Computer crime

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term computer crime or cyber crime ( English cybercrime ) includes "all crimes that are committed using information and communication technology (ICT) or against it".


There is no one-size-fits-all definition of cybercrime. This usually includes all criminal offenses that are committed using or against information and communication technology. In the police sector, a distinction is also made between computer crime in the narrower sense and computer crime in the broader sense .

Cyber ​​crime can be divided into:

  • Computer crime in the narrower sense, for these crimes only a computer with or without internet use is used as a weapon
  • Internet crime , these crimes are based on the Internet or happen with the techniques of the Internet

The distinction is that Internet crime also includes many crimes and offenses that would also be possible without the Internet (including dissemination of prohibited content, harassment), while computer crime in this sense relates specifically to the context of electronic data.

According to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), cybercrime in the narrower sense refers to “special phenomena and forms of this form of crime in which elements of electronic data processing (EDP) are essential for the execution of the crime”.

The term computer crime in the broader sense is also used colloquially in Germany for activities related to computers that are not criminal offenses, but are illegal acts. The assignment to the respective areas depends in particular on whether there are relevant criminal provisions at the relevant crime scene.

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The Cybercrime Federal Situation Report 2018 by the German Federal Criminal Police Office belongs to cybercrime in the narrower sense :

  • Computer fraud as cybercrime in the narrower sense, broken down into the following types of fraud:
    • Fraudulent acquisition of vehicles in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • other types of credit fraud in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • Fraud using illegally obtained data from payment cards in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • Fraud using unlawfully obtained other cashless means of payment in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • Performance credit fraud in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • Billing fraud in the healthcare sector according to Section 263a of the Criminal Code
    • Transfer fraud in accordance with Section 263a of the Criminal Code
  • Other computer fraud (Section 263a Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Criminal Code as well as preparatory acts in accordance with Section 263a Paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code, unless included under the following types of fraud or the "improper use of telecommunications services").
  • Spying on and intercepting of data including preparatory acts and data theft (§§ 202a, 202b, 202c, 202d StGB) includes the theft and stealing of digital identities, credit card, e-commerce or account data (e.g. phishing).
  • Falsification of evidence-relevant data or deception in legal transactions (§§ 269, 270 StGB)
  • Modification of data / computer sabotage
  • Abusive use of telecommunications services (Section 263a StGB)

The Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office also includes crimes in which attacks on data or computer systems are committed using information and communication technology (e.g. data corruption, hacking, DDoS attacks).

In Germany, computer crime in the broader sense includes all crimes in which IT is used for planning, preparation or execution. These meanwhile extend to almost all areas of crime in which the Internet is used as an instrument of crime. For example:

These offenses are not registered in the police crime statistics (PKS) under the term cybercrime, but with special PKS key numbers.

In Austria, computer crime in the broader sense is understood to be crimes in which information and communication technology is used to plan, prepare and execute conventional criminal offenses, such as fraud, child pornography and cyberbullying.

Case numbers in Germany

According to the BKA situation report, a total of 63,959 cases of cybercrime in the narrower sense were recorded in 2012.

The cases of computer fraud (24,817) fell by 7.13% compared to 2011, and “fraud with access authorization to communication services” (2,952) fell in 2012 by around 38%. An increase of around 11% was recorded for the offenses “falsification of evidence-relevant data, deception in legal transactions during data processing” (8,539). While the "offenses by spying, interception of data including preparatory acts" accounted for 16,794 cases. "Data modification / computer sabotage" crimes (10,857) have increased by almost 140% compared to 2011.

With a share of around 39%, computer fraud is the largest group of crimes of all cases shown in the situation report.

Computer crime in the broader sense also includes internet crime in addition to the criminal cases subsumed under cybercrime . The importance of the Internet as a means of crime is shown by the fact that Internet crime, with 229,408 cases, is almost 10 times as many as cybercrime in the narrower sense. Phishing in connection with online banking alone caused total damage of € 13.8 million in 2012.

According to a representative survey by Bitkom, around 75 percent of German companies in the field of economic protection were affected by attacks by computer crime in the broader sense in 2019 , and another 13 percent suspected this. In 2016/2017, only every second company was the victim of computer crime. According to this, 21 percent of companies reported that sensitive digital data had leaked, while 17 percent reported that information and production systems or operational processes were digitally sabotaged. Digital communication was spied on in 13 percent of companies. Sabotage, data theft or espionage cause total damage to the German economy of 102.9 billion euros every year - analog and digital attacks combined. The damage is almost twice as high as in 2016/2017.

Situation in Switzerland

With the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, Switzerland is participating in the intensified international fight against computer and internet crime. The convention came into force for Switzerland on January 1, 2012. At the same time, the Federal Council put the necessary legislative amendments into force. The criminal offense of unauthorized entry into an electronic data processing system (EDP) (" hacking ", Art. 143 to 147 Swiss Criminal Code) is now in the area of ​​criminal liability. The making available and the circulation of passwords, programs and other data are now also made a criminal offense if the person concerned knows or must assume in good faith that they can be used for illegal entry into a protected computer system ( See hacker paragraph, based on Germany § 202c German StGB).

In Switzerland it is the Swiss Coordination Office for the Fight against Internet Crime (CYCO) which keeps statistics on persecuted computer crimes and publishes them in an annual report. The current statistics for the 2012 financial year were published in May 2013. 8242 reports were submitted via the online form on the website, an increase of 55% compared to the previous year. For the first time in CYCO's existence, the number of reports of criminal acts against property (3260 reports) exceeded the number of reports of criminal acts against sexual integrity (3083 reports). Offenses against life and limb (99 reports) and offenses against public peace (85 reports) were committed to a much lesser extent. It should be noted that the reports received are of good quality with 80% criminal relevance.

Situation in Austria

In 2013, the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office recorded 11,199 reported cases of cybercrime. 17.8% were cleared up. 421 cases relate to misuse of data processing with the intention of enrichment, including commercial fraudulent misuse of data, in which data is entered, changed, deleted, suppressed or the data processing process is disrupted in some other way ( Section 148a StGB ). Phishing and malware attacks also fall under these paragraphs. The functionality of a computer system according to § 126b StGB was disrupted in 2013 in Austria in 470 cases and reported. DDoS attacks also fall under these paragraphs. The unlawful access to computer systems is regulated in Austria in § 118a StGB . In 2013, 391 cases were reported.

45.6% of the suspects were between 26 and 40 years old; 26.9% of the suspects were over 40. 58.3% of the perpetrators came from Austria. 468 suspects were located in Germany, 373 in Serbia and 176 in Nigeria.

Attempts are being made to professionalise the work to combat computer crime in Austria in order to be able to face the increasing professionalization of the perpetrators. That is why a Cybercrime Competence Center (C4) was set up at the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office. The investigators and IT forensic experts are sent to international training courses, such as the International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) and the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group (ECTEG). In the summer of 2013, 19 suspected hackers were arrested on the basis of a tip from the FBI as part of the Europol operation "BlackShades".


According to the picture of the situation, the German crime statistics (PKS) only record the damage sums for the offenses “computer fraud” and “fraud with access authorization to communication services”. This damage increased by around 16% in 2011 to around EUR 71.2 million (2010: EUR 61.5 million). In 2011, around 50 million euros of this was attributable to computer fraud and around 21.2 million euros to fraud involving access data to communication services.

For phishing in the area of ​​online banking, the BKA has calculated an average amount of damage: for 2011 around 4,000 euros per case and a total of 25.7 million euros. If you compare the calculated (approximate) damage amount with the 15.7 million euros for 2007, the result is an increase of 35%. In view of the “existing potential for damage and the lucrative potential for the perpetrator”, phishing “continues to be a focus in the area of ​​cybercrime” (meaning: computer crime in the broader sense - the author).

According to Symantec , Germany (2012) is "No. 1 in Europe with damage from malicious software of 24 billion euros"; Worldwide there was "damage of 284 billion euros", according to the security manager Orla Cox of Symantec, Dublin. Eugene Kaspersky said flirtatiously in November 2018 that the “worst cyber criminals” were at work in Russia.


The creation of a Europe-wide “European cybercrime platform” is one of the fields of action of the “ Digital Agenda ”.

In the meantime, special police units have been tasked with fighting computer crime in various countries. Since 2013, Europol has set up its own department to coordinate cooperation, the European Center for Combating Cybercrime (EC3). In Germany, so-called Central Cybercrime Contact Points (ZAC) have been set up at the State Criminal Police Offices and the Federal Criminal Police Office since 2014 .

Also cooperation between security authorities and the digital economy exist, such as the Security Cooperation Cyber Crime of Bitkom which now has six state criminal office.


Web links

Wiktionary: Computer crime  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann Rast: Cybercrime: The challenge of computer crime . In: WiM - Economy in Middle Franconia . No. 12/2012 . IHK Nuremberg for Middle Franconia, December 2012, ISSN  1437-7071 , p. 30th f . ( Full text on [PDF; 21.6 MB ; accessed on November 16, 2017]).
  2. Cybercrime Austria: Annual Report 2015. (PDF; 388 KB) In: BMI , accessed November 16, 2017 .
  3. Cybercrime Federal Situation Report 2011. (PDF; 440 KB) In: P. 5 , accessed on November 16, 2017 (the file is not accessible.).
  4. Federal Situation Report Cybercrime 2018. In: Accessed on November 27, 2019 (full text download as PDF possible).
  5. a b Cybercrime Federal Situation Report 2011. (PDF; 440 KB) In: P. 8 , accessed on November 16, 2017 (the file is not accessible.).
  6. National Situation Cybercrime 2012. In: . 2012, pp. 3, 4 , accessed on September 29, 2019 (PDF file can be downloaded).
  7. Internet as a means of action. (PDF) (No longer available online.) In: Bundeslagebild Cybercrime 2012. Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), 2012, p. 5 , archived from the original on March 8, 2014 ; Retrieved February 7, 2013 .
  8. Target of the German economy: more than 100 billion euros in damage per year. In: November 6, 2019, accessed November 9, 2019 .
  9. CYCO, Annual Report 2012 , Bern 2013, the success .: Chapter 2
  10. Cybercrime in Austria - Report 2013. (PDF; 1.4 MB) In: . Pp. 10–13 , accessed on September 17, 2019 .
  11. Cybercrime in Austria - Report 2013. (PDF; 1.4 MB) In: . P. 15 , accessed on September 17, 2019 .
  12. Cybercrime Federal Situation Report 2011. (PDF; 440 KB) In: P. 10 f , accessed on November 16, 2017 (file is not barrier-free.).
  13. ARTE, February 5, 2013, 8:15 pm, In the Fangs der Internet-Mafia , written and directed by Dorina Herbst; c / o Art + 7; followed by ARTE, Internet Mafia
  14. ^ Confidence struck , SRF Tagesschau main edition, November 13, 2018
  15. Digital Agenda for Europe (=  The European Union explained ). EUR-OP , 2014, ISBN 978-92-79-41902-7 , doi : 10.2775 / 4110 .
  16. Michele Cercone, Tove Ernst: European Center for the Fight against Cybercrime: opening on January 11th. Press release. In: European Commission , January 9, 2013, accessed October 6, 2019 .
  17. Accessibility of the central contact points for cybercrime of the police for commercial enterprises. In: Retrieved on August 5, 2019 (download link for PDF file is offered).