By 2025, cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion per year. Cybercrime Magazine provided the image. This makes it one of the biggest industries in the world.
Cybercrime can be defined as illegal activity involving computers and computer networks. The three main categories of cybercrime are data theft, fraud, and damage control.
Data theft involves the unauthorized access to, or extraction of data from a database or other information storage system. This may be done to steal information for personal use or to sell on the black market or include it in malicious software. Data theft can also involve the alteration of data with the aim of causing financial loss or social harm. For example, hackers might delete important files or leak sensitive information about companies.
Fraud uses computers to deceive people or institutions into providing them with funds or other assets. This can include online banking fraud, spam email, phishing, counterfeit goods, and identity theft. Fraud can also involve the use of computer systems to manipulate data so that it appears like it was produced by a trusted entity-for example, creating documents that appear to come from banks or other trusted sources in an attempt to gain access to confidential information.
Damage control involves taking action to correct problems caused by cybercrime.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, worldwide cybercrime expenses would increase by 15% each year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015. The main driver of this growth will be software piracy, which accounts for 35% of all cybercrime activities.
Cybercrime encompasses a wide range of crimes committed using computers. This includes identity theft, computer hacking, spam email, online fraud, and damage caused by malware. Cybercrime has many forms including internet trolling, web defacement, network vandalism, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Cybercriminals use computers both as tools for carrying out their actions and as targets for exploitation. For example, they may use malicious programs (malware) to steal information or destroy data.
Computer systems exist that are vulnerable to attack. These systems include those running older or unsupported operating systems (such as Windows XP) and those connected to the Internet with security protocols set to low or medium. Vulnerabilities can be found by searching for known entry points into computers, such as open ports on firewall configurations or user names and passwords. Once a vulnerability is found, it can be used to penetrate protected computers.
Once inside a computer, a cybercriminal can carry out a variety of actions.
Cybercrime cost firms $450 billion in 2016, according to CNBC. According to Forbes Magazine, cybercrime might cost more than $2 trillion by 2019. Cybercriminals can distribute ransomware in large numbers by using traditional malware distribution techniques such as email or by exploiting network weaknesses. Ransomware locks users' files and demands that they pay a fee to unlock them. The United States government estimates that between 2011 and 2015, cybercriminals stole $45 billion from businesses worldwide.
Cybercriminals can also steal people's identities through social engineering, password dumping, and other methods. For example, one criminal group was able to obtain over 1 million usernames and passwords for various websites including Netflix, Amazon, and Apple through a single hacking campaign. When these users logged into their accounts without security measures in place, the criminals were able to take over those accounts permanently.
The risk of becoming a victim yourself is high when it comes to cybercrime. Hackers often target specific types of organizations, such as banks, so-called low-hanging fruit, which are easy targets that won't raise too many alarms. They may even use your own computer against you. With malicious software (malware) installed on your machine, a hacker could log into your account without you knowing about it. This way, they could steal your identity and commit other crimes with your money.
The best defense against cybercrime is simple awareness.
According to a 2014 McAfee estimate (PDF), the yearly cost of cybercrime to the global economy exceeds $400 billion. According to a 2015 estimate by the British insurance firm Lloyd's, cyber-attacks cost businesses $400 billion each year.
That makes cybercrime one of the most expensive problems for companies to address. It also shows how serious it is: Even when inflated to account for more than $1 trillion dollars annually, this figure is still less than one percent of the world's economic output.
The vast majority of these losses occur because of theft from personal computers. Financial institutions are particularly vulnerable because they tend to store large amounts of data about people who have done nothing wrong. This means that they are natural targets for hackers looking to steal money or sensitive information.
In addition to financial loss, cybercrime can also cause physical damage to property and injury to people. Computer viruses written by criminals can be designed to delete files, spread to other computers, or collect other types of data. They can also be used to access databases containing personal information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers, which can be used to commit identity fraud.
Cybercriminals use three main methods to make money: charging fees, stealing money, and causing damage to achieve monetary compensation. There are many different ways this can happen.