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Cyber crime more lucrative than drugs

Simon Quicke

Cyber crime is costing the global economy billions as criminals exploit vulnerabilities to steal sensitive data and financial information.

The Norton Cybercrime Report 2011 estimated the cost globally to be $114bn a year with 431m adults victims of attacks, making this form of crime more lucrative than cocaine and heroin.

In the UK it costs £474m a year with even more money lost in the time and effort made by the victims to resolve the mess made by the criminals. Just over half, 51% of UK residents have been victims of this sort of crime.

The link between cyber crime and terrorism has been mentioned often in the past but often dismissed as just hyperbole trying to scare people but the latest figures will indicate that for those looking to fund illegal activity it's hard to beat the rewards on offer from web based activity.

Norton lead cybersecurity advisor Adam Palmer said over the past year the number of victims had increased three-fold but there continued to be a view of 'it won't happen to me' being stuck with by some users.

"While 89 per cent of respondents agree that more needs to be done to bring cybercriminals to justice, fighting cybercrime is a shared responsibility. It requires us all to be more alert and to invest in our online smarts and safety," he said.


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