Cybercrime is a fast-growing area of crime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities that know no borders, either physical or virtual.
These crimes can be divided into three broad areas:
- Attacks against computer hardware and software, for example, botnets, malware and network intrusion;
- Financial crimes, such as online fraud, penetration of online financial services and phishing;
- Abuse, especially of young people, in the form of grooming or ‘sexploitation’. Read more about INTERPOL's work to combat crimes against children.
The changing nature of cybercrime
New trends in cybercrime are emerging all the time, with costs to the global economy running to billions of dollars.
In the past, cybercrime was committed mainly by individuals or small groups. Today, we are seeing criminal organizations working with criminally minded technology professionals to commit cybercrime, often to fund other illegal activities. Highly complex, these cybercriminal networks bring together individuals from across the globe in real time to commit crimes on an unprecedented scale.
Criminal organizations turning increasingly to the Internet to facilitate their activities and maximize their profit in the shortest time. The crimes themselves are not necessarily new – such as theft, fraud, illegal gambling, sale of fake medicines – but they are evolving in line with the opportunities presented online and therefore becoming more widespread and damaging.
INTERPOL is committed to becoming a global coordination body on the detection and prevention of digital crimes through its INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), currently being constructed in Singapore.
A key component of this new cutting-edge research and development facility is the INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre. This new centre provides proactive research into new areas and latest training techniques, and coordinates operations in the field.
Our main initiatives in cybercrime focus on: