Cybercrime and Law Enforcement
Cybercrime and Law Enforcement
Law enforcement plays a crucial role in combating cybercrime by investigating a wide range of cybercrimes, from theft and fraud to child exploitation, and apprehending and prosecuting those responsible
- The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyber attacks by criminals, and their cyber strategy is to impose risk and consequences on cyber adversaries
- Local law enforcement agencies are also at the front lines of responding to cybercrime, and the Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides local, state, and tribal law enforcement with critical resources to help them learn, investigate, and solve cybercrimes; share cyber threat information; and collaborate with regional and federal authorities
- Cybercrime is a growing threat to personal and national security, and crimes targeting individuals, corporations, and institutions through the use of computer technology are becoming more common
- The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to higher rates of online frauds, scams, and other types of cybercrime, which has negatively impacted law enforcement’s ability to respond to cybercrime incidents and calls for service
- To combat cybercrime, law enforcement agencies need to develop innovative investigative techniques, use cutting-edge analytic tools, and forge new partnerships in their communities
- The FBI fosters a team approach through unique hubs where government, industry, and academia form long-term trusted relationships to combine efforts against cyber threats
- The Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides critical resources to help law enforcement agencies learn, investigate, and solve cybercrimes, share cyber threat information, and collaborate with regional and federal authorities
Cybercrime is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of illegal activities that are committed using computer networks or the internet. Law enforcement agencies investigate various types of cybercrime, including but not limited to:
- Hacking: unauthorized access to computer systems or networks.
- Identity theft: stealing someone’s personal information, such as their name, address, social security number, or credit card information, to commit fraud or other crimes.
- Online fraud: using the internet to deceive people into giving away their money or personal information.
- Malware: malicious software that is designed to damage or disrupt computer systems or networks.
- Cyberstalking: using the internet or other electronic means to harass or threaten someone.
- DoS attacks: Denial of Service attacks that are designed to overwhelm a computer system or network with traffic, making it unavailable to users.
- Child exploitation: using the internet to produce, distribute, or possess child pornography or to engage in other forms of sexual exploitation of children.
Law enforcement agencies need to develop innovative investigative techniques, use cutting-edge analytic tools, and forge new partnerships in their communities to combat cybercrime
Law enforcement agencies collaborate on cybercrime investigations in various ways, including:
- Developing partnerships with other organizations: Law enforcement agencies can develop ties with other organizations to improve their cybercrime investigations.
- For example, the Law Enforcement Cyber Center provides critical resources to help law enforcement agencies learn, investigate, and solve cybercrimes, share cyber threat information, and collaborate with regional and federal authorities
- Sharing information and resources: Collaborations between law enforcement agencies have facilitated the sharing of information and resources to enhance investigations
- For example, the FBI fosters a team approach through unique hubs where government, industry, and academia form long-term trusted relationships to combine efforts against cyber threats
- Identifying key contacts: Law enforcement agencies can identify key contacts responsible for cybercrime at local FBI and Secret Service field offices and maintain regular communication with them
- Integrating and advancing science and research: One approach to meeting the challenge of cybercrime is integrating and advancing science and research into law enforcement agencies, resulting in benefits
- Assessing capacity and capability: Law enforcement agencies assess their cybercrime capacity and capability to fulfill their missions and serve their local communities, including their most vulnerable populations
These collaborations allow law enforcement agencies to defend networks, attribute malicious activity, sanction bad behavior, and take the fight to adversaries overseas
Only together can we achieve safety, security, and confidence in a digitally connected world