Computer Crime Research Center


Cybercrime overtakes drugs trade

Date: September 19, 2007
By: Tim Stevens

If you've ever had your computer hacked, or credit card or other personal details stolen online, congratulations: You're now a statistic in a crime wave that has officially surpassed the international drug trade in terms of overall value. Cybercrime like those and various other technology-related scams have become a $105 billion per year business, thanks largely to losses relating to major data breaches at financial services companies such as Citigroup and Ameritrade.

According to David DeWalt, CEO of computer security firm McAffe, the big problem is that laws punishing the perpetrators of such crimes are simply not keeping up with the volume of these misdeeds. "If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online," DeWalt says. "The cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting cyber-criminals is just not there." This statistic comes on the heels of a report earlier this month that Britons were the victims of 3.24 million cybercrimes in 2006, hammering home the notion that these stats are likely to get worse before they get better.
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