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Hacking Fraud Costs the U.K. Millions

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Hacking Fraud Costs the U.K. Millions
Image courtesy of Mashable Image courtesy of Mashable

Are your finances secure? If they are mostly held in electronic bank accounts, are you sure?

Cyber attackers have managed to siphon nearly €28 million ($30.8 million) from bank accounts across the UK. The malware used in the hacking, known as Dridex, has given highly-skilled rogues access to thousands of computers, leaving the world’s financial security in a state of peril.

How Hacking is Investigated

Investigators in UK have solicited the FBI, Europol, Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), Moldovan authorities and the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany to tackle the current breach. Due to London's irrefutable status as the financial center of the world, the issue of cybersecurity is of international importance.

burglar clipartThe most alarming thing about this cyber break-in is that it is merely one of 3.2 million fraud cases that have occurred in the past year. What’s more, only 9,000 arrests have been made in these cases.

Beginning in 2013, victims of fraud have been urged to report fraud cases to Action Fraud, the UK’s internet crime and fraud reporting center. The reports are then passed onto the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which amassed 230,000 reports of hacking last year alone.

Only 25% of these reports, however, made their way to authorities; a computer algorithm that sorts the reports deemed the remaining 75% as not “worth following up.”

Investigators would be remiss to investigate every single internet fraud case, as they are essentially trailing ghosts.

“Those who commit cyber crime are very often highly-skilled and can be operating from different countries and continents,” said Robert Anderson, executive assistant director of the FBI.

hackingIt's still worrisome that so few of these hacking cases, which have cost companies and consumers millions of dollars, are ever solved.

Anderson warns that the hackers will cultivate newer and more effective software, so it is imperative that both investigators and the public remain vigilant. The National Crime Agency revealed that Windows PCs are targeted more often than computers with other operating systems, like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products. The public has been urged to outfit their computers with “up-to-date security software” and to be cautious about opening links or emails from unfamiliar sources.


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