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Is Cybercrime outpacing business? Comparative earnings are…

Computer Weekly | Alex Scroxton | May 19, 2022

cybercrime - Is Cybercrime outpacing business?  Comparative earnings are...

An expert cyber fraudster can make as much as £6m in a year, more than three times the 2020 average salary of a FTSE 100 chief executive, and even rookies are raking it in, taking home approximately £15,000 a month, according to statistics on the state of fraud and internet account security, compiled by Arkose Labs.

The firm said that if it was a country, the global fraud industry would be the third-biggest economy in the world, lagging only the US and China.

Arkose’s chief criminal officer Brett Johnson – the former “Internet Godfather” who was a key player in the operation of the ShadowCrew cyber crime collective – said it was no surprise to see how or why the underground cyber crime economy has become so large:

  • The temptation for committing online fraud is higher than ever, simply because the results yield thousands, if not millions of pounds, for even the newest and most junior cyber criminals in the chain.
  • Online criminals have a shopping list of opportunities available to them – everything from refund fraud to account takeover,” he said. “They can almost pick and choose which type of fraud they want to commit.

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  • Marketplace and messaging platforms have become vastly popularised in the fraud community, where cyber criminals can promote their own personal fraud business, recommend attack tools and techniques, and offer free step-by-step guides for the rookie fraudster.
  • Given some of the lenient sentences given for cyber crime, it does make it one of the lower-risk crimes to commit, and sometimes has a suitable pay-out as well,” he says. There’s also the disconnect from the victim, making it easier on a personal level to commit the crime for some. Some may even view it as victimless, when in reality it’s not.

Arkose’s report reveals there has been a tenfold increase in people choosing the life of a career fraudster since 2019, with the introduction of furlough policies and growing unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic the likely cause.

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