Cyber Crime

Cyber attacks are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous, and more sophisticated. Criminals, terrorists, and other adversaries want to gain access to our nation’s critical infrastructure, corporate data, trade secrets, and cutting-edge research and development work. Fraudsters and identity thieves target our financial and personal information, and online predators put young people at risk.

The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating cyber attacks. The threat is serious—and growing. Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself, how you can report cyber crime, and the Bureau's efforts in combating cyber crime.

Cyber Security

What You Should Know 

Protect Yourself

Understand Common Crimes and Risks Online

  • Business email compromise (BEC) scams exploit the fact that so many of us rely on email to conduct business—both personal and professional—and it's one of the most financially damaging online crimes. In BEC scams, criminals send an email message that looks like it's from a known source making a legitimate request.
  • Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, like your Social Security number, and uses it to commit theft or fraud. 
  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return.
  • Spoofing and phishing are schemes aimed at tricking you into providing sensitive information to scammers.
  • Online predators are a growing threat to young people. 
  • More common crimes and scams

Respond and Report 

Depiction of banner being used in campaign to encourage the public to report Internet crime to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

File a Report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

If you are the victim of online or Internet-enabled crime, file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) as soon as possible. Crime reports are used for investigative and intelligence purposes. Rapid reporting can also help support the recovery of lost funds. Visit the IC3's website for more information, including tips and information about current crime trends.

Contact Your FBI Field Office

If you or your organization is the victim of a network intrusion, data breach, or ransomware attack, contact the nearest FBI field office or report at tips.fbi.gov.



Fighting Cyber Crime 

The FBI addresses the evolving cyber threat by investigating computer network intrusions. 

For more information on the FBI's cyber security efforts, read Addressing Threats to the Nation’s Cybersecurity

Investigating Computer and Network Intrusions 

The collective impact of cyber crime is staggering. Billions of dollars are lost every year to network intrusions. Some take down vital systems, disrupting and sometimes disabling the work of hospitals, banks, and 9-1-1 centers around the country. Others types of attacks steal valuable data, research, or trade secrets.

Who is behind such attacks? It runs the gamut—computer hackers looking for bragging rights, businesses trying to gain an upper hand in the marketplace by attacking competitor websites, rings of criminals wanting to steal personal and financial data, or foreign adversaries looking to gain access to information.

Today, these computer intrusion cases—counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal—are cyber program priorities because of their potential national security nexus.

In recent years, we’ve built a new set of technological and investigative capabilities and partnerships—so we’re as comfortable chasing outlaws in cyberspace as we are down back alleys and across continents. Those capabilities include:

  • Specially trained cyber squads at FBI headquarters and in each of our 56 field offices, staffed with agents and analysts who protect against and investigate computer intrusions, theft of intellectual property and personal information, child exploitation, and online fraud;
  • Cyber Action Teams that travel around the world on a moment’s notice to assist in computer intrusion cases and gather vital intelligence that helps us identify the cyber crimes that are most dangerous to our national security and to our economy;
  • Computer Crimes Task Forces that combine state-of-the-art technology and the resources of our federal, state, and local counterparts;
  • Growing partnerships with other federal agencies—including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and others—that share similar concerns and resolve in combating cyber crime. Our National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force is a key part of this effort.

Related FBI Priorities 

National Cyber Forensics & Training Alliance

Because of the global reach of cyber crime, no single organization, agency, or country can defend against it. Vital partnerships like the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) have become an international model for bringing together law enforcement, private industry, and academia to build and share resources, strategic information, and threat intelligence to identify and stop emerging cyber threats and mitigate existing ones.

For more information visit the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance website.


Lawful Access

Many federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies are facing challenges due to the phenomenon sometimes referred to as “warrant-proof” encryption. This type of encryption means the government often cannot obtain the electronic evidence necessary to investigate and prosecute threats to public and national safety, even with a warrant or court order. 

Read more about the FBI’s response to the Lawful Access challenge.