1. Business Risk
  1. Alcohol Smuggling$5.0 Billion
  2. Art Theft$10 Billion
  3. Cigarette Smuggling$50 Billion
  4. Corruption$1.6 Trillion
  5. Counterfeit Goods$653.77 Billion
  6. Illegal Gambling$140 Billion
  7. Kidnap and Ransom$1.5 Billion
  8. Money Laundering$2.5 Trillion

Business Risk

Risk assessments and threat intelligence on business risks that can impact corporations or businesses. Information about money laundering, corruption and other threats to business operations.

The owner and operator of an illegal gambling website in South Korea hired two cyber security experts to attack a competing gambling site.

South Korea’s National Police Agency stated that the owner of the illegal gambling site paid two men $911,000 (1 Billion South Korean Won) to attack the competitor. The cyber attack consisted of hacking into 12,000 computers located at six different banks. Once in control of those computers, the man directed them to commence a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on to the gambling website.

(Price to rent a botnet to DDOS a website.)

One of the men was the owner of his own security company, and the other man was his employee. The man told police that he accepted the illegal job due to his lack of income. The man was previously a computer science professor in South Korea.

Intelligence officials believe that there are over tens of thousands of players in South Korea who bets at illegal gambling websites.

Source:  Jung Min-ho, “Cyber security experts arrested for hacking gambling site,” Korea Times, March 3, 2015.

Economics and tax officials in Puerto Rico estimate that the territory fails to collected an estimate $800 Million in tax revenue from due to unreported income each year.

The island currently has a 7 percent sales tax that residents avoid through the use of cash transactions.

According to data from the US Treasury, over 80 percent of self-employed people in Puerto Rico claim on taxes that they earn less than

$15,000 per year. 69 percent of sole business proprietors report earnings that are below $11,000 a year.

37 percent of corporations report losses.

In total, financial intelligence officials estimate that the underground economy (excluding drug trafficking and criminal activities) in Puerto Rico is worth $16 Billion.

(Key statistics about money laundering.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Puerto Rico fights tax evasion as it seeks new revenue sources,” Star Tribune, March 8, 2015.

According to previous estimates by security agencies and the financial industry, between $1.5 Trillion to $2.5 Trillion is laundered around the world each year.

In order to combat terrorist financing, drug trafficking profits and tax evasion, countries have implements various financial regulations and created inter-governmental bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force. In order to comply with the anti-laundering regulations, financial firms and banks in the United States spend an estimated $7 Billion per year in compliance measures.

The results from these measures leads to a 0.2 percent seizure rate of laundered money in the United States.

One reason given for the difficulty of seizing illicit funds is due to the small amounts needed to create terrorism. According to Bloomberg, the September 11 attacks cost less than $500,000 to plan and implement. The Al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid and London cost $100,000 to carry out.

(See more money laundering statistics.)

Source:  Charles Kenny, “Why the World Is So Bad at Tracking Dirty Money,” Bloomberg Business, February 23, 2015.

At the start of 2015, media reports place the average ransomware demand to be $500.

This figure is based upon several public sources.

The first source is based upon a writer in the New York Times who stated that her mother was a victim of ransomware. The authors mother had her computer locked up based on CryptoWall. After encrypting the computer, the malware demanded $500 to be paid by Bitcoins release the hold. If the amount wasn’t paid by the end of the week, then the demand would increase to $1,000.

The second source is from a report by The Economist. In its article, the magazine reports that the average ransom has fallen from $800 several years ago. It uses examples of extortion victims who paid $644 (€510) in Italy, and a sheriffs office in Tennessee that paid $572 to recover thousands of files that were encrypted. The Economist also states that between August and December 2014, around 16,000 people paid $7 Million (8 Million Australian Dollars) after their computers were encrypted with ransomware.

The owner of the Bitcoin wallet that received the ransom in Italy received up to $109,400 worth of bitcoins in following 8 days after the ransomware was discovered.

Source:  Alina Simone, “How My Mom Got Hacked,” New York Times, January 2, 2015.

Source:  “Your money or your data,” Economist, January 15, 2015.

According to security reporter Brian Kerbs, hackers are selling computer programs that automatically click on competitors advertisements in order to drain their budget.

The service automotates bots that commit click fraud throughout the Google Adsense network. By having bots click on the ads, a business can quickly drain their competitors ads to prevent it from being seen.

The service is available for sale on underground Russian forums and has both subscription and flat rate options. For $100, buyers of the service can target 3 to 10 ad units for up to 24 hours. For a flat rate of $1,000, small businesses can drain the ads of a handful of competitors and prevent them from being seen indefinitely.

Fees are paid upfront with the use of virtual currencies such as WebMoney.

(More prices of underground hacking services.)

Source:  Brian Kerbs, ” Hacker service drains Google AdWords budgets,” Sydney Morning Herald, June 28, 2014

The agency responsible for anti-money laundering campaigns in Singapore reported an increase in cases during 2013.

According to the Commercial Affairs Department, the agency received 22,417 suspicious transaction reports during the 2013 year, and increase of 25 percent from the previous year. In 341 instances, the agency provided intelligence to foreign agencies, up from the 160 cases of intelligence sharing that took place in 2012.

In total, security officials in Singapore seized over $92 Million (115 Million Singaporean Dollars) in suspected criminal proceeds.

According to a spokesman for the agency, more transnational organized crime groups are using the country’s financial industry in order to move their illicit funds.

(Examples of money laundering.)

Source: Andrea Tan, “Singapore Says More Overseas Criminals Seek Bank Accounts,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 2, 2014.

Between 2011 and 2013, authorities in Chile seized 362,752 pirated books from stores across the country. The pirated books were valued at $1.5 Million. In 2013, a total of 6,559 pirated books valued at $106,000 were seized in Chile. The rate of seizures has increased in 2014, with 13,181 pirated books being seized in the first three months of the year, or more than doubled the total amount for 2013. Most of the pirated books seized in Chile are children’s books and literature books. However, police have seen an increase in pirated textbooks in 2014. For example, the textbook Atlas of Human Anatomy is the main book used for health programs in universities in Chile. Officials have seized 34 pirated copies in the first 3 months of 2014. The pirated textbook costs $35, while an original copy of the textbook cots $200. According to security officials, pirated book smugglers from Peru have strapped copies to their bodies and have smuggled it into the country by copying the tactics of drug traffickers.

Two cases of illegal gambling syndicates in Asia highlight the amount of money being wagered on the 2014 World Cup.

Police in Macau broke up a ring that took in $645 Million during the opening matches. 22 people were arrested by police in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The syndicate was operating out of three hotel rooms in Macau where they took internet and phone bets from people around the world. One gambler allegedly placed a $5 Million bet with the syndicate.

In the same hotel, police broke up a different illegal gambling ring that took in up to $645,000 in bets in a single day during the World Cup.

Hong Kong police seized illegal betting slips that had around $10 Million in bets placed and arrested 39 people in the first two weeks of the tournament. Illegal sports betting in Hong Kong generates about $64.5 Billion each year in the territory.

Singapore security officials arrested 15 people in a illegal gambling ring that took in $640,000 in World Cup bets during the opening stages of the World Cup.

Over half of all illegal sports gambling takes place in Asia.

(See all illegal sports gambling statistics and figures here.)

Source: Sophie Brown, “Macau busts $645 million World Cup betting ring,” CNN, June 23, 2014.


A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and computer security company McAfee reported that up to$445 Billion a year is being lost globally to cybercrime activities.

Online crime, hacking and the theft of intellectual property could cause up to 200,000 jobs being lost in the United States and up to 150,000 jobs in Europe.

A reported 50 million people in the United States had their personal identification stolen within the past year.

Source:  Chris Strohm, “Cybercrime Remains Growth Industry With $445 Billion Lost,” Bloomberg, June 9, 2014

A survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found that an estimated $1.3 Billion (43.5 Billion Thai Baht) in illegal gambling bets is expected to be placed in Thailand during the 2014 World Cup Tournament. By comparison, an estimated $789 Million (25.7 Billion Baht) is expected to be spent on consumer goods and parties, such as new television sets.

Thailand has a huge illegal gambling industry.  There are over 3 million gamblers in Thailand who gamble at any of the 700,000 to 1 million illegal casinos across the country.

Source:  Phusadee Arunmas, “World Cup a boon to spending,” Bangkok Post, June 6, 2014.