Our blog has thus far only focused on specific types of cybercrime activities and on incident-based arguments, but through this post we attempt to give a more generic overview and cover the state of cybercrime today.
This blog post is inspired from the following video which reveals some shocking statistics about cybercrime.
The numbers shown on the video are definitely not negligible, and they keep increasing every year. The number of cybercrimes each year has grown exponentially since the first attacks several decades ago, but it is apparent that our initiatives taken to counter these deeds are not keeping up with the pace.
Today cybercrimes not only affect individuals but also corporations, financial institutions and governments. These attacks cause losses in the form of data, information, money, necessities (like electricity), and so on. And these losses are massive. As (dramatically) exemplified by the video: the information stolen from an ATM within 24 hours costs a million dollars; computer crime has cost America 8 billion dollars over the past 2 years; in 2008, 1 trillion dollars were lost in businesses because of cyber-attacks.
How did we allow such huge problems to arise? Or did everything happen before we could even realize it? I think the second statement is more correct. Internet is often defined by words like anonymity, speed, low-cost, connectivity, no border constraint, mass coverage and so on, and these are the qualities that have made us blind all this while. Moreover, the Internet wasn’t designed with security in mind. Only later did such issues crop up.
Recently, international police (INTERPOL) took initiative to intervene in this ever-growing computer security business (which, as of today, is estimated to have a value of 105 billion dollars according to McAfee) and set some rules. Authorities have slowly begun to realize that cyber-attacks can have real and dramatic consequences on nations and economies, and , what’s worse, these consequences will only grow in magnitude with time. At the anti-crime conference held on 18th September 2010, Ronald K. Noble, secretary general of INTERPOL, asserted that “We have been lucky so far that terrorists did not — at least successfully or at least of which we are aware — launch cyberattacks”.
Indeed, in my opinion the first step to fight cyber attacks is to set up solid international rules and regulations, and constant monitoring of internet activities just like we do in real world. While some of this is already happening, we still have a long way to go.