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Cyber crime now bigger than the drugs trade

Says cyber security firm

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The global cost of cybercrime is greater than the combined effect on the global economy of trafficking in marijuana, heroin and cocaine, which is estimated at $388bn, a new headline-grabbing study reported.

The Norton Cybercrime Report puts the straight-up financial costs of cyberattacks worldwide at $114bn, with time lost dealing with the crime adding the remaining $274bn, while the global black market in the three drugs costs $288bn.

Every second, 14 adults become the victim of some sort of cybercaper, adding up to over a million victims every day, the report from Norton-maker Symantec said, with young men who access the web on their mobiles the most likely victims.

But despite the large number of victims, people aren't doing enough to stop it for themselves. Although 74 per cent of people say they're aware of cybercrime, 41 per cent of them don't have up-to-date security software and 61 per cent don't use complex, regularly-changing passwords.

“There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cybercrime,” said Adam Palmer, Norton's lead cybersecurity advisor. "Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year."

The most common cybercrime issues are malware and viruses, which have affected 54 percent of those surveyed, with online scams second (11 per cent), and phishing catching 10 per cent of adults out. Cyber-villainy is also on the up on phones, with 10 per cent of adults having been victims of an attack on their mobile, according to the study. The study surveyed almost 20,000 people in 24 countries. ®

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