Cybercrime costs rival those of illegal drug trafficking

Young males in emerging markets are the most likely to fall victim to cybercrime, whose total cost per year is approaching the scale of illegal drug trafficking worldwide, according to a study by the Norton division of Symantec.

The 2011 Norton Cybercrime Report estimates the total cost of cybercrime at $388 billion per year, which includes $114 billion in direct theft and time spent resolving attacks plus another $274 billion for productive time victims lost due to cybercrimes being committed against them.

THE LAW: Senators push for changes in cybercrime law 

In all, 589 million have been affected by cybercrime, 431 million of them in the past 12 months, the report says. The study the report is based on was carried out in 24 countries and included 19,636 interviews.

The report says that compares to global drug trafficking, estimated at $411 billion. Cybercrime already surpasses the total of black market marijuana and cocaine sales, Norton says, which totals $288 billion.

The most common form crime takes is viruses and malware, with 54% experiencing them, followed by online scams (11%) and phishing (10%). Norton measured mobile phone crime and found that 10% fell victim, including smishing - phishing by SMS.

Tracking in all 24 countries, the company found that 1 million people per day became victims of cybercrime. The more time individuals spend online, the more likely they were to be hit. Of those spending 49 hours online per week, 79% were victims, while the number was 64% for those who spent 24 hours or less online.

Millennials (75%) are more likely than Baby Boomers (61%) to be victims, and adults in emerging markets (80%) are hit at a higher rate than those in mature markets (64%), the study says.

Those numbers are three times higher than the number of victims of physical crimes. Nevertheless, Norton notes that 70% of those surveyed thought they would be safer online than in the real world over the next 12 months.

Some of the problem is preventable, Norton says, noting that 41% of adults don't have updated security suites on their computers.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimemalwarelegalsymantec

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?