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January 25, 2018

Cybercrime statistics: Hackers still having an ‘online fraud frenzy’

There has been a vast increase in attacks taking the form of viruses and the report cites attacks like WannaCry as driving forces begind this increase.

By Tom Ball

Hackers have been found to be turning away from attacking consumers, instead deciding to concentrate their efforts on organisations for great profitability.

Research conducted by the Office of National Statistics on fraud and cybercrime in England and Wales has produced finding showing that consumers have faced 24 per cent less incidents of computer misuse when compared to the previous survey.

Contrasting this, Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, included businesses in its own research and found a 63 per cent rise in computer misuse instances in the same period of time, with hackers looking to capitalise.

Among this research was one stand out finding that there has been a 145 per cent rise in viruses being used to deliver attacks, with the report citing attacks like WannaCry as reasons for this increase.

Tim Ayling, Director, Fraud & Risk Intelligence at RSA Security, said: “Despite a marginal drop in recorded cases, it’s clear from the CSEW results that cyber criminals are still having an online fraud frenzy, as criminals continue to profit from posing as major retailers, banks and brands online to trick you into giving up valuable personal and financial data. In the near future, as more automated services such as virtual assistants and driverless cars have access to this data and make our purchases for us, cyber fraudsters will even start to target our non-human counterparts. Before this becomes a reality, it’s vital users get a handle on who has their information, and how they are protecting it now as we move into uncharted territory of ‘human-not-present’ fraud.

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Cyber threats are growing rapidly as consumers and businesses are urged to be open and share information for collaborative innovation. This comes across as counterintuitive for many given the daunting threat landscape bristling with hackers that the world is facing.

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Fraser Kyne, EMEA CTO, Bromium, said: “The good news is that overall computer misuse is down. However, it is interesting to see that Action Fraud – which is typically more business focused than consumer – is reporting an increase of 63%. This isn’t surprising given the spate of ransomware and Trojan attacks last year, which were targeted at businesses.

“Unfortunately, this doesn’t really come as much of a surprise. Last year was a year of mega-breaches that made clear how far ahead the bad guys are compared to the security industry. Businesses were shut down for long periods of time, too many ransoms were paid, the bad guys got richer and the security industry looked on, often powerless, as its tools were rendered useless by new and constantly evolving techniques.”

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