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Mercedes Oliveira

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Understanding Cybercrime
July 12, 2016

Cybercrime hacker typing on a laptop

‘Cybercrime’ is a term we often hear being bandied around – and you’ve probably used it yourself many times. But what exactly does it mean?


Cybercrime is the definition of any illegal activity carried out by means of a computer or the internet. And the threat of cybercrime is bigger now than ever before, due to the number of connected devices and people.



The facts

According to Norton Antivirus:


* Cybercrime has now surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal money-maker
* Somebody’s identity is stolen every 3 seconds as a result of cybercrime
* In 2015, UK consumers lost £1.7 billion to cybercrime

What does Cybercrime look like?

Cybercrime can take on many different forms, here are just a few:

• Theft of personal data/finances
• Fraud
• Copyright infringement
• Bullying
• Hacktivism (to convey a social or political message – e.g. the Ashley Madison data breach in July 2015)

Why commit Cybercrime?

There are many reasons people commit cybercrime:

• Financial gain
• To cause disruption
• To boost a hacker’s reputation
• To create a diversion and distract from what they’re actually doing
• To stick two fingers up at the establishment
• For fun

The human impact of Cybercrime

Being a victim of cybercrime has many consequences – such as reputational damage, personal embarrassment, financial and productivity loss. Having our data compromised can also affect us emotionally, with 81% of people saying that they would feel devastated if their financial information (bank and credit card details) were compromised (results from Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, 2015).



So let’s take a look at the three main types of cybercrime that you can get caught by:

1. Distributed attack – where malware is installed on multiple computers
2. Central attack – an attack on one system (like the Cloud)
3. Personal attack – you are targeted as an individual



Want to know more?

If you want to find out more about the three types of cybercrime and how to protect yourself against them, check out our blogpost ‘Types of Cybercrime and how to avoid them’.


Want to be more cybercrime aware?

Then why not join projectfive for a Cybercrime Awareness Training Course! It will help you and your team to recognise these threats and take practical measures towards making yourself – and your business – less vulnerable. Email info@projectfive.co.uk for full details.

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