Cybercrime Profits Approaching Those Of The Drug Trade?

Threatpost, September 9, 2011

The yearly cost of cybercrime may have surpassed that brought in by the illegal trades in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined, and could be rapidly approaching the entire value of global drug trafficking, according to a new survey conducted by security firm Symantec. Annual losses resulting from cybercrime are valued at $388 billion, when accounting for both direct cash losses ($114 billion) and the value of time lost responding to attacks ($274 billion). By contrast, illicit sales of marijuana, heroin and cocaine industry are an estimated $288 billion industry, with the drug trade, in its entirety, worth roughly $411 billion, Symantec said. The report is based on a survey of 20,000 people (including 4,500 children) in 24 countries. It was conducted for Symantec by the research firm StrategyOne. According to the study, 431 million adults, more than a million a day, fall victims to cybercrime each year, with 69 percent of those surveyed claiming to have been the victim of cybercrime in their lifetime. In fact, those surveyed reported having suffered online crime three times more than the old-fashioned, offline variety. And, for the first time, ten percent of adults are reported to have experienced cybercrime on their mobile devices.

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