UK: Is Cybercrime More Profitable Than Drugs Trafficking?

Written by | Friday, August 30th, 2013

It seems that cybercrime in the world has become a hot business and more profitable than drugs trafficking as the annual global cost of internet crime hit last year $388 billion, while the annual value of the global trade in heroin, cocaine and marijuana combined does not exceed $288bn in the best estimates.

According to a British report, United Kingdom is losing the war against ecrime as offenders are given soft sentences and as loopholes remain in the judiciary system allowing minor online crimes go unpunished.

Alarmed by the report unveiling the shocking scale of cybercrime, British MPs stressed the need to give the police more training and resources to enable security officers to deal with the problem. They also called for the setting up of a special high-tech response team to help companies face the cyber-attacks.

Commenting the findings, Keith Vaz, the Labor MP who chairs the Commons home affairs committee, said: “You can steal more on the internet than you can by robbing a bank”. He also affirmed that online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the UK as their No 1 target.

Astonishingly, “some are operating from EU countries. If we don’t have a 21st-century response to this 21st-century crime, we will be letting those involved in these gangs off the hook”, he warned.

The report shows that online criminal activity is often not reported to or investigated by law enforcement. Banks simply payback the victims without
engaging legal action against hackers or cybercriminals.

For the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Steve Williams, “crime is clearly changing, not falling” because a high number of offences are going unreported. The police, he said, needs greater resources to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

According to a worldwide survey conducted last year, online victims valued the time they lost on cyber-crime at over $ 274 bln, while the direct cash costs of cybercrime (money stolen by cyber thugs/spent on resolving cyberattacks) totaled $114bn.

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