Computer abuses can be classified as: hacking, flaming, spamming, worms and viruses, denial of service and Internet hoaxes. Some communities/countries consider these abuses as computer crimes and computer frauds. In the Philippines, an E-Commerce Law defines the penalties for computer crimes, hacking and computer fraud, among others.

Worm and Virus

A virus is a software reproducing on its own by attaching itself to other software once it is triggered or executed. We can say that a virus has two phases: infection and attack phase. The action phase is the time it reproduce itself, while, attack phase is the time that it cause damage to other software.

A worm is a software that replicates on its own that usually spread through network without anyone triggering it. Since a worm can act independently, it spreads much faster than a virus.

Internet Hoaxes

Chain letters are the very common hoaxes that almost everyone encounters in the internet specifically in emails. With new technologies now available, this hoaxes usually ends up in our email junk and spam folders. These messages do not really infect our systems the way virus and worms do, but it is time consuming and costly to remove.


Spamming is flooding the internet email inbox of unsolicited email. Majority of this email are commercial advertising. Automated searches are used to retrieve email addresses for spamming. Junk email growth have increased significantly that it has become a headache for users and even for many Internet Service Providers (ISP). In order to combat spammers, ISP now issued policies that spammer accounts will be disabled. Most countries now consider spamming as illegal.


Flaming is considered as one way of abusing computers because it is a way of disrespecting other people's opinion and attacking them personally by sending abusive email and foul languages in chatrooms and other conversations. It is considered as unethical and usually gets blocked in chatrooms, newsgroups, forums and discussion boards.

Denial of Service

An attempt to prevent a legitimate user to access computer services is considered as a denial-of-service attack. This attacks are usually done by:
  • consuming scarce, limited and non-renewable resources
  • altering or destroying configurations
  • altering or destroying physically the network components.
Prevention of hosts or network servers from communicating on the network is an example effect of consumption of scarce resources. This results in denial of connection by legitimate network users. Bandwidth can also be consumed dramatically by intruders by issuing large packets of requests directed to the network.

Improperly configured computer will definitely not perform well or may not operate at all. Networks may be disabled because of routing information problems caused by illegal alterations.

Unauthorized attacks on physical network components such as computers, routers, hubs, switches, and network backbone segments and other critical components will definitely crashed the computer infrastructure thus services will not be available.


Hacking is an unauthorized access of computers, information systems, including its files, programs and databases. Hackers usually do this to steal services, steal confidential information, and because of vengeance or hatred. Some hackers do this for thrill and excitement. Others, do it just to test their skills and for experimentation.