For organized crime rings, gambling and drugs are old hat. Cyber-crime is easier, safer, and more profitable.
That is the word from Interpol, the legendary international police agency. Speaking in Israel to the organization's European Regional Conference, Interpol president Khoo Boon Hui noted that the cost of cybercrime now exceeds the combined worldwide take from cocaine, heroin, and marijuana trafficking.
Khoo also referenced a London Metropolitan University study suggesting that 80 percent of online crime is tied to organized crime rings. In the US, traditional bank robbers cost banks $900 million last year, while cybercrime cost them $12 billion.
For international organized crime rings, cybercrime is a dream come true. Data does not need to show a passport to cross borders. Hackers operating from countries with weak law enforcement can use the most advanced technology, and reach easily across borders to commit their crimes.
Unlike politically-motivated "hactivists," organized crime rings are not interested in generating publicity or sending a message. Nor are they out to demonstrate their technological prowess. They're simply in it for the money.
The bad news for businesses is that cybercrime is a growth industry. The (potentially) good news is that organized crime rings are looking for the easy mark. They seek out victims who have ignored the security basics, and thus leave themselves open to attack.