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According to official numbers, reports of cyberfraud have doubled

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July 25, 2016

According to official numbers, reports of cyberfraud have doubled because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is now including internet crimes in its statistics.

Britain's ONS says in its crime statistics released last week that more than two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million online fraud crimes took place in the twelve months to the end of March 2016.

Of the various computer misuse offences, about 68.3 percent involved malware, while about 32.1 percent consisted of hacking or unauthorised access.

The numbers are much higher than an initial ONS estimate done in October 2015. The combined total of 5.8 million incidents of cybercrime in England and Wales is enough to nearly double the overall crime rate.

According to the ONS, cybercrime now makes up 40 percent of all recorded criminal incidents.

An estimated 51 percent of fraud incidents from October 2015 to March 2016 were cyber-related. Internet crime will appear in all future editions of the ONS’ numbers.

Paul Taylor, U.K. head of cyber security at KPMG said-- About 52.4 percent of the 3.8 million incidents of fraud against individuals are cyber related, with a further 2 million incidents of computer misuse, hacking and viruses. It’s clear that crime is becoming cyber enabled as our world becomes more digital.

“Greater transparency around the scale of this problem is vital, helping set the national priorities for law enforcement resources, and underlining the need for industry and government to work together to combat this growing menace,” he asserted.

Aaron Simpson, a partner at law firm Hunton & Williams, added:-- “Although this is the first year that cybercrime and online misuse statistics have been recorded by the ONS, it is particularly troubling to see that the total number of cases are similar to that of all other types of crime combined. This mirrors what we’re seeing in the corporate world, where the systems of businesses large and small are being targeted by hackers, hacktivists and nation states in search of information about consumers, employees and various trade secrets.”

Numbers from the ONS suggest that cyber offences now form the most common single class of crime and that one in ten British citizens will be the victim of a cyber-offence during a given year.

Gerry Carr, commercial director at Ravelin, a U.K. fraud-detection company said:-- "3.8 million card fraud offences reflect the reality we are seeing with our customer base of online businesses. But the cost of this crime is being borne not so much by individuals, although there is huge inconvenience, but by online businesses up and down the country in the form of chargebacks. The only option for these merchants is to take all the precautions they can to ensure transactions are legitimate, while still making for a pleasant online shopping experience for its customers.”

Robert Norris, director of enterprise & cyber security in the U.K. & Ireland at Fujitsu, warned: “The technical capabilities of cyber-criminals continue to outpace the UK’s ability to deal with cyber threats. If we are to counter this, we must collaborate to share intelligence and counter the threats. If we don’t, we will never succeed in getting ahead and the ONS numbers will continue to increase.”

Source: Britain's Office for National Statistics.

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