World Economy

Global Cybercrime Generating $1.5t in Illicit Profits

Global Cybercrime Generating $1.5t in Illicit ProfitsGlobal Cybercrime Generating $1.5t in Illicit Profits

New criminality platforms and a booming cybercrime economy have resulted in $1.5 trillion in illicit profits being acquired, laundered, spent and reinvested by cybercriminals, according to Bromium’s independent study that looked into the interconnected dynamics of cybercrime.

Bromium is a venture capital–backed startup based in Cupertino, California, that works with virtualization technology. This is one of the first studies to view the dynamics of cybercrime through the lens of revenue flow and profit distribution, and not solely on the well-understood mechanisms of cybercrime, Information Age reported.

The new research exposes a cybercrime-based economy and the professionalization of cybercrime. This economy has become a self-sustaining system–an interconnected web of profit that blurs the lines between the legitimate and illegitimate.

The research points to an emergence of platform criminality, mirroring the platform capitalism model currently used by companies like Uber and Amazon, where data is the commodity.

The report also raises concerns about new criminality models that these platforms enable, which fund broader criminal activities such as human trafficking; drug production and distribution; and even terrorism.

“The findings provide shocking insight into just how widespread and profitable cybercrime has become,” said Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium. The platform criminality model is productizing malware and making cybercrime as easy as shopping online.

Not only is it easy to access cybercriminal tools, services and expertise: it means enterprises and governments alike are going to see more sophisticated, costly and disruptive attacks as The Web of Profit continues to gain momentum.

"We can’t solve this problem using old thinking or outmoded technology. It’s time for new approaches.”

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