New research shows that internet fraud now represents a burgeoning industry worth an estimated $7 billion.
The claims made by security software firm Symantec follow a year long observation of the “underground economy”. It uncovered 69,000 fraudsters offering stolen credit card numbers and bank account information via online forms.
It found that if all credit card limits were reached and bank accounts emptied the information would be worth $7 billion.
“As evidenced by the Report on the Underground Economy, today’s cybercriminals are thriving off of information they are gathering without permission from consumers and businesses,” said Stephen Trilling, vice president, Symantec Security Technology and Response. “As these individuals and groups continue to devise new tools and techniques to defraud legitimate users around the globe, protection and mitigation against such attacks must become an international priority.”