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13 September 2011, 17:09

Symantec claims cybercrime losses on a par with drugs trade revenues

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According to Symantec's latest Cybercrime Report 2011, the UK has suffered losses totaling £1.115 billion ($1.762 billion) over the last twelve months as a result of internet criminality. Globally, it estimates losses at £72 billion ($114 billion), rising to £246 billion ($388 billion) if lost working hours are factored in. Taken together, Symantec claims, losses are on a par with the value of the global drugs trade.

According to the report, the most common frauds employ computer viruses and other malware (48 per cent), with direct online fraud making up just eight per cent of major online crimes. As well as direct crimes, such as credit card and online banking fraud, the study also included infection of computers by malware (viruses, trojans) and harassment on social networks.

The Symantec study also presents the results of a survey carried out on a sample of 12,704 adults and 4,533 children from 24 countries. It surveyed attitudes to the internet, data protection and protection from online attacks.

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