Get the Global IP Investigations and Enforcement Perspective

Industry content delivered straight to your inbox.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...

Cyber Enabled Crime vs. Cyber Dependent Crime

A few days ago I came across an article published in the August issue of a Dublin, Ireland, magazine called EOLAS. The article is titled, “Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau: “Most crime has a digital footprint”

The article profiles the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) and its commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, and reviews the difference between cyber-enabled and cyber dependent crime.

Here are a few excerpts:

Cyber-enabled crime is traditional crime, such as theft, harassment, child exploitation or fraud, that can be committed without a computer but are enabled by a computer in certain circumstances.

Cyber-dependent crime includes hacking, ransomware, DDoS attacks and malware. As such, the GNCCB head affirms:

‘Today, most crime has a digital footprint, whether in the commission of the crime, the preparation beforehand or in the cover up afterwards.’”

In September 2019, the UK Crown Prosecution Service published a more detailed explanation of Cyber Enabled Crime and Cyber Dependent Crime as follows:

Cyber-Enabled Crimes

These are crimes which do not depend on computers or networks but have been transformed in scale or form by the use of the internet and communications technology. They fall into the following categories:

  • Economic related cybercrime, including:
    • Fraud
    • Intellectual property crime – piracy, counterfeiting and forgery
  • Online marketplaces for illegal items
  • Malicious and offensive communications, including:
  • Communications sent via social media
  • Cyber bullying/trolling
  • Virtual mobbing
  • Offences that specifically target individuals, including cyber-enabled violence against women and girls (‘VAWG’):
    • Disclosing private sexual images without consent
    • Cyber stalking and harassment
    • Coercion and control
  • Child sexual offences and indecent images of children, including:
    • Child sexual abuse
    • Online grooming
    • Prohibited and indecent images of children
  • Extreme pornography, obscene publications and prohibited images

Cyber-Dependent Crimes

Cyber-dependent crimes fall broadly into two main categories:

  • Illicit intrusions into computer networks, such as hacking; and
  • the disruption or downgrading of computer functionality and network space, such as malware and Denial of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.

Cyber-dependent crimes are committed for many different reasons by individuals, groups and even sovereign states. For example:

  • Highly skilled individuals or groups who can code and disseminate software to attack computer networks and systems, either to commit crime or facilitate others to do so;
  • Individuals or groups with high skill levels but low criminal intent, for example protest hacktivists;
  • Individuals or groups with low skill levels but the ability to use cyber tools developed by others;
  • Organised criminal groups;
  • Cyber-terrorists who intend to cause maximum disruption and impact;
  • Other states and state sponsored groups launching cyber-attacks with the aim of collecting information on or compromising UK government, defence, economic and industrial assets; and
  • Insiders or employees with privileged access to computers and networks.

The majority of cyber criminals have relatively low skills levels, but their attacks are increasingly enabled by the growing online criminal marketplace, which provides easy access to sophisticated and bespoke tools and expertise, allowing these less skilled cybercriminals to exploit a wide range of vulnerabilities.

FINAL THOUGHT

I found this distinction useful to keep in mind.

DisclaimerIPProbe.Global is a service to the professional IP community. While every effort has been made to check information in this blog, we provide no guarantees or warranties, express or implied, regarding the content provided in IPProbe.Global. We disclaim all liability and responsibility for the qualification or accuracy of representations made by the contributors or for any disputes that may arise. It is the responsibility of the readers to independently investigate and verify the credentials of such persons and the accuracy and validity of the information provided by them. This blog is for general information only and not intended to provide legal or other professional advice.

Did you find this post useful?
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join other IP protection professionals, i.e., investigators, attorneys, and brand protection specialists and receive updates straight to your inbox.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Ron Alvarez is an IP Investigations / Protection writer and licensed private investigator in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art theft cases. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has published a number of articles on various investigative topics for PI Magazine. Ron is certified by the Interpol-International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC.) as a "Transnational and Organized Crime Intellectual Property (IP) Investigator."

0 comments on “Cyber Enabled Crime vs. Cyber Dependent Crime

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Global IP Investigations and Enforcement Perspective

Industry content delivered straight to your inbox.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...
%d bloggers like this: