What can I do when I am the victim or have been accused of it?

The prevalence of computers and the internet has recently opened our eyes to countless possibilities and opportunities. However, just like every other tech boom, comes crime associated with them. During the 2020-21 financial year ACSC observed over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year.

Due to the prevalence of cybercrimes, in 2015, all NSW police investigators will be specifically trained how to investigate cybercrime. 

What is Cybercrime?

In Australia, the term ‘cybercrime‘ is used to describe both:

  • crimes directed at computers or other information communications technologies (ICTs) (such as computer intrusions and denial of service attacks); and
  • crimes where computers or ICTs are an integral part of an offence. 

What are the common types of Cybercrime?

Cyber Fraud

This is an offence when someone with an intention to fraud obtains financial advantage from you or causes financial advantage by deception. Such as, you have been deceived into sending money or goods to someone online, also known as shopping fraud or investment fraud.

Cyber Stalking/intimidation/threat

Cyber Stalking/intimidation/threat is a type of cybercrime when someone is bullying, harassing or stalking you online. This can take the form of constantly messaging, emailing or texting you in a way that makes you feel intimidated or scared, impersonating you or spreading rumours about you, checking your email or tracking your internet use.

Image-based abuse happens when an intimate image or video is shared without the consent of the person pictured. This includes images or videos that have been digitally altered (using Photoshop or specialised software). Image-based abuse is sometimes called other things like ‘revenge porn’, ‘ intimate image abuse’ or ‘image-based sexual abuse’.

Identity theft 

Identity theft is when criminal online gains unauthorised access to your personal information to steal money or gain other benefits with your details. They can create fake identity documents in your name, get loans and benefits or apply for real identity documents in your name but with another person’s photograph.

Some of the common methods of identity theft includes, phishing, hacking, remote access scams, and fake online profiles. For detailed information click here.  

Cyber Terrorism 

This is not a common cybercrime everyone encounters. However, it is interesting to know that cyber terrorism entails leveraging information communications technologies infrastructure in order to create real-life damage or critical disruption with the goal of promoting the attackers’ underlying political, religious or social issues. Such as Denial of Service (Dos) attacks and Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDos). 

The Law on Cybercrime in NSW

In NSW, computer-related offences are regulated under Part 6 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Even though there is no mention of ICTs In the Crimes Act of NSW, but the term ‘data’ is clearly defined. Under Section 308 it is stated:

Data includes:

  1. a) information in any form; or 
  2. b) any program (or part of a program)

data held in a computer includes:

  1. a) data entered or copied into the computer, or
  2. b) data held in any removable data storage device for the time being in the computer (USBs), or
  3. c) data held in a data storage device on a computer network of which the computer forms part (Hard drive).

A person is guilty of an offence, when an unauthorised modification of data is made with the intention of committing a serious indictable offence, or facilitating the commission of a serious indictable offence (whether by the person or by another person). 


The maximum penalty is applicable if the person has committed or facilitated the commission of, a serious indictable offence in this jurisdiction. In NSW, this could range from 2 years to 10 years imprisonment.  

What should I do if I am the victim of Cybercrime?

If you or your business have experienced cybercrime, you can report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

However, you should not report to the Australian Cyber Security Centre when:

  • there is already a court order against the suspect
  • a physical crime has been committed, such as your debit or credit card or computer has been stolen
  • you have received a scam call, and no loss of personal information or money has occurred

What should I do if I am being accused of Cybercrime?

If you are being accused of cybercrimes such as the ones mentioned above, the prosecutor needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you indeed modified data without authorisation with the intention of committing a serious indictable offence or facilitating the commission of a serious indictable offence. If this is the case, having an experienced criminal lawyer acting on your behalf is crucial for to protect your innocence. Michael Moussa is the Principal Lawyer of National Criminal Lawyers and exclusively specialises in Criminal Law, He takes pleasure in securing the best possible result for his clients, helping to bring them a step closer to putting their lives back on track.

If you wish to get in contact our criminal lawyers for a FREE consultation for any of your legal issues, contact National Criminal Lawyer’s office on 02 9893 1889, and our warm and caring administration team will schedule an appointment that’s suitable for both parties.

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