Cybercrime does not respect national borders. Offenders and victims do not need to be in the same place. Cybercrime can strike anywhere, against anyone who is connected to the internet.
Industry estimates that cybercrime will cost the world USD$10.5 trillion annually by 2025.2
Victoria is not immune to the global threat of cybercrime. Victoria’s relative wealth, high saturation of digital connections and growing reliance on the internet make it an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Cybercrime is recognised nationally as a key facilitator of serious and organised crime, and is a national security concern.3
In the 2020-21 financial year, there were over 67,500 cybercrime reports made to ReportCyber, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year.4
Self-reported losses from cybercrime in the 2020–21 financial year totalled more than $33 billion.5
Victorians submitted an online cybercrime report every 26 minutes averaging 55 reports a day.7
Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure or serious cyber security emergencies may result in significant harm for all or part of the Victorian community.
In extreme circumstances, these attacks may result in loss of life and extensive damage to property, infrastructure or the environment. For example, in 2019, ransomware disrupted health service providers and hospitals in Gippsland and south-west Victoria, delaying surgeries and other medical services.
Criminals, including serious and organised crime groups in Victoria, use the anonymising features of cryptocurrency to facilitate a range of offending, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.
This creates additional challenges for Victoria Police’s ability to detect, investigate and prosecute such crimes.
Technology is also used to facilitate violence against children.
The live streaming of child abuse has been identified as an emerging trend on social media.
There is significant growth in Victoria Police’s demand for digital forensic services to collect digital evidence, as technology is increasingly used to commit different crimes.
While rapid growth in Internet and computer technology has enabled economic and social growth, an increasing reliance on the Internet has created more risks and vulnerabilities, and opened up new possibilities for criminal activity.
Our partners include:
- Commonwealth and other state and territory law enforcement agencies
- International law enforcement partners
- Support services
3 Department of Home Affairs, December 2020, Discussion Paper: National Plan to Combat Cybercrime; Victoria Police, October 2020, Crime Command Review: Technology-Enabled Crime Building Capability.
4 Australian Cyber Security Centre, 2021, ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
5 Australian Cyber Security Centre, 2021, ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
8 Australian Cyber Security Centre, 2021, ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report: 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
Reviewed 15 November 2022