Analysis of Computer Crime in Singapore using Local English Newspapers

By Na Jin-Cheon, Wu Hao, Ji Yong, Tay Mia Hao & Ramanathan Mani Kandan, pp. 77-102


The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze computer crime cases in Singapore over a 6-year period from 2003 to 2008 and to understand the trend in computer crimes.

For data collection, we constructed comprehensive query terms for searching all the computer crime cases in Singapore. All the related terms for “computer crime” were collected using two thesauri engines which were namely Inspect and Compendex. In the search phase, the two search engines, LexisNexis Academic and Factiva, were employed.

The source of the articles was all English newspapers published in Singapore, such as The Straits Times, The Business Times, and Today. Based on the collected computer crime cases in Singapore, the top three computer crimes categories were hacking (32.4%), fraud (29.5%), and intellectual property theft (17.1%).

Among these three categories, fraud had increased from 12.5% to 42.9% of total cases in the 6-year period. The analysis showed that the offenders were mainly male (90.3%) and in the age group between 18 and 40 years old (75%); 73.9% of the criminals had a university or polytechnic education; 46.6% were at either management/professional or executive positions.

We also observed from related literature that Singapore had a good awareness of computer crime vulnerabilities and counter-measures, and the laws for computer crime were becoming more matured.