Pardon Partners – Criminal TOP Banner ONPardon Partners – Criminal TOP Banner ON

Calvin Barry Criminal Top Banner ONCalvin Barry Criminal Top Banner ON


Region: Ontario Answer # 7605

Cybercrime has become a significant threat in Canada. By finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive information, criminals can cause substantial financial losses and irreparable damage.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime may refer to:

  • a criminal activity that targets technology, a computer network, or a networked device for profit (using malware, or DoS attacks), or
  • a crime where a cyber element (computer, smartphone, tablet) has a substantial role in the commission of a criminal offence (e.g online scams, identity theft)

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, including a cybercrime, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

How is cybercrime committed?

Generally speaking, a cybercrime is a criminal activity conducted through digital means, such as:

Malware attacks: Using malicious software – malware – to illegally access computer systems. Malware can damage a computer, server or network and/or allow the cyber attacker to gain unauthorized access and steal information or carry out illegal activities.

Hacking to steal sensitive data such as personal identifiable information (for example, passwords and banking information). The most common ways a device is infected with malware is through the user opening an attachment, clicking on a link , or downloading software that looks legitimate but that is a malicious.

Ransomware: A form of malware that infects your computer or device. It can destroy systems and make data inaccessible. Attackers ask for a ransom in exchange for decrypting the files. They may also threaten to sell or leak private information unless a ransom fee is paid.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks: This occurs when a server or network is flooded with useless traffic or information that triggers a crash so that it becomes inaccessible to people who want to use the service.

Phishing: This refers to someone who is posing as a legitimate institution contacting individuals by email, telephone or text messages to trick those individuals into providing private data such as banking and credit card information, and passwords.

Hacking refers to the act of gaining unauthorized access to networks, computer systems, or data.

Cybercrime offences and penalties

Common cybercrime offences and penalties can be found under the Criminal Code, including the following:


Phishing may be considered fraud under s. 380(1) of the Criminal Code. Under the Code. “Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service” can be penalized with up to 14 years of imprisonment.

Identity Theft and Identity Fraud 

Both Identity Theft and Identity Fraud are found in the Criminal Code.

  • Identity Theft under section 402.2(1) is “obtaining or possessing another person’s identity information with the intent to use it to commit an indictable offence”. The penalty can be up-to five years in prison.
  • Identity Fraud under section 403(1) refers to fraudulently personating someone “with the intent of gaining an advantage, obtaining property, causing disadvantage to another, or to avoid arrest or prosecution”. The penalty can be up-to ten years in prison.

Unauthorized use of a computer or Mischief

Hacking, using malware, or DoS attacks may be considered Unauthorized use of a computer or Mischief under the Criminal Code.

  • Unauthorized use of a computer: Unauthorized use of a computer under section 342.1 (1) of the Criminal Code refers to fraudulently obtaining, using, controlling, accessing or intercepting computer systems or functions. The penalty can be up-to ten years in prison.
  • Mischief of data: Mischief under section 430(1.1) of the Criminal Code refers to obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the lawful use of computer data or to deny access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access it. Punishment can be up-to ten years in prison.
  • Possession or use of hardware, software or other tools used to commit cybercrime

Under section 342.2 of the Criminal Code “Every person who, without lawful excuse, makes, possesses, sells, offers for sale, imports, obtains for use, distributes or makes available a device that is designed or adapted primarily to commit an offence under section 342.1 or 430, knowing that the device has been used or is intended to be used to commit such an offence”. This is punishable by up-to two years in prison.


Some cybercrimes, such as phishing emails or ransomware attacks in which hackers attempt to persuade, trick, or bully a victim into giving up money and/or confidential data – sometimes referred to as cyber extortion (blackmail) – may lead to charges of extortion under section 346(1) of the Criminal Code. The Code states “Every one commits extortion who, without reasonable justification or excuse and with intent to obtain anything, by threats, accusations, menaces or violence induces or attempts to induce any person, whether or not he is the person threatened, accused or menaced or to whom violence is shown, to do anything or cause anything to be done.” The penalty is imprisonment.

How to protect against cybercrime

To safeguard yourself and/or your business against cybercrime it is essential to implement a comprehensive set of security measures, such as:

  • Create strong passwords and regularly update them.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication.
  • Regularly update software and systems.
  • Data encryption: Encrypt data to protect it from unauthorized access, ensuring that even if intercepted, the data remains unreadable.
  • Install firewalls to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, preventing unauthorized access and blocking malicious activities.
  • Install and use antivirus and malware software to detect and remove malware, viruses, and other malicious software.
  • Secure network configurations and restrict access to sensitive information.
  • Secure remote access protocols, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), to ensure secure connections for remote employees or third-party vendors.
  • Verify requests for information by phone, text or email through another means (e.g. if the text says it is from your bank and includes a link to click on, call your bank to verify the message). It is important to know that most legitimate organizations will never ask you to disclose information through an email or text

Refer to the RCMP or the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security for more information. More information on Internet and Cyber Law can be found here.

Get help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our preferred criminal defence expert, Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers for a free consultation at 416-938-5858 .

Calvin Barry General Criminal bottom bannerCalvin Barry General Criminal bottom banner

Pardon Partners – Criminal ONPardon Partners – Criminal ON


You now have 3 options:

Request permission for your organization to copy information from this website.

Page loaded. Thank you