 1348 users destroyed websites, 381 had their websites destroyed, 548 hacked websites of governmental nature, 529 hacked commercial websites, 869 hacked personal websites,376 hacked local websites, 140 hacked GCC (Gulf states) websites, 83 hacked other Arab (non-GCC) websites, 88 hacked Asian (non-Arab) websites, 9 hacked African (non-Arab) websites, 51 hacked European websites, 14 hacked South American websites, 221hacked USA and Canadian websites,
1860 do not recall the websites they hacked, 456 had their websites hacked, 1688 hacked PCs, 3278 had their PCs hacked, 1479 hacked email accounts, 1531 had their email account(s) hacked, 1570 occupied email accounts, 1084 had their email account(s) occupied, 1017 bombed email accounts, 1832 had their email account(s) bombed, 1697 stole others' ISP accounts, 1531 had their ISP accounts stolen, 1211 sent viruses and Trojans, 5138 users (52.2%) had their PCs infected by viruses.
3. The recurrences of financial crimes committed by internet users in the Saudi society is as follows: 435 stole Credit Cards accounts,126 had their Credit Cards accounts stolen, 500 gambled, 444 committed forgery through the internet, 414 visited websites of organized crimes, 290 visited drugs' websites, 177 visited money laundering websites, 791 users of those who visited websites of organized crime, drugs, and money laundering surfed them for scientific reasons, 839 surfed them out of curiosity or by chance, 106 surfed them to use their contents in committing crimes, 139 surfed them to become members in those criminal organizations.
4. The recurrences of establishing or cooperating with opponent websites by internet users in the Saudi society is as follows: 261 users established politically opponent websites, 1336 subscribed voluntarily in politically opponent websites, 736 were subject to compulsory subscription in politically opponent websites, 561 established religious websites, out of whom 500 users established Sunni websites, 43 established Shiite websites, 5 established Christian websites, 3 established Jewish websites, 2 established Buddhist websites, 3 established Hindu websites, and 5 users established Atheistic websites, 3728 users subscribed in religious mailing lists, out of whom 3455 users (35.30%) subscribed in Sunni lists, 190 users subscribed in Shiite lists, 29 subscribed in Christian lists, 10 subscribed in Jewish lists, 6 subscribed in Buddhist lists,12 subscribed in Hindu lists, and 26 users subscribed in Atheistic lists.
- 292 users established hostile websites against organizations or persons.
5. The recurrences of piracy crimes by internet users in the Saudi society is as follows:
- 395 users (4.0%) established pirated software websites.
- 3091 users (31.5%) downloaded pirated software.
- 3182 users (32.4%) used downloading software to download pirated software.
- 577 users (5.9%) established pirated websites.
The personal characteristics of those who committed such crimes and immoral practices were also uncovered and manifested in details.
It is clear from the study that the most frequent of internet crimes in the Saudi society are (in order) hacking, then financial crimes, and lastly, the least frequent are crimes and practices of sexual and immoral nature.