Information networks and crime

Cybercrime or computer crime refers to crimes in which perpetrators commit attacks against, or make use of, information technology or information networks. Today, information networks form an integral part of the operating environment of crime and crime prevention, and an ever greater number of offences reported to the police are committed on information networks or systems.

Information network crimes include offences such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks that seek to intentionally disrupt or slow down an information system. Malware (virus, worm or trojan etc.) may be inserted into a computer, causing it to be taken over and spy or send data to the hacker. Hacking refers to infiltrating an information network or system (cracking) with the intention of destroying data in the system, or using the system for the hacker’s purposes.

Property crime and terrorist recruitment

Property crime is one of the most common crimes. Most such crimes are fraud and means of payment offences, but money laundering and extortion are also included in this category. The internet has made it easier to sexually abuse children and young persons. With the use of the internet becoming ever more prevalent, the possibility of exploitation has increased.

Individuals with ties to violent extremism and terrorism use the internet to distribute propaganda and terrorist material, recruit new members, and engage in violent radicalisation. Terrorists also use the internet to exchange messages and plan activities such as terrorist acts.

Cross-border crime

Cybercrime is often highly international in nature. Online crime is often international because, unlike many conventional crimes, the internet does not have certain physical limitations. The physical location of offenders and victims is therefore irrelevant in theory.

Most cybercrime is not reported to the police and most offences that the police investigate remain unsolved, or are only partly solved.