Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Life Of Crime Virtually Pays For Itself.

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. So said Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, a century ago.

Read the article in my first link and you can see one way to turn statistics to the damnedest lies.  In fact, if you think about it, there's a far easier way to prove that data theft results in the most identity theft - at each haul of the net, a mugger or work colleague bent on getting your wallet and cards nets exactly one identity, whereas the phisherman brings in hundreds of thousand of personal details in one sweep.  While exact figures aren't to hand, one can see about one website a month getting fleeced for several hundred thousand sets of details, plus (we are asssured) about one tenth that amount getting phished by email or web page scams, meaning at least one or more hundred thousand small thefts each month.  I'd like to say that if there were that many muggings and thefts of cards reported in one month, alarm bells would have long ago sounded and we'd have seen huge press coverage of the "torrent of thefts..."

Also - if you look at those figures (and I'm being conservative) and imagine that each of those 100,000 online thefts got taken for only $20 each, you're still talking an income of $2m a month between a relatively small pool of perpetrators, maybe one or two hundred people at the most, making their "wages of sin" an average of $12,000 per month each - not a bad take-home salary, that... So you can also see why it isn't going to stop.  Not when you consider that this is NOT evenly distributed, and over half those hackers and botnet herders would go home with maybe $2,000 only.  *Someone* is making a packet, up near the top of this particular tree...

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