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Cybercrime is crime using digital tools and networks to exploit vulnerabilities on a personal or enterprise level, often with the intention of stealing money, data or reputation. It includes hacking and other forms of unauthorized access and manipulation of computer systems, but also extends to impersonating people online or exposing private information in order to steal identities and commit fraud.

As a criminal act, it is distinct from terrorism and organized crime. It can have economic, social or national security implications and is increasingly targeted by government agencies such as the FBI. It is also a priority for Europol and other law enforcement partners.

The Internet and digital technologies have made it easier to carry out traditional crimes, such as theft, fraud and extortion. They have also opened up new ways to commit these offences. For example, the Internet’s speed and convenience has allowed criminals to hide behind the anonymity of their computers while communicating with victims over the web. Its global reach means that criminal activity can transcend borders and jurisdictions, making it more difficult to identify and prosecute.

The nature of cybercrime is evolving as criminals adapt to changing technology and become more sophisticated. Whether it is ransomware, business email compromise scams or cryptocurrency-related crime, the impact of cyber attacks is significant and growing.