refers to any 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. refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. are defined as: "Offenses that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (Chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (SMS/MMS)"
Today, criminal organizations are very active in the development and diffusion of malware that can be used to execute complex fraud with minimal risks to the perpetrators. Criminal gangs, traditionally active in areas such as human or drug trafficking, have discovered that cyber-crime is a lucrative business with much lower risks of being legally pursued or put in prison. Unethical programmers are profitably servicing that growing market. Because today’s ICT ecosystem was not built for security, it is easy for attackers to take over third party computers, and extremely difficult to track attacks back to their source. Attacks can be mounted from any country and hop through an arbitrary number of compromised computers in different countries before the attack reaches its target a few milliseconds later. This complicates attribution and international prosecution.