Cybersecurity professionals and firms agree when talking about the marked increase in cybercriminal activity over the last few years. Although metrics vary regarding this activity, one of the main indicators is provided by the FBI, which has just revealed its figures on cybercrime complaints over the past year.
According to the federal agency, 467,361 online
crime complaints were received during 2019, representing an average of about
1,300 reports per day. This is the highest figure since cybercrime allegations
were set in 2000.
These figures were revealed in the Annual Internet
Crime Report, published last February 11. According to the cybersecurity
report, cybercriminal activity during 2019 represented economic losses of more
than $3.5 billion USD for victims (individual users and public and private
organizations). In addition, most of the allegations relate specifically to
three crimes: phishing
attacks, online shopping fraud, and extortion.
On the other hand, the crimes that generated
the greatest losses for the affected companies relate to fraudulent transactions
via commercial email, financial fraud and identity fraud, which affect
individuals and companies as well.
According to the cybersecurity specialist and director of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Matt Gorham, even though these issues have become public domain, criminals stay one step ahead of victims, diversifying their methods and becoming increasingly sophisticated during the attack.
Moreover, the International Institute of Cyber
Security (IICS) supports FBI figures, as its own estimates of cybercrime
mention that more than 100,000 phishing reports were filed in the US during
2019. It should be remembered that phishing refers to the action of deceiving a
user to provide confidential information through emails allegedly sent by
collaborators, managers, banking institutions and law enforcement agencies,
among others. The main goal of cybercriminals is to obtain the login
credentials of victims to log into their accounts on business platforms, social
networks or online banking in order to access them undetected.