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Internet crime costs global economy £2.3m a minute

Cyber crime cost the global economy £2.3m every minute in 2018, reveals a report aimed at defining the scale of cyber attacks taking place over the internet

The cost of internet-based cyber crime cost the global economy a total of £1.2tn in the past year, more than double the cost in 2017, according to the latest annual Evil Internet Minute report by cyber security firm RiskIQ.

The report is based on an analysis of malicious activity on the internet using proprietary global intelligence and third-party research.

The analysis also reveals that every minute, top companies pay £20 because of security breaches, hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges cost £1,550, and phishing attacks cost £14,200.

Every minute, 2.4 phishing sites went live and seven malicious redirectors, 0.32 blacklisted apps, and 0.21 Magecart attacks were detected.

Looking ahead, the report predicts that ransomware will cost the global economy £17,817 a minute in 2019.

The report coincides with another by security firm SonicWall that shows ransomware was up 15% in the first half of the year, with the UK worst-hit with a 195% increase compared with the same period a year ago.

“As the scale of the internet continues to proliferate, so does the threat landscape,” said Lou Manousos, CEO of RiskIQ.

“By compiling the vast numbers associated with cyber crime in the past year, we made the research more accessible by framing it in the context of an ‘internet minute’.

“We are entering our third year defining the sheer scale of attacks that take place across the internet using the latest third-party research and our own global threat intelligence so that businesses can better understand what they are up against on the open web.”

Read more about the cost of cyber crime

The report shows that popular cyber criminal tactics include malvertising, phishing and supply chain attacks that target e-commerce, such as the Magecart hacks that have increased by 20% in the past year.

The motives of cyber criminals include monetary gain, large-scale reputational damage, political motivations and espionage. 

“Without greater awareness and an increased effort to implement necessary security controls, there will be more attacks using an ever-expanding range of technologies and strategies,” said Manousos.

“With the recent explosion of web and browser-based threats, organisations should look to what can happen in a matter of minutes and evaluate their current security strategy. Businesses must realise that they are vulnerable beyond the firewall, all the way across the open internet.”

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