Cybercrime rivals real-world crime rates

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Sep 7, 2007

Researchers estimate 3 million online crimes committed in UK last year.

A research group has issued a report estimating levels of cybercrime in the UK during 2006, finding that an online crime occurs every 10 seconds on average, with over 3 million separate incidents thought to have taken place over the year. Several types of offence showed higher levels of incidents online than in the real world.

The estimates, produced by online identity specialist Garlik, are based on details from reported crimes, thought in many categories to account for less than 10% of incidents, along with data from various agencies, corporations, government watchdogs and media sources. The bulk of the offences were personal, including abuse, harassment and intimidation, but 92,000 cases of identity theft are thought to have taken place, with some online element involved in over 40% of all ID frauds.

Extrapolating from reports that 25% of UK computer users have suffered a virus incident, the researchers found that if this figure was correct across the country, the UK would have been hit by some 6 million virus incidents last year. There were also almost 150,000 non-malware-related incidents of computer misuse, including hacking.

A breakdown of the report's findings can be found on IT legal site Out-law.com, here. The full report, in PDF format, is here.

Posted on 07 September 2007 by Virus Bulletin

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