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Online Fraud Overtakes Malware Attacks Leading to Big Financial Loss

Online financial fraud is the major source of financial loss and has surged ahead of virus attacks, according to the 12th Annual Computer Crime and Security Survey.

It is estimated that financial fraud had cost businesses, universities and government agencies a total of $21,124,750 this year (2007) alone. Comparatively, malware is expected to cost around value $8,391, 799 to the same enterprises, according to the research study under the US CSI (Computer Security Institute).

A total of around 490 companies worldwide took part in the survey and revealed that the average yearly loss spiked to $350,424 from $168,000 in 2006.

While the survey showed that the greatest amount of losses by organizations throughout the history have been due to computer viruses, nearly all respondents said that their companies had deployed anti-virus solutions and that the products were constantly improving. Therefore, unlike in 2000, when virus like 'ILOVEYOU' wreaked havoc by infecting nearly 44 Million PCs in just one day, the effects of similar virus attacks in the past few years have relatively calmed down, said Robert Richardson, Director of the Computer Security Institute. InformationWeek published this in news on September 14, 2007.

The CSI's report also revealed that incidents including thefts and leakages of company information, access of pornography, and use of pirated software has declined from a high in 2000.

Another threat that is growing is theft of mobile devices and laptops, which, according to half of those surveyed, is also likely to get ahead of viruses and be the second biggest hassle for IT personnel.

Respondents also said that targeted attacks were rising with organizations felt they were culled out as prime target. 28% of respondents reported being the targets between 1 and 5 attacks, while 67% did not know if they suffered any attack.

A growing integration of Internet-based attacks has been fading the demarcating line between consumer and company security that were earlier regarded as distinct concerns.

Traditionally, cyber criminals and security professionals were cast as one who attacked their networks. Now criminals steal consumer data and also attack enterprise networks and use it to attack individual customers.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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