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HSI is committed to working with its partners to pursue cybercriminals on all fronts. We do this to help ensure the integrity of the internet and protect American consumers, businesses, and the public.

Today we rely on technology and the internet more than ever before. Nearly all parts of our personal and professional lives are connected online, from banking and healthcare to education and online commerce. And the price of convenience is high: It exposes us all to the risks of cybercrime.

Cyber criminals operate all around the world, motivated by money, personal gain and sometimes even politics. But no matter where they or why they’re exploiting people, HSI’s job is to protect you from them.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is any illegal activity carried out using computers or the internet.

The internet has drastically changed our economy and how the world does business. With a global increase in online services and our steadily growing reliance on digital devices, cyber criminals have a wealth of information at their disposal and can use it for illegal purposes.

Cybercriminals can be rogue individuals working alone, or they can be part of organized crime groups or state-sponsored entities. They use technology to their advantage, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and cryptocurrencies to threaten public safety and our national and economic security.

Cybercrime is an extremely profitable, borderless crime. Cyber threat actors generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, making cybercrimes one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises. It can also leave behind devastating consequences related to lost time, services, opportunities and reputation.

Not all cyberattacks are aimed at stealing money. Sometimes cybercriminals conduct cyberattacks to disable, disrupt or control computer systems, or to change, delete or steal data. Their motivation can range from petty theft to acts of war or terrorism.

To combat this growing threat, people and organizations must be vigilant and take proactively protect themselves from cybercrime.

The Impact of Cybercrime

Cybercrime's financial toll is staggering, with estimates running into the hundreds of billions of dollars annually, yet the consequences extend beyond monetary loss.

Cybercrime often leads to:

  • The unauthorized release of protected personal information.
  • Decreased efficiency in emergency response due to compromised systems.
  • Widespread price gauging in the wake of digital attacks.

These incidents erode public trust. They also have the potential to re-victimize people for years as stolen data circulates in the dark corners of the internet.

How HSI Combats Cybercrime

There is a cybercrime component to virtually every type of investigation HSI conducts, including narcotics, weapons, and human trafficking; fraudulent identification documents; sexual exploitation of children; theft or sale of intellectual property and export-controlled data; and criminal money laundering.

HSI is committed to working with its partners to pursue cybercriminals on all fronts. We do this to help maintain internet integrity and protect American consumers, businesses and the public. Persistence, cooperation, and ingenuity are keys to combatting this global crime.

Within HSI, special agents; computer forensics agents and analysts; cyber operations officers; intelligence analysts; and cybersecurity specialists work together to investigate cybercrime and develop new techniques to detect, disrupt, and deanonymize cybercriminals.

Cyber investigators receive specialized training to stay up to date with cybercriminals' evolving tactics.

DHS’s Cyber Crimes Center is a central coordination hub for our efforts to counter cybercrime and help support and drive global investigations.

HSI also provides world-class training and outreach to law enforcement partners, Congress, industry, academia, and the public to raise awareness of existing cyber threats and how to combat them.

Think you have the cyber skills to join our team? Apply today.

How We Can Help Each Other

Threat actors and their techniques constantly evolve as technology and opportunities change. Here are some examples of cybercrime to watch out for:

  • Business email compromise schemes
  • Child exploitation
  • Cryptojacking
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyberespionage
  • Cyberextortion
  • Identity theft
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Spoofing and phishing

If you have information regarding cybercrime contact HSI at 1-877-4-HSI-TIP or contact your local HSI office.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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