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Cybercrime occurs in the context of digital technology, and is a global problem that affects businesses, governments and individuals. It can take many forms including phishing, ransomware, data breaches and hacking. These crimes are often highly sophisticated and involve collaboration across borders. In addition to the economic impact, they have a negative impact on society in terms of loss of privacy, diminished trust and disruption of critical infrastructure.

While cybercriminals are increasingly agile and organized, the underlying causes of their behavior remain the same. The basic elements of crime are theft, fraud and extortion – and the most common methods used in cybercrime are phishing, hacking, data breach and ransomware. Some criminological literature examines the influence of social and cultural factors in the development of criminal and delinquent values. Others look at the role of specific spaces, online communities and networks in the transmission of such values.

The term “cybercrime” is not well defined, and different definitions are often used in the same context. This can be problematic, as different definitions may lead to different priorities, investigative approaches and resources. For example, some acts involving the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information systems fall under the definition of cybercrime while others do not. In addition, the borderless nature of cybercrime makes it difficult to define a single legal framework that applies globally.