The costs of cyber attacks to the global economy could be as high as $400 Billion, according to a research paper published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee.
In examples of the losses collected by Reuters, one unidentified company in the United Kingdom reported losses of $1.29 Billion from a cyber attack. Security agencies in the UK reported that it blocked 400,000 advanced cyber threats to its intranet in 2012.
In the United States, the size of the US military’s Cyber Command will quadruple from 2012 to 2013.
In a separate threat research publication, computer company HP stated that the average cost of cyber attacks to a large corporation was $11.56 Million.
Source: Peteer Apps and Brenda Goh, “Cyber warrior shortage hits anti-hacker fightback,” Reuters, October 13, 2013.
Full Report (PDF): “The Economic Impact Of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 2013, available from McAfee website.
Up to 11 percent of all wine sales in the United Kingdom are estimated to have been sold without the proper taxes and duties being paid. The illicit sales causes losses to the government of up to $1.11 Billion (£700 Million), according to HM Revenue and Customs.
Security intelligence states that smugglers divert wine bottles that were destined for sale in other European Union countries where the taxes are lower.
A bottle of wine can be sold for over one British Pound cheaper when taxes are not included.
Source: “Government loses £700m of tax due to wine smuggling,” Daily Mirror, October 12, 2013.
A report by the Home Office stated that the annual revenue that a human trafficker can earn by forcing a woman to work as a prostitute is $77,000 (£48,000).
Security officials in the UK estimate that the total market of human trafficking in the UK is worth $200 Million (£130 Million). If the entire social and economic costs from human trafficking were included, then the cost to the UK would be $1.4 Billion (£840 Million).
The total costs of organized crime in the UK is $38.6 Billion.
Source: Rosa Silverman, “Trafficking of women for sex in UK worth £130m,” Telegraph, October 7, 2013.
The National Crime Agency reported that serious organized crime activity in the United Kingdom costs the country $38.6 Billion a year.
The criminal activities are conducted by around 37,000 gang members operating in 5,500 criminal gangs.
Security intelligence estimate that 22 percent of criminal gang members in Britain are foreign nationals.
Source: Michael Holden, “Britain launches FBI-style force and new crime strategy,” Reuters, October 7, 2013.
A survey conducted by accounting company PwC fourd that 18 percent of consumers in Britain admitted to purchasing counterfeit alcohol. 16 percent reported purchasing counterfeit drugs such as Viagra and weight-loss pills. And 13 percent admitted to buying counterfeit cigarettes.
British consumers between the ages of 18 to 34 bought the most counterfeits, with 60 percent saying that they bought pirated movies and music and 55 percent have bought counterfeit clothing.
Source: Rebecca Smithers, “Surge in purchases of counterfeit goods,” Guardian, October 1, 2013.
Internet security threat researchers identified Russian hackers who are offering access to malware-infected computers for rent. According to Webroot, the cost to rent a botnet depends on where the infected computers are located.
The price to rent 1,000 infected computers in the United States costs $180. If the hosts are located in the United Kingdom, the price is $240. France and Russia both costs $200, Canada costs $270, and 1,000 infected computers located around the world costs $35. There is a daily limit of 20,000 hosts.
Source: Dancho Danchev, “Cybercriminals sell access to tens of thousands of malware-infected Russian hosts,” Webroot Threat Blog, September 23, 2013.
A study conducted for Ofcom indicated that nearly one in four downloads on the Internet in the United Kingdom involves a pirated material. The study covered the time period of May 2012 to May 2013.
Most of the illegally downloaded content in the UK is done by a small percentage of users. According to the study, 2 percent of UK Internet users account fro almost 75 percent of online piracy. The most popular form of pirated content during the time period was movies, with 35 percent of the total number of movies viewed online was pirated.
The Internet users who were the most active illegal downloaders were also found to spend the more money for legal content. On average, users who pirate content spend $41.10 (£26) every three months of legal downloads. Internet users who do not commit piracy spent $25.32 (£16) on legal content every three months.
Source: “Ofcom: Piracy accounts for one in four downloads,” BBC News, September 11, 2013.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 807 people in Britain died from overdoses in 2013. More people died from prescription drug abuse than from overdosing on cocaine and heroin, which had a total of 718 deaths.
In total, there are an estimated 32,000 Britons who are addicted to prescription painkillers.
62 million prescriptions were written out by doctors in 2013, and patients spent an estimated $784 Million (£500 Million) purchasing prescription drugs at pharmacies.
Source: Sophie Borland, “A nation of prescription drug addicts: More Britons die from abusing painkillers and tranquillisers than heroin and cocaine,” Daily Mail, September 8, 2013.
According to a study by the Centre for Social Justice, there are 130 websites located in the United Kingdom that offer illegal drugs online through the use of Tor and other tools. The drugs are ordered online and is delivered by mail.
In addition to the number of websites offering drugs, there are more lethal drugs in the country than the number of drugs that are banned. The study found that in 2013 there were 251 potentially lethal substances that were being sold in the United Kingdom. Officially, 231 drugs are banned by the government.
Source: Kristy Buchanan, “Postmen ‘are unwitting drug mules’ as drug dealing goes online,” Daily Express, September 1, 2013.
According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, there were 2,597 drug overdose deaths in England and Wales in 2012. The deaths were from both legal and illegal drugs.
1,706 of the drug-related deaths were men, and 891 were women.
Opiates such as heroin accounted for over half of the drug overdose deaths in 2012. Deaths from mephedrone increased from 29 deaths in 2011 to 52 in 2012.
(Price of heroin by country.)
Source: James Gallagher, “Wales tops drug poisoning table,” BBC News, August 26, 2013.