IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Cyber criminals take advantage of credit crunch

The latest McAfee research has found that online criminals are cashing in on the credit crunch, and says the threat to consumers and businesses needs global action.

The worsening global economic climate is creating fertile ground for cybercriminals to dupe unsuspecting users into divulging sensitive information about themselves or their organisations, the McAfee Virtual Criminology Report 2008 has found.

At the same time, it concluded that the economic crisis is diverting political attentions from cyber security worldwide, preventing governments from making real headway against the perpetrators of online crime.

Greg Day, McAfee security analyst, told IT PRO that the UK was a prime example of those countries around the world who had taken their eye off the cyber crime ball.

"In August 2007, the House of Lords published a cyber crime report calling for steps to be taken to stop the internet becoming the wild wild west of criminal activity'," he said. "But the government's taken no action since."

Day also pointed out that the UK has yet to ratify the European Council's attempts to commonalise cyber law in the region that were first drawn up in 2001.

"We need guidelines on what the common laws around cyber crime are and how governments and law enforcement agencies can gather and share information on each other," he added.

The research found cyber criminals are cashing in on consumer anxiety to profit from old-fashioned get rich quick' scams, while the proportion of phishing emails has rocketed. Day said criminals are also now targeting job search websites to garner personal information for ID fraud.

And, with cyber crime as an issue dropping down the global agenda in response to growing financial concerns would only exacerbate the fact that law enforcement agencies lack specialist skills required to effectively fight cyber crime.

Day said: "The US President-Elect has just appointed a global security adviser who reports directly to him and the Department of Homeland Security is investing $159 million (107 million) on cyber security. The UK's devoted just 7 million."

He warned that a lack of co-ordinated, global efforts would allow cyber crime problems to expand exponentially unless governments commit to funding the resources needed to combat cyber crime.

The full report is available for download here.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

McAfee and Visa offer 50% off antivirus subscriptions for small businesses
cyber security

McAfee and Visa offer 50% off antivirus subscriptions for small businesses

25 Jul 2022
McAfee Total Protection review: Expensive at full price
antivirus

McAfee Total Protection review: Expensive at full price

2 Nov 2021

Most Popular

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS
cyber attacks

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS

8 Aug 2022
Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022