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Cybercrime ‘costs UAE $612m’

Online crime costs Emirates’ economy hundreds of millions in cash and wasted time

Cybercrime ‘costs UAE $612m’
Victims says authorities are not doing enough to battle cybercrime

Cybercrime is costing the UAE's economy more than $600 million per year, according to new statistics.

Research published today revealed that in the past 12 months, costs associated with internet crime such as identify theft, online scams and credit card fraud in the Gulf country hit $612 million. 

Approximately $210 million of this sum was cash siphoned directly from internet users, with the remaining $412 million the cost in time wasted and money spent resolving cyber crime related issues.  

The Internet Security Report 2011, published by online security firm Norton, disclosed that 72% of all adults in the UAE had been a victim of cyber crime in the last year. In addition, the study asserted that victims in the UAE spent the longest solving problems associated with online crime, taking on average 16 days. By way of comparison, users in the UK took on average just four days.

On a global basis, Norton calculated the overall cost of cybercrime in the last year to have been $388 billion, exceeding the value of the combined global black markets for marijuana, cocaine and heroin. The report says that 431 million people globally fell victim to online attacks.

"Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year," said Adam Palmer, Norton lead cyber security advisor.

Of those that had been a victim of cybercrime, just 20%  had reported the incident to the authorities, while 90% argued that governments were not doing enough to tackle online crime. 

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