Cyberextortion Law and Legal Definition

Cyberextortion is a form of online crime which occurs when a person uses the Internet to demand money or other goods or behavior (such as sex), from another person by threatening to inflict harm to his person, his reputation, or his property. There are various forms of cyberextortion. Originally, denial of service (DoS) attacks were the most common method used by cyberextortionists. A website, email server or computer system may be subjected to repeated denial of service by malicious attackers, who demand money in return for promising to stop the attacks. In recent years, cybercriminals have developed ransomware that can be used to encrypt the victim's data. The attacker then demands money for the decryption key. Since majority of business enterprises are using Internet for their business, opportunities for cyberextortionists have exploded. However, identification and arrest of cyberextortionists are low because they usually operate from countries other than those of their victims and use anonymous accounts and fake e-mail addresses.