Criminals are using exploiting holes in wireless security to steal passwords and account details from ATM machines without the need installing skimming devices.
Criminals conduct this activity by placing a “skimming” device over the card reader of a legitimate ATM and install a pin pad over the keys. When a customer would use the ATM, the skimming machine would be able to capture the customers account data as well as the pin code. Once the machine was recovered, then the criminal would have the information needed to breach the account.
Internet security experts state that criminals are now attempting to access debit card pin numbers and account information without installing the devices by targeting the machines through the internet.
In its 2014 Data Breach Investigation Report, Verizon studied 130 incidents of ATM skimming cases in 2013. Most of the ATM breaches took place at ATM machines and at gas pumps, where many customers use their debit cards to purchase gas. According to the report, the country with the most ATM skimming cases was Bulgaria, followed by Armenia, Romania, Brazil and the United States.
Source: Jordan Robertson, “What Happens When the ‘Internet of Things’ Comes to ATM Skimmers,” Bloomberg, April 22, 2014.
The Japan Book Publishers Association and other publishing sources reported that online piracy of popular Japanese comic books are causing sales to drop.
Popular manga series such as Naruto and One Piece are quickly posted at online websites. There have also been incidents where the manga is pirated and posted online before it was released in stores. In an investigation conducted by Japanese media, over 700 installments of the One Piece series was available for free online.
Sales of comics books in Japan dropped from $4.3 Billion (450 Billion Japanese Yen) to $2.9 Billion (300 Billion Yen) between the years of 2007 and 2011.
Source: “Manga pirated, put online,” Japan News, April 19, 2014.
Based on statistics about kidnapping released in Mexico, there were 4,051 kidnapping victims across Mexico that were officially reported to criminal justice programs between December 2012 and February 28, 2014. 2,922 of the kidnapping victims were released, while 1,129 victims were still being held for ransom.
71 percent of the kidnapping victims were males. 69 percent of the victims were also considered to be non-affluent. These victims were middle class workers, shop owners students and mid-level professionals. Security intelligence and other research into the kidnap-for-ransom industry in Mexico have found that organized crime groups are now targeting these middle class workers in an attempt to expand the number of potential targets. The kidnappers charge a lower ransom demand, usually around $7,669 (100,000 Mexican Pesos), but are able to target a greater number of people instead of just targeting executives and wealthy families.
Source: Sergio Ramos, “Mexico: The fight to end kidnapping,” Infosurhoy, April 11, 2014.
According to security agents in Mexico, hackers, extortionists and other cyber criminals generated $3 Billion in revenue from various forms of cybercrimes in Mexico in 2013.
Criminal justice programs in the country handled 23,543 cases of cybercrime in 2013.
The director of the Scientific Police Division in Mexico stated that when hackers take over a computer system, they force the computer owner to pay an extortion fee in order to relinquish control of the computer. On average, the extortion fee ranges between $2,000 to $3,000 and is paid through electronic means to a bank account.
(More internet crimes and hacking services online.)
Source: “Mexico: Computer hacking becoming form of extortion,” Infosurhoy, April 11, 2014.
A study on digital content by La Coalicion found that 51 percent of internet users in Spain accessed pirated content in 2013.
84 percent of all digital content, such as movies and music, were illegally consumed in Spain during the year.
43 percent of the internet users who committed online piracy stated that they had either downloaded pirated movies or watched the movie on unlicensed streaming sites.
The report finds that pirating digital content in Spain causes tax losses of $725 Million and the loss of over 26,000 jobs.
Back in 2012, market research firm Nielsen reported that around 45 percent of all internet pages visited by Spain users had links to pirated music or movies.
Source: “Half of Spain’s internet users download illegally,” The Local, April 9, 2014.
According to a report by Grant Thornton, cybercrime activities costs the economy of Ireland up to $822 Million (€600 Million) per year.
The number of security data breaches reported in 2012 increased by 32 percent when compared to the previous year. Officials with the Data Protection Commissioner state that the number of data breaches reported to criminal justice programs is likely underreported due to concerns about reputation damages.
55 percent of the cybercrime that targets Ireland is through the work of transnational organized crime rings and are based in foreign nations.
Source: “Cybercrime costs Irish economy €630m a year,” RTE News, April 3, 2014.
According to research organization Demoskopika in Italy, the mafia syndicate ‘Ndrangheta collected $73 Billion (€53 Billion) in revenue in 2013.
The various revenue streams for the syndicate is as follows:
Intelligence from criminal justice programs state that the ‘Ndragheta has around 400 key operatives working on its behalf in 30 countries. When including all people who conduct business on behalf of the group, then the number of people working for ‘Ndragheta is estimated to be as high as 60,000.
Source: AFP, “‘Ndrangheta mafia ‘made more last year than McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank’,” Guardian, March 26, 2014.
The international Labor Organization released a report that stated that corruption in Cambodia causes $1.7 Billion in annual losses to the Cambodian economy, or about 10 percent of Cambodia’s GDP.
According to business and firms who answered a survey, the companies spend an average of 9 percent of their sales to pay bribes to officials.
Source: Khouran Theara, “Report Calculates Major Drain of Corruption,” Voice of America, March 12, 2014.
According to figures released by an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a cigarette smuggler can make up to $500,000 from from smuggling cigarettes between states on the East Coast.
The smuggler legitimately buys 200 cases of cigarettes in southern states such as North Carolina or South Carolina. Then, the smuggler would then drive up the coast to New York City, where the tax on tobacco is $4.35.
56.9 percent of the cigarettes smoked in NYC in 2012 were smuggled though the black market.
(See more profits from illegal jobs.)
Source: Mark Niquette and Esme E. Deprez, “Cigarette Smuggling Prompts Crackdown by States Losing Billions,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 24, 2014.
According to a report by accounting firm KPMG and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the estimated size of the illegal gambling market in India is worth $49 Billion (3 Trillion Rupees).
In a report by Reuters news, most of the illegal casinos operated out of jewelry shops. This allows the bookmaker to be able to wash and handle large amounts of cash. Bets placed at these illegal bookies range from $80 to $81,000 (5,000 to 5 Million Rupees).
Another popular form of illegal gambling in India is through the use of online casinos hosted outside of the country.
Source: Manoj Kumar, “Wary of pollsters, Indians draw election tips from illegal bookies,” Reuters, March 24, 2014.