Cyber-crime cost Irish economy €350m in 2013
One in five of us a victim of €350m cyber-crime spree
ONE-in-five Irish people have been the victim of cyber-crime, which cost the Irish economy over €350m last year alone.
And many victims don't even realise they have been targeted – meaning the true national crime figure is believed to be much higher, a major conference has heard.
Bank and credit card fraud remains the dominant element of cyber-crime at over 80pc, although identity theft and cyber-bullying have shown worrying increases.
Bank and credit card fraud is dominated by card not present (CNP) scams (84pc), which see criminals use financial details to obtain goods and services online with the vendor never seeing the card or the purchaser.
The Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) event heard that advanced 'malware' software has seen cyber-criminals successfully siphon off tens of millions of euro with one raiding programme, 'SpyEye', resulting in 1.4 million computers worldwide being infected.
Leading Internet security firm TrendMicro said cyber-crimes such as online fraud, identity theft and bullying-abuse were a matter of "major international concern".
Meanwhile, the threat of cyber-bullying and cyber-crime has increased with the explosion in the number of smartphones and the popularity in online banking.
Trinity College Dublin psychologist Dr Stephen Minton warned that children as young as six have arrived in primary school with hi-tech smartphones.
He said: "I do not think there is any reason why a child in primary school even needs a mobile phone – never mind a smart phone."