Security Fundamentals

3. Growth in Cyber-crime

Trends in cyber-crime

Show me the numbers?

It's difficult to get accurate measures about the number of cyber-crime incidents because:-

  • Private companies handle computer crime internally, for fear of encouraging others to 'attack' them, or for damaging their reputation of looking after data securely.
  • Crime surveys are 'ambiguous' in that they don't always distinguish between the different types of computer crime. A company for example, may not have been a victim of computer fraud, but have had malware installed through a browser. Is this a computer crime.
  • Some companies and individuals may not report crimes because they don't want to be thought of as 'stupid' and just put it down to experience.
  • Victims are often unaware that a crime has been committed against them.

While there are no specific figures for overall computer crime, it possible to get some idea of the scale of the problem by looking at particular instances.

The graph opposite shows an exponential growth the instances of malware - malicious software (includes viruses, Trojans, worms, adware etc).

The speed of growth, is such that no anti-virus software company can keep up.

Growth in malware
Number of breaches

Accessing databases records without permission is also a crime. The graph shows that number of records accessed through breaches of security is sharply on the rise.

The graph may be dramatic, but its already out of date. In September 2016 Yahoo suffered what at that time, was one of the worlds largest data breaches where data from 500 million accounts were stolen. Pretty bad eh! But it gets worse. In December 2016 information from One Billion accounts were hacked, making it the world's largest ever data breach


While it not possible to provide absolute numbers on the overall amount of cyber-crime, it is true that we can say it's on the

  • increase and growing at an ever increasing rate.
  • its costing a lot of money and doing a lot damage.

And, as a result, Cybersecurity is a good area in which t get a job.

cost of crime

Cyber-crime is on the increase, so in OneNote

  1. Add a page to your Security Fundamentals section with a title Cyber Crime.
  2. Describe the rate of increase in the amount of cyber-crime.
  3. Explain why the number of reported incidents in cyber-crime is increasing.
  4. Give 3 reasons why the level of cyber-crime is likely to be more than the level reported. i.e. why people might be reluctant to report incidents of cyber-crime.
Cyber Crime
Case Studies

Being able to defend yourself against hackers and cyber-criminals requires an understanding of how they work, so that you won't 'get fooled again'

  1. Create a new section. Title it Hacking Case Histories- we'll be adding to this as we go through the course.
  2. Follow the link and read about the Worlds Biggest Bank Bank Raid
  3. Under a heading 'World Biggest Bank Raid'. Copy and paste the link to the page.
    1. Under a sub heading Victim. Identify the principal target of the criminals.
    2. Under a sub heading Motivation, identify what you think was the prime motivation of the criminals i.e. financial gain, politics, revenge etc.
    3. Under a sub heading Cost/Loss, identify the value of the crime ie. how much was stolen or how much it cost to put right.
    4. Under an appropriate sub heading, identify the year when the crime was committed.
    5. Under a sub heading Method, briefly describe what the criminals did.
    6. If the criminal used malware, how did that malware get into the system.
    7. Under a sub heading Reasons for success, explain why the criminals were successful in carrying out their crime.
    8. Under a sub heading Lessons Learned, explain how the crime could have been prevented in the first place.
Shame On Me Quote
You should be able to:-
  • Describe the exponential growth in cyber-crime.
  • Know that the growth of data and growth in cyber-crime are linked.
  • Understand that the amount of cyber-crime is under-reported.
  • Provide reasons why the level cyber-crime is under-reported.

If you don't feel confident in meeting any of these performance criteria, ask your teacher or re-read the information again.

Cyber Security

  • Security Fundamentals
  • Data Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • Ethical Hacking
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