The Global Cybercrime Industry

The meteoric rise in cybercrime has been an issue of pressing concern to our society. Cybercrime is global and organized. This chapter deals with definitional issues; analyses economic, social, and political impacts; and discusses methodological, conceptual, logical, and statistical problems in estimating the size of the cybercrime industry. The chapter also sheds light into different types of cybercrimes and relevant actors associated with the cybercrime industry.

The meteoric rise in cybercrime has been an issue of pressing concern to our society. Mike Humphrey, Head of Information Assurance and Accreditation of the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), suggested that cybercrime is global and organized (Infosecurity-magazine.com, 2009). According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), organized cybercrimes are linked with other criminal activities such as drugs, gambling, prostitution, and terrorism (Antonopoulos, 2009). There are also reports that traditional organized crime groups have been involved in cybercrime. For instance, the Italian Mafia, Japanese Yakuza, Chinese gangs, Colombian cartels, and Russian and Malaysian organized crime groups have reportedly employed hackers, diverted their efforts from traditional activities to cybercrime, and expanded their businesses globally (Bell, 2002; Foreign Policy, 2005; Economist, 2009; Ismail, 2008; Katyal, 2001; Parker, 1998). Organized crime groups have also recruited young people in their cybercrime enterprises (BBC News, 2006b). The flourishing synergy between organized crimes and the Internet
has thus increased the insecurity of the digital world (Kshetri, 2005; Williams, 2001).

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