Traditional Crime Takes a Back Seat to Cyber Crime in a U.K. Study

Cybercrime as we all know is on the rise all over the world. Bank robberies happening from the comfort of one’s home, where the robbers don’t even have to leave they’re computer chairs. It seems that one place in particular, the UK, is the number of cybercrimes has passed those of traditional crimes.

The UK’s National Crime Agency is blaming the rise in cybercrime on the “rapid pace of technology” and the ever growing capabilities of cyber criminals. This suggests the need for a more collective response from government, and law enforcement, as well as from the tech industry to help reduce vulnerabilities and prevent more cybercrimes from happening.

“In any calculation, we must consider that there are millions of individual victims, many thousands of corporate victims and correspondingly substantial losses,” the NCA’s report said.

Cybercrime has been included in the crime survey for the first time in 2015 by the Office of National Statistics. It estimated there to be around 2.46 million cybercrimes, and 2.11 million victims of cybercrime in the UK last year.

“Computer misuse and computer enabled crime accounted for 53% of all crime in the UK in 2015, making it larger than all other kinds of crimes,” reported a blog by Trend Micro last week.

These findings are showing that cybercrime is ever growing and changing rather quickly, with things like DdoS attacks and ransomware attacks increasing in 2015. The threat from DdoS and ransomware attacks driven by ready access to easy to use tools and criminals understanding its potential for profit by extortion; is growing greatly.

These attacks have been increasing in frequency and complexity, and now are including publishing victim information online, as well as permanently encrypting valuable data. The most advanced and serious cybercrime threats to the UK have been the result of international cybercriminals targeting UK businesses to commit profitable, malware driven fraud.

Under-reporting has also been put at fault for the rise in cybercrimes. The lack of reporting inhibits law enforcement to understand exactly how cybercriminals operate and the most effective ways to combat them. The NCA is urging businesses to not only view these threats as technical issues but also as a broad level responsibility and asks them to use all reporting abilities available to them, in order to share information and help law enforcement to better understand these crimes.

“ I think it is more dramatic in the US and I do think cybercrime is a larger industry than narcotics trafficking because of intellectual property theft and secondary infection,” Co-founder and CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures, Tom Kellermann said.

“In the past, cybercriminals had to build a gun and bullets, metaphorically speaking. Now with a proliferation of online forums and arms bazaars, anybody can download and utilize tools to launch attacks from anywhere in the world. Additionally, the US la enforcement prosecution rate for cybercrime is less than 2%” Kellermann also noted.

In order to combat this new wave of cybercrime, LE has to blow the foundation out from under online venues that supply the hacking tools that facilitate the cyber criminals. Not only are these sites to blame, but anonymous online payment platforms are catching heat as well.

“The money laundering systems of the adversary have to be disrupted to foment distrust among thieves. Currently there are no international norms of cybercrime so non state actors such as Russian cybercriminals are protected under they’re government. Technologically, most security tools have been reverse engineered and bypassed by these cybercrime outfits. So the emphasis should be on intrusion suppression, where security professionals decrease the dwell time the adversaries have to freely roam their organizations networks,” Kellermann stated lastly.

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