New Report Details 'How Cybercrime Pays' For Those Preying on Unwary
Canadian Businesses and Home Computer Users... And How Canadians Can
MARKHAM, ON, June 4 /CNW/ - McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) today released in
Toronto the results and availability of the McAfee North America Criminology
Report: Organized Crime and the Internet 2007.
Said David Marcus, McAfee Avert Labs' security research and
communications manager, "This Report outlines the radical
'professionalization' of theft, fraud and extortion over the Internet:"
According to the North American findings, "Criminals from all over the
world, not just those based in Canada, are increasingly targeting Canadians,
and are using sophisticated cybercrime technology and criminal techniques. The
result is large-scale losses for business, and serious criminal invasions of
ordinary Canadians' privacy, bank accounts, and online shopping activities,"
Highlights of the Report, commissioned by McAfee, include:
- Prior to the year 2000, most cybercrime was performed by hackers for
personal gratification and social status: to make a political
statement, to gain prestige with other hackers, or to prove personal
prowess at programming and problem solving
- Since 2000, however, cybercrime has become a serious, multibillion
dollar organized criminal enterprise, costing legitimate businesses
and ordinary consumers across North America billions of dollars per
year, and attracting ever larger numbers of ever more skilled
- "The simple bottom line is that crime often does pay in the digital
Sheridan Scott, Commissioner of Competition, Competition Bureau
Canada, 12th Annual AFCE Canadian Fraud Conference
Some significant facts:
- There are over 1.1 billion Internet users worldwide, all connected by
protocols and technologies that create a huge global network of
- In North America, over 250 million people are online:
211.1 million Americans, or 69.9 per cent of the United States
22 million Canadians, or 67.8 per cent of the Canadian population
20.2 million Mexicans, or 19.9 per cent of the Mexican population
(all figures www.internetworldstats.com, March 19, 2007)
- A 2002 study of cybercrime found that five percent of Canadian
Internet users had their computers hacked. This was usually done with
a virus or email attack.
- A 2006 survey of Canadian businesses found almost two-thirds had lost
income, customers, and productivity due to cybercrime
- Many businesses report cybercrime costs them more than traditional,
physical theft, robbery and other such crimes
- One FBI estimate put the cost of cybercrime to the United States
economy at $67 billion in 2005.
- The problems for police trying to collect evidence from other
countries, and the intangible nature of digital evidence, provide
more layers of protection to criminals
- Anywhere there is programming talent, including Canada and the United
States, some people will be attracted to cybercrime
- Skillful cybercriminals in one country can recruit low-level
criminals (sometimes called Cybermules) in the target country to help
them carry out a crime
- "Phishing" is currently the best-known form of fraud. Phishing occurs
when an email purporting to be from a bank, credit card company, or
retailer arrives in a customer or depositor's inbox. The email asks
the user to go to a web site and supply account information.
- Phishing has become increasingly sophisticated, with false web sites
(such as Canadian online banking sites) that are indistinguishable
from the site of a legitimate bank
- The best solution to the new wave of cybercrime in Canada is to
exercise informed caution about safe computing and shopping online,
and to use a complete, up to date Internet Security software suite
- As the North American Criminology Report concludes, "When criminals
believe that cybercrime is no longer risk-free, fewer of them will
engage in it. Until that time, cybercrime will continue to increase."
The full Report is available at:
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