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, cause serious harm and pose very real threats to victims worldwide.
Although there is no single universal definition of cybercrime, law enforcement generally makes a distinction between two main types of Internet-related crime:
- Advanced cybercrime (or high-tech crime) – sophisticated attacks against computer hardware and software;
- Cyber-enabled crime – many ‘traditional’ crimes have taken a new turn with the advent of the Internet, such as crimes against children, financial crimes and even terrorism.
Read about online safety: how to protect yourself and your devices from cyberthreats.
The changing nature of cybercrime
New trends in cybercrime are emerging all the time, with estimated 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 highly complex 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 the global fight against cybercrime, as well as tackling cyber-enabled crimes.
Most cybercrimes are transnational in nature, therefore INTERPOL is the natural partner for any law enforcement agency looking to investigate these crimes on a cooperative level. By working with private industry, INTERPOL is able to provide local law enforcement with focused cyber intelligence, derived from combining inputs on a global scale.
Our main initiatives in cybercrime focus on:
- Operational and investigative support
- Cyber intelligence and analysis
- Digital forensics
- Innovation and research
- Capacity building
- National Cyber Reviews.
INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation
INTERPOL is committed to being a global coordination body for the detection and prevention of digital crimes through the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore. This cutting-edge research and development facility, which opened in 2014, leverages global cyber-expertise from law enforcement and key private sector partners.
INTERPOL is uniquely positioned to advance the fight against cybercrime on a global scale through proactive research into emerging crimes, the latest training techniques, and development of innovative new policing tools.