Most figures on the extent of internet crime are an underestimation. Nevertheless, the estimation from Symantec is somewhat staggering:

“Hi-tech thieves who specialise in card fraud have a credit line in excess of $5bn (£3.35bn), research suggests.

Symantec calculated the figure to quantify the scale of fraud it found during a year-long look at the internet’s underground economy.”

link: Online fraudsters ‘steal £3.3bn’

The reason that these figures are likely low is that there is a surprising amount of such crimes go unreported. For example, if a company has been compromised, in some countries this goes unreported. The company may not make the data breach public for reasons such as lawsuits and adverse publicity.

On a personal level, some of the crime is not reported due to personal embarrassment, for example. The victim of the crime just accepts it as a loss. There are incidents where the crime is so well concealed that it simply may go undetected.

In reading such crime estimates, it is prudent to regard the data as low range estimates. The upper range of those parameters are subject to guess but, undoubtedly, that number grows daily.

Catherine Forsythe