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Cyber Crime Surpasses even Illegal Drug Business

One of the global crimes that are growing at the fastest rates is computer crime, according to the Security Chief of Centurion-located ICT Company.

Security Head Wolfgang Selzer at Exponant cited the observation by David DeWalt, CEO of major anti-virus company McAfee, who also indicated that the business of cyber crime has grown to a gigantic proportion and that it now estimates to US$ 105 Billion. Comparing cyber crime to the world's illicit drug trade, it has become even bigger than the drug business. Iafrica.com reported this on November 14, 2007.

Organizations at large continue to pay low attention to online threats like phishing, identity theft, data leakage, information exposure, and vulnerabilities of various kinds. The most prominent region susceptible to cyber crime is South Africa where numerous South Africans receive e-mails every week from Websites purporting to be those of legitimate financial institutions that ask for their passwords, account details and other sensitive information.

As the number of South Africans logging onto the Internet to conduct online shopping and banking increases, possibilities of them becoming victims too increases.

Wolfgang Selzer also said that 'Business against Crime' had reported that in 2005, South Africa saw white collar type of crime run beyond an estimated R40 Billion per year. Iafrica.com published this.

Selzer further noted that suspicion on a lot of phishing operators being involved in the 419 scam of Nigeria is strong. This scam has been playing fraud with unsuspecting bidders since many years. Unfortunately, a low level of awareness about cyber threats prevails in government and corporate sectors of South Africa and not much has been done to protect PCs, networks and servers.

As new devices and platforms get introduced, cyber criminals in South Africa find new opportunities for carrying out phishing scams and hacks. Laws to deal with these criminals and their activities need immediate attention. Although the legal system to tackle cyber criminals has been tightened, yet there are situations where a thief may be serving a more intense punishment than an executive of a large corporation who defrauded his organization of massive sums of rands, Selzer concluded.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

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