Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

RSN™ Special Report: CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Hits $1.4+ TRILLION ANNUALLY

Hyper-Connected Web Of Profit Emerges, As Global Cybercriminal Revenues Hit $1.4 Trillion Annually

A Ground-Breaking Study, Commissioned By Bromium, Highlights The Emergence Of “Platform Criminality”, Exposing Cybercriminal Links To Drug Production, Human Trafficking, And Terrorism

Originally published April 2018

Bromium®, Inc., the pioneer and leader in virtualization-based endpoint security that stops advanced malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. attacks via application isolation, today announced the findings of an independent study that looked into the interconnected dynamics of cybercrime, and examines how new criminality platforms and a booming cybercrime economy have resulted in $1.5 trillion in illicitillicit Illicit means something that is not legally permitted or authorized under the law; unlicensed; unlawful. It can also mean disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons. profits being acquired, laundered, spent and reinvested by cybercriminals. Complete findings will be presented at the RSA Conference in San Francisco by researcher Dr. Michael McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey in England.

This is one of the first studies to view the dynamics of cybercrime through the lens of revenue flow and profit distribution, and not solely on the well-understood mechanisms of cybercrime. The new research exposes a cybercrime-based economy and the professionalization of cybercrime. This economy has become a self-sustaining system – an interconnected Web of Profit that blurs the lines between the legitimate and illegitimate.

The research points to an emergence of platform criminality, mirroring the platform capitalism model currently used by companies like Uber and Amazon, where data is the commodity. The report also raises concerns about new criminality models that these platforms enable, which fund broader criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. activities such as human trafficking; drug production and distribution; and even terrorism.

“The findings of Dr. McGuire’s research provide shocking insight into just how widespread and profitable cybercrime has become,” commented Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium. “The platform criminality model is productizing malware and making cybercrime as easy as shopping online. Not only is it easy to access cybercriminal tools, services and expertise: it means enterprises and governments alike are going to see more sophisticated, costly and disruptive attacks as The Web of Profit continues to gain momentum. We can’t solve this problem using old thinking or outmoded technology. It’s time for new approaches.”

Revenue Generation In The Hyper-Connected Web Of Profit

Conservative estimates in The Web of Profit research show cybercriminal revenues worldwide of at least $1.5 trillion – equal to the GDP of Russia. In fact, if cybercrime was a country it would have the 13th highest GDP in the world. This $1.4 trillion figure includes:

  • $860 billion – Illicit/illegal online markets
  • $500 billion – Theft of trade secrets/IP
  • $160 billion – Data trading
  • [EDITOR’S NOTE: they did not include the USD $37 billion online fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. market]
  • $1.6 billion – Crimeware-as-a-Service
  • $1 billion – RansomwareRansomware Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim's personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, a