Computer Crime Research Center


Australia tops cyber crime list

Date: June 20, 2008
By: Len Rust (Computerworld)

Australia has the highest incidence of cyber crime in the world, according to a global survey of nine countries by software security vendor, AVG.

The study, which canvassed 1000 users each in Australia, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, and the Czech Republic, found that more than 39 per cent of Australians had been the victim of cyber crime, compared to 32 per cent in Italy, 28 per cent of Americans, and just 14 per cent in Sweden and Spain.

The most common forms of cyber theft experienced by Australians were:
- Not receiving goods paid for at an online auction (16 per cent);
- Fraudulent e-mails that resulted in financial damage (14 per cent);
- Phishing (10 per cent);
- Not receiving goods ordered online (eight per cent);
- Credit card fraud (five per cent); and
- Unauthorised bank transfers (three per cent).

Lloyd Borrett, marketing manager of AVG (AU/NZ), said the fact that Australia experienced more cyber crime was a little surprising, although it might have been impacted by the fact that Australians are more active online users than most other nations.

"While we don't know whether Australians are actually targeted more heavily than other countries, these results highlight the importance of comprehensive security solutions to protect users from obvious threats like phishing and e-mail scams, as well as good education to warn people of the danger," Borrett said.

Forty-seven per cent of Australians said they were more likely to experience cyber crime than to experience burglary, assault, or robbery, and 37 cent of said that cyber crime was a strong concern.

The AVG survey found that Australians had relatively high awareness of Internet security and demonstrated the second highest level of confidence (70.5 per cent after the US's 73.3 per cent) in the protection provided by their software security vendor.

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