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Cybercrime involves using electronic means to commit a crime. It can include crimes such as hacking, identity theft, malware, phishing, and data breaches. These types of crimes can lead to millions in losses and a threat to public safety. Several federal agencies work to detect and investigate these crimes. However, these agencies have different ways of collecting and reporting data, and their definitions of cybercrimes are not always consistent. This leads to challenges with measuring the extent of these crimes and coordinating among law enforcement agencies at all levels.

Cybercriminal activity can take many forms, ranging from individuals with relatively low technical skill level to highly organized global criminal groups that leverage multiple skill sets and resources. Whether it is the creator of malware selling stolen codes on the dark web, the distributor of illegal pharmaceuticals using cryptocurrency brokers to hold virtual money in escrow or state threat actors using technology subcontractors to steal intellectual property, cybercriminals rely on others to help them complete their attacks.

The most common cybercrimes include phishing, ransomware and denial of service attacks. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that tricks a victim into giving up personal information by sending fake messages or emails with spoofed sender addresses. Ransomware is an attack that encrypts files on a computer and demands money to restore the data. Denial of service attacks use a network of compromised computers or Internet of Things devices to flood a target with traffic, making it unavailable.