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Cyber crime has become big business and is now masterminded by gangs that are looking to gain financial advantage through their attacks.
As well as revealing that 80% of cyber crime is carried out by hardened criminals the review of the state of the market from the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Security also found that demographically there were more over 40's involved than youngsters.
That turns the stereotype of the student or spotty teenager trying to hack into a system on its head and will provide the Police with a clearer idea of who to target their efforts against.
The study, sponsored by the BAE Detica, is designed to give an insight into the extent that organised crime is involved with the online world.
Kenny McKenzie, head of law enforcement at BAE Systems Detica, said that organised criminals had moved to dominate the cyber crime landscape.
"Our report shows that more and more criminal activities now rely upon the online world and that a significant proportion - 80 per cent - of the volume of serious crime now occurring online has clear associations with groups which display various levels of collective co-ordination, purpose and capacity," he said.
"As digital crime continues to grow, increased partnership between law enforcement and technical experts - as well as the private sector - will be critical," he added.