Economic meltdown will spur cyber theft: Report

December 10th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) Another repercussion of the emerging global economic crisis is the spurt in cyber crimes, especially online theft, if the report of a leading anti-virus solution provider released Tuesday in the US is anything to go by.Santa Clara-based McAfee Inc., one of the world’s largest computer security firms, in a report on “virtual criminology” said “recessionary times are proving to be a hotbed for fraudulent activity as cyber criminals capitalize on a climate of consumer fear and anxiety”.

The phenomenon is not new and since the dotcom boom, thousands of people have been victims of organised Internet theft and duping schemes, apart from phishing and e-commerce frauds.

In its report, McAfee has predicted that malicious cyber activity will further strain the already suffering global economy by impacting consumer confidence, which could further stymie global recovery in 2009.

The report also said the volatile economic environment is diverting political attention worldwide and cyber security is not much of a priority around the globe for real headway to be made against the perpetrators of online crime.

“Cyber criminals are exploiting the global recession by luring in susceptible victims through the promise of easy money. While governments and law enforcement bodies’ attentions are diverted by the current economic crisis, the door is left open for cyber criminals to continue to target bank balances worldwide and to potentially damage the consumer trust needed to aid rapid recovery,” McAfee chief executive and president Dave DeWalt said in a statement.

In India, cyber crimes fall under the Information Technology Act 2000, which has been criticised as being an archaic law which has not led to desirable prosecution levels.

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