Cyberespionage (preferred) or cyber espionage refers to malicious software used to extract trade secrets or sensitive confidential information from corporations or government for harm (financial, strategic, political) or profit. This also encompasses spying through the use of advanced persistent threats (APT) such as viruses and ransomware which can also be used to destroy data.

Whilst government bodies are a firm target for cyberespionage hoping for widescale disruption, the threat is real for organizations of any kind. Any organization that holds personal citizen data or intellectual property is ripe for a state-sponsored cyberespionage attack. Recent cyberespionage attacks have not only focused on major infrastructure but also high profile individuals such as Jeff Bezos. These attacks are more common than reported and are even being perpetrated by governments on citizens.