Cyber Crime Statistics

Degrees in Cyber Crime

Computers have made our lives easier, and as technology rapidly advances, people are using computers, mobile devices and the internet to do everything from work related projects to managing financial transactions and accounts online. While this has made our lives easier than ever before, it has created a new problem that we often don’t take seriously enough: Cyber crime. Cyber crime is defined as any crime that is committed over a network or Internet connections. It can be stealing passwords for banking information or committing fraud on an online auction site. And, while cyber crime statistics continue to pile up, there are ways for users to protect themselves. Unfortunately, cyber crimes are hard to detect, and hard to prosecute, but law enforcement agencies are working on that by adding new professionals positions and training employees to handle specifically with cyber crime. There are even degrees in cyber crime that are becoming available as more and more people are becoming victims of this terrible crime.

For students who are interested in computer forensics, obtaining a cyber crime degree is a way to set themselves apart from others in the field. Being a specialized certification, a degree in cyber crime will help students find jobs where they helping to combat this rising problem that will probably never go away, but will hopefully be able to be controlled some day.

A degree in cyber crime will encompass many of the same areas as a general computer forensics degree, but will focus on crimes that are committed specifically on the internet, as opposed to crimes in which digital evidence is used to solve them. While many of these cases may in fact be the same, they may be very different.

There are several options for cyber crime degrees, and they range from attending a community college with a criminal justice program, to finding a four-year university that offers a program specifically geared towards a degree in cyber crime.

Once you’ve obtained a cyber crime degree, there are many opportunities for work, including government organizations, law enforcement agencies and even law firms or other companies related to the legal field who may prosecute cyber crimes.

Whatever type of training or job you choose in the field, cyber crime is becoming a bigger problem everyday, and getting a cyber crime degree will help law enforcement agencies combat this hard and sometimes impossible to prosecute crime.

Cyber Crime Statistics

The cyber crime statistics illustrate some of the general trends in the field of hi-tech crimes. Marked increases in cyber crime statistics result in an increasing need for professionals capable of responding to and investigating cyber crimes, and conducting computer forensic examinations of evidence in these cases.

Cyber Crime Statistics from the 2006 Internet Crime Report*

  • In 2006, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received and processed over 200,000 complaints.
  • More than 86,000 of these complaints were processed and referred to various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Most of these were consumers and persons filing as private persons.
  • Total alleged dollar losses were more than $194 million.
  • Email and websites were the two primary mechanisms for fraud.
  • Although the total number of complaints decreased by approximately 7,000 complaints from 2005, the total dollar losses increased by $15 million.
  • The top frauds reported were auction fraud, non-delivery of items, check fraud, and credit card fraud.
  • Top contact mechanisms for perpetrators to victims were email (74%), web page (36%), and phone (18%) (there was some overlap).

* The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a clearinghouse for online economic crime complaints. It is maintained by the National White Collar Crime Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. To review the results of the study, visit the National White Collar Crime Center’s site.

Cyber Crime Statistics from the 12th Annual Computer Crime and Security Survey*

  • Between 2006 and 2007 there was a net increase in IT budget spent on security.
  • Significantly, however, the percentage of IT budget spent on security awareness training was very low, with 71% of respondents saying less than 5% of the security budget was spent on awareness training, 22% saying less than 1% was spent on such training.
  • 71% of respondents said their company has no external insurance to cover computer security incident losses.
  • 90% of respondents said their company experienced a computer security incident in the past 12 months.
  • 64% of losses were due to the actions of insiders at the company.

The top 3 types of attack, ranked by dollar losses, were:

  • financial fraud ($21.1 million)
  • viruses/worms/trojans ($8.4 million)
  • system penetration by outsiders ($6.8 million)

* The complete results of this study, as well as past studies, which are conducted annually by the Computer Security Institute, can be found at the CSI website www.gocsi.com . Interestingly, these statistics are compiled from voluntary responses of computer security professionals. Thus, there is certainly an inference that the damages due to computer security incidents are much higher than those cited here, as companies without responding security professionals undoubtedly were the victim of computer security incidents.

Cyber Crime Statistics from the Online Victimization of Youth, Five Years Later study*

  • Increasing numbers of children are being exposed to unwanted sexual materials online.
  • Reports of online sexual solicitations of youth decreased while reports of aggressive sexual solicitation of youth did not (perhaps indicating that some prevention and education measures may be working, while the most serious offenders may not be deterred).
  • Online child solicitation offenses are rarely reported to any authority.
  • Incidents of online harassment and bullying increased.

*This is an empirical study based on approximately 1500 surveys conducted with online youth in 2005 that were compared to the results of a similar study in 2001. The study was conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Crimes Against Children Research Center, and the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the United States Department of Justice. The complete results of the study can be found here http://www.missingkids.com.

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