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Cybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network.The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target.Cybercrime may threaten a person, company or a nation's security and financial health.
There are many privacy concerns surrounding cybercrime when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise. Internationally, both governmental and non-state actors engage in cybercrimes, including espionage, financial theft, and other cross-border crimes. Cybercrimes crossing international borders and involving the actions of at least one nation-state is sometimes referred to as cyberwarfare.
These crimes are committed by a selected group of criminals. Unlike crimes using the computer as a tool, these crimes require the technical knowledge of the perpetrators. As such, as technology evolves, so too does the nature of the crime. These crimes are relatively new, having been in existence for only as long as computers have—which explains how unprepared society and the world, in general, is towards combating these crimes. There are numerous crimes of this nature committed daily on the internet. It is seldom committed by loners, instead it involves large syndicate groups.
Crimes that primarily target computer networks ethffefes include:
- Computer viruses
- Denial-of-service attacks
- Malware (malicious code)
Crimes that use computer networks or devices to advance other ends include:
- Fraud and identity theft (although this increasingly uses malware, hacking or phishing, making it an example of both "computer as target" and "computer as tool" crime)
- Information warfare
- Phishing scams
- Propagation of illegal obscene or offensive content, including harassment and threats
- The unsolicited sending of bulk email for commercial purposes (spam) is unlawful in some jurisdictions.