CYBER CRIME EPIDEMIC

Criminals have discovered that the Internet provides new opportunities and multiple benefits for their illicit business. Cyber crime has now exploded and reached epidemic proportions all over the world. Cyber crime techniques will continue to evolve, finding new vulnerabilities in software, applications, and devices as well as exploiting individuals who lack appropriate information
security awareness training.

Cyber crime is broadly defined as criminal activity involving an information technology infrastructure. Generally it refers to criminal activity where a computer or network is used as a tool, is a target, or is where the crime takes place. These criminalacts include fraud, theft, blackmail, forgery, extortion, invasion of privacy, illegal access, identity theft and embezzlement, and all include the use of computers or networks in the commission of the crime. As the use of computers has grown, computer crime has become more important.

It is very clear that cyber criminality is migrating from amateurs to professionals and that businesses are now seeing the brunt of professional attacks. Multiple factors willcombine to influence the increase in cyber crime. The first factor is the global recession.As a result of the recession, there is more poverty, and more individuals areturning to crime. Cyber crime is an attractive crime as it is relatively easy to commit.The next factor is the fact that IT staff reductions will further expose corporations tofall victim to these criminal acts. This is because there are, or will be, less individuals to monitor network security due to corporate and organizational cutbacks and layoffs. A secondary result of the reduction in force is that it will push laid off IT professionals to the dark side and into illegal cyber activities. Another factor influencing the increase in cyber crime is President Obama's plan to provide high-speed Internet accessto every American family. As more and more people join the continuously connected community via broadband, versus their old dial up capability, the fresh, less experienced group will be an attractive target for cyber criminals. These factors will drive
cyber crime to new heights in 2009.

While the global economy struggles, the dark sub-economy of the Internet will thrive.During this heightened state of activity, organizations need to increase their diligenceand step up information security measures immediately. Even though new information
security protective measures are being updated and implemented everyday in order
to defend against the latest threats, we need much more. The first step is keeping
up with cyber intelligence. Knowing about the new threats, dangers and techniques is
critical. This, plus awareness training, is the front line of defense when it comes to
minimizing an organization’s exposure to this rapidly growing threat.

Facts
Approximately 80% of all cyber crimes are carried out by or with the assistanceof insiders.

Internet lottery scams are by far the most reported offense, comprising just under 40% of the complaints filed.

The biggest challenge in prosecuting cyber crimes is the transnational issues of jurisdiction that arise in many of these cases.

Cyber bank robbers successfully robbed 400 banks in about 60 days using SilentBanker in December of 2007 and Januaryof 2008.

Many users believe they are safe as long as theydon't open an unknown email attachment or visit dubious websites.

Identities are the primary target for cyber thieves followed by intellectual property.