As you can tell, the common theme amongst pretty much all of my blogs in the last few months have been primarily about Cyber security. This has been a good learning experience for me so far, as most of the writings I have done have been primarily in the realm of Biometric Technology. It’s even interesting for me to write about all this new stuff as the tag line on the blog site is all about Biometrics.
Well anyways talking about Cyber security, we all know the impacts that it has not only upon the individual, businesses and corporations, but even upon society as a whole. The impacts are not just costs in terms of emotional tolls that these incidents take, but also there is a tremendous financial cost as well.
A Cyber attack to an organization can cost it a lot of lost revenue, lost customers, but even worse, destroyed brand image which may take even years to recover from, if the business owner is even lucky enough.
Well now, we have finally have a tally on the amount of financial damage that Cyber attacks had back in 2017. According to the FBI, in their latest release of the Internet Crime Report (which can be downloaded at this link: https://media.scmagazine.com/documents/341/2017_ic3report_85197.pdf), the total was well over $1.4 Billion. According to the report, the top cyber crimes involved the following:
*Non-payment/non-delivery crimes with 84,079 victims;
*Personal data breaches with 30,904 victims;
*Phishing with 25,344 victims.
Quite surprisingly, the first two victim groups held the top spot ranking back in 2016, and honestly, I am quite surprised to see Phishing being in third place (though it is still in a high rank). You would think that with all of the Phishing schemes you hear about, that it would for sure be in the top position. But, maybe not, as it appears right now.
But keep in mind, that this report only reflects the total number of Cyber crimes that have been actually reported to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. There is probably a very good chance that the total financial loss is much, much higher, due to unreported Cyber crimes. In other words, the report’s data represents a total of 301,580 complaints filed with the Internet Complaint Center (IC3) in 2017.
In terms of the states with the most financial losses include the following:
*California at more than $214 million;
*Texas at more than $115 million;
*Florida with more than $110 million;
*New York with nearly $89 million;
*Arizona with just over $59 million.
In terms of the states with the most number of victims include the following:
*California with 41,974 victims;
*Florida with 21,887 victims;
*Texas with 21,852 victims;
*New York with 17,622 victims;
*Pennsylvania with 11,348 victims;
* Illinois with 9,177 victims.
(SOURCE FOR DATA: https://www.scmagazine.com/the-top-three-cybercrimes-reported-by-victims-in-2017-were-non-paymentnon-delivery-personal-data-and-phishing-attacks/article/764502/)
Another disturbing trend that this report discovered: There were only 1,783 complaints that were identified as pure Ransomware when compared to 2,673 complaints in 2016. According to the FBI:
“The fact that victims are reporting fewer cases to the FBI may simply mean that they are disappointed by the FBI’s inability to help recover the data or at least prosecute offenders . . . People are losing their confidence in government and law enforcement agencies to protect them from cybercriminals.” (SOURCE: https://www.scmagazine.com/the-top-three-cybercrimes-reported-by-victims-in-2017-were-non-paymentnon-delivery-personal-data-and-phishing-attacks/article/764502/).
The end result is that victims are turning over to the private Cyber security firms to help bring the perpetrators to justice. But as this happens, the FBI also warned that the authority of the Federal Government could be undermined if this trend continues.
My thoughts? You really can’t blame the FBI for taking a long time to prosecute cases. Remember, they have very limited manpower, and there is only so much they can take on at once. While if you do report a crime to them, they will follow up with you, but if it is not deemed to be a “large” enough case, the probability that they will take it on all the way to prosecution is very low.
Also, the Trump Administration needs to put much more $$$ and manpower into helping the FBI get more trained and qualified agents. They keep talking about this stupid border wall with Mexico, but rather than worrying about that, they need to devote resources to combat the real problem at hand: The threats are posed by the ever elusive Cyber attacker.
To the Trump Administration: Instead of all of the finger pointing that occurs, let’s all try to come together with a common cause to make the FBI stronger than it has been ever before. In the end, as an American society, we will all benefit.