Cyber crimes encompass many criminal activities that happen online or through computer networks. These crimes include the hacking theft of valuable data and proprietary information, ransomware attacks, identity theft and distribution of child pornography. The FBI has the task of monitoring and intervening in these activities. The bureau established the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance in 1997. From its base of operations in Pennsylvania, the alliance shares resources and expertise and develops strategies for counteracting cyber criminals.
Constant advances in computer technology require investigators to update their methods continually. Cyber criminals deploy a wide range of tactics against their targets. Transnational crime rings might harvest illicit gains from stock manipulation schemes, intellectual property theft or pharmaceutical fraud. Individuals have the same potential as large companies to be exploited by cyber criminals. Various financial fraud schemes, ransomware attacks and identify theft can impose losses on people. Children might be lured into dangerous situations by predators who contact them online.
The Cyber Division at the FBI contains specially trained agents to deal with the ongoing and evolving threats posed to businesses, universities and individuals. Cyber Action Teams travel throughout the world in response to major cyber attacks, and Computer Crimes Task Forces distributed throughout regional offices use cutting-edge computer technology to track and identify criminals.
A person caught up in a cyber crime investigation could end up accused of federal crimes, which often carry harsh penalties. The representation of a criminal defense lawyer may aid a person targeted by serious allegations. A lawyer may scrutinize the methods used by investigators to determine if searches and seizures were lawfully conducted. Any mistakes by law enforcement might enable a lawyer to undermine evidence in the case for the purpose of reducing or dismissing criminal charges.