The word 'password' is pictured on a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in Berlin
Photograph by Pawel Kopczynski — Reuters

Losses From Cyber Crimes Rose Criminally Higher in 2016

Jun 21, 2017

Losses from cyber crimes rose 24% in 2016 to over $1.33 billion, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

The center, which was set up in 2000 to receive complaints of internet crime, received 300,000 complaints during the year from hacking victims.

Businesses lost $360 million to cyber criminals, who tricked them into wiring money using fraudulent emails that appeared to be from corporate executives and suppliers, according to the report released on Wednesday.

IC3 said it received 2,673 complaints last year from victims of ransomware, with losses totaling over $2.4 million.

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In May, the WannaCry ransomware attack infected 300,000 computers in more than 150 countries, disrupting factories, hospitals, shops and schools.

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Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts data on infected machines, then typically asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can retrieve their data.

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