Cybercrime is no longer the sole domain of whey-faced computer nerds who hack to gain the approbation of their pimply peers; it’s become a billion dollar business for sophisticated, organised crime syndicates.
Analysts estimate that individuals can earn anything up to $23 000 a week on the dark side of cyberspace – that’s almost three times the weekly salary of the President of the United States!
In fact, it’s predicted that cybercrime will soon overtake the traditional revenue streams of organised crime as it’s more profitable, anonymous and harder to prosecute.
In 2009, the FBI and the US Secret Service infiltrated the secret - “DarkMarket’ website. Described by an official as a “one-stop-shop” for crimes ranging from credit card theft to ID and passport forgery, this English language website traded not only in bank and credit card details obtained through phishing scams and website hacks, but sold hardware and software for creating fake payment cards and documents.
It also offered online tutorials, providing “correspondence courses” on how to commit various online crimes.
Membership, totalling over 2 000, was strictly by invitation only with members spread across the UK, Canada, US, Russia, Turkey, Germany and France. The elite fraudsters made huge profits stolen credit and banking information: the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, which helped bust the website, said it was “impossible” to put a figure on how much the cybercriminals cost banks worldwide.
Some safety tips
For more information on cybercrime and how to protect yourself, visit www.everyclickmatters.com.