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Cybercrime has become a lucrative business. Cyber criminals in total earn more than $3 trillion every year, a number expected to reach $6 trillion by 2023. Anyone who wants to make some quick money, although with the risk of being caught, can easily go into business.
Grant McCracken, Director of Solutions Architecture at Bugcrowd, said that “the unknown is the biggest cyber threat businesses will face in 2020. The biggest threats today are the ones we won’t know about until tomorrow, or even later.” Cyberthreats are coming from all directions.
Cybercrime activities include things like ransomware and malware attacks, digital currency scams, phishing, identify theft, stealing intellectual property, and the selling of illegal items online, like weapons and drugs.
The tools and info needed to perpetrate many of these crimes can be purchased easily, and relatively cheaply, on the internet. The ‘darknet’ offers up many of these black-market services, like phishing and ransomware, for a price.
William Carter, deputy director of the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that the availability of cheap cyber-criminal services is rampant. He said that “really at this point it doesn’t take a lot of audacity. The chances that [law enforcement] will track down all the little service providers are pretty small. And the payoff can be pretty large.”