Activities of large-scale criminal and terrorist networks, including terrorism, international drugs trafficking, trafficking in human beings, counterfeiting of the euro currency and payment cards,
European societies are increasingly dependent on electronic networks and information systems. The evolution of information communication technology has also seen the development of criminal activity that threatens citizens, businesses, governments and critical infrastructures alike: cybercrime.
Cybercrime consists of criminal acts that are committed online by using electronic communications networks and information systems. It is a borderless problem that can be classified in three broad definitions:
In order to combat cybercrime, the EU has implemented legislation and supported operational cooperation, as part of the ongoing EU Cybersecurity Strategy.
Several EU legislative actions contribute to the fight against cybercrime. These include:
The European Commission has played a key role in the development of EC3, which started operations in January 2013. EC3 acts as the focal point in the fight against cybercrime in the Union, pooling European cybercrime expertise to support Member States' cybercrime investigations and providing a collective voice of European cybercrime investigators across law enforcement and the judiciary.