Eighty percent of cybercrime is committed by organized crime groups, according to a new study from the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Security at the London Metropolitan University and BAE Systems Detica, Techworld reports.
The study, Organized Crime in the Digital Age, found that most of the organized groups that commit cybercrime are staffed young to middle-aged "technical types," and that the crime rings tend to have up to a dozen people.
According to the article:
The earliest online crimes included pump-and-dump stock scams in the late 1990s, but the real jump came with the development of the mainstream Internet around the turn of the century. Organised crime quickly picked up on the potential for information theft and fraud, which was eventually industrialised with the arrival of botnets around 2006.
“Organised criminal activity has now moved from being an emerging aspect of cybercrime to become a central feature of the digital crime landscape,” said Kenny McKenzie, head of law enforcement for BAE Systems Detica, which commissioned the study. “Our report shows that more and more criminal activities now rely upon the online world.”
The study refers to this as a "fourth era" of organized crime. Researchers analyzed 7,000 documentary sources for their conclusions.
As far as what types of groups are most susceptible to these attacks, V3 reports that PricewaterhouseCoopers recently warned that financial services firms are most at risk to hacker attacks.