In a recently released report on crime in the United Kingdom, the UK’s National Crime Agency breaks serious and organized crime into three principle categories, Vulnerabilities, Prosperity and Commodities.
A Crime of Prosperity
According to the National Strategic Assessment of Serious and Organised Crime, Cyber Crime, once a relatively benign area of crime whose offenders were solo techno-geeks has matured into a full-fledged organized crime alongside activities such as:
- Money Laundering
- Fraud and Other Economic Crime
- Bribery, Corruption and Sanctions Abuse.
Cyber Crime and Technology Enable Fraud
The report notes that fraud in the UK is increasing and it is estimated that losses could be as much as GBP 193 billion. UK residents are now more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other type of crime. The use of malware and phishing emails to obtain customers’ details is a key driver of fraud. And, it is probable that new technology value transfer methods (you have to love how the British can make even hacking sound cool!) will increase in criminal use as their popularity for legitimate use increases.
Cyber Crime In the UK Similar the USA
It is interesting to note that the findings of this report, specific to the UK, are quite similar to what we are experiencing in the USA. For example, the most competent cyber criminals are moving towards targeting businesses as the potential for higher returns on investment is much greater. Readily available hacking toolkits and ransomware are making it easier for less sophisticated individuals and organizations to enter the cyber crime space.
Some Businesses Stockpiling Bitcoins
One very interesting finding in the report that I have never seen documented anywhere else is their finding #79…
“79. A survey of security professionals by industry identified that some businesses are stockpiling bitcoins in anticipation of a ransomware attack. Ransomware has become one of the most profitable malware types in history. Its success is best illustrated by the sharp increase of varieties in the marketplace.”
Konsultek Knows Security
Konsultek’s UK office enables us to respond to the needs of our European clients quickly and efficiently. So whether your organization is located in the UK or continental Europe our expertise is ready to be deployed to help your organization become more secure.