It’s nothing new: Cybercrime goes back to 19th century

Mehran Muslimi

Most of us think that cybercrime is an activity that goes back around 20 to 30 years. We think in terms of how long the Internet has been around. But that would be quite far from the truth. Since technology has been used as a form of communication, there have been individuals who have sought to use it for criminal activity.

The first ‘hack’ took place in 1834. In that year, some thieves hacked (not a word they used then) the French Telegraph system to steal financial market information. And in 1870, a young person was hired to operate a telephone switchboard in order to disconnect and redirect calls for personal use. This also happened in the early days of the New York telephones system, which started in 1878, when a group of teenagers were found to be intentionally misdirecting calls.

Fast forward to 1939, and we have what might…

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