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As the world becomes more digitally connected, cybercriminals are exploiting weaknesses in online systems, networks and infrastructure. Phishing, ransomware and data breaches are all growing threats that can have serious consequences for individuals and businesses.

While there is no one-size-fits-all definition of a cybercriminal, they can range from the lone individual engaging in cyberbullying to state-sponsored actors who are attacking the infrastructure that makes our economy and society run. They may use sophisticated technology to steal personal information and other sensitive materials for financial gain, or hack into smartphones and other network-connected devices like webcams and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in order to spy on an individual or group of people.

Criminals often operate across national borders, and they can use their skills and knowledge to avoid detection or prosecution. However, the virtual trail they leave behind is no different than the footprints they might make on real soil, and a skilled tracker can follow their lead.

The FBI’s Cyber Division and other federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, are tasked with strengthening our cybersecurity and resistance to cyberattacks by developing and training experts, supporting law enforcement partners worldwide and providing computer-based technical support for cyber crimes that cross jurisdictional boundaries. In addition, the ICE Cyber Crimes Center delivers expert cybercrime services, including computer forensics, to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This state-of-the-art center helps investigators solve high-profile cybercrimes, such as the 2014 hack against Sony Pictures over its film “The Interview,” which depicted an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.