Stark warning as UK faces cybercrime boom

Stark warning as UK faces cybercrime boom

Summary: A report by the Serious Organised Crime Agency has warned of the growing danger from international gangs of online and credit card fraudsters

TOPICS: Security

A government report on serious criminal threats to the UK has warned of the growing danger from international gangs of online and credit card fraudsters.

The UK Threat Assessment of Serious Organised Crime pinpoints a surge in attempts to hijack bank accounts using email phishing and key-logging malware.

The report by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) says groups of criminals worldwide are collaborating over the web, specialising in roles from spamming to trading stolen personal data.

It says the criminal market for stolen data has boomed with the growth of the internet, with information stolen through phishing, hacking or malware traded in large quantities online.

It also warns of bank accounts being taken over by fraudsters tricking call centre workers, a 37 percent rise in the cost of phone, internet and mail-order fraud and the threat from chip and PIN devices being modified to capture card details.

Spam emails are often used in phishing attacks or to deliver malware, the report says, distributed by networks of compromised botnet computers which are also used for denial-of-service attacks.

Soca also warn that half of the UK's £1.3bn intellectual property crime is related to digital media.

The internet is also highlighted as a source of illegal goods such as controlled drugs, illegal firearms and false documents.

The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Metropolitan Police Service are waiting to see if the Home Office will grant £1.3m in start-up costs for their proposed Policing Central E-crime Unit, which would co-ordinate cybercrime investigations by local forces nationwide.

Topic: Security


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Reasons why only KEY and PIN system will deter virtually all fraud crimes

    By now banks should realise that Chip and PIN system will not combat fraud because it does not deter identity fraud, ATM fraud, stolen card and PIN fraud, card not present fraud, faked fraud etc. the way KEY and PIN system described on website will.

    So until banks exploit proposed KEY and PIN system fraud crimes will continue to grow.

    KEY and PIN system could be treated like international ID card since it will personalise signature and PIN to the right individual in any country in the world.

    We hope banks and the government would exploit KEY and PIN system before it is too late to stop a fraud boom.