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UAE sees 1.5m cyber victims in past year: Symantec

Average personal loss was $283

Some 18 adults per second become victims of cybercrime.
Some 18 adults per second become victims of cybercrime.

Symantec on Sunday revealed that more than 1.5m people fell victim to cyber crime in the UAE in the last year.

Its annual Norton Cybercrime Report said the average UAE victim suffered direct financial losses of $283.

The global study is based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries and calculated the direct costs associated with global consumer cybercrime at $110bn over the past 12 months.

It said every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than 1.5m cybercrime victims each day on a global level.

In the past twelve months, an estimated 556m adults across the world experienced cybercrime, more than the entire population of the European Union.

The report said in the UAE, 46% of the country's internet users have fallen victim to cybercrime on social networking platforms.

It added that 31% of adults have been a victim of social or mobile cybercrime in the past twelve months in the UAE compared to 21% globally.

Worldwide, 15% of social network users reported someone had hacked into their profile and pretended to be them.

One in 10 social network users said they'd fallen victim to a scam or fake link on social network platforms.

"Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks," said Marian Merritt, Norton internet safety advocate.

"This year's results show that nearly half of internet users believe that unless their computer crashes or malfunctions, they're not 100% sure they've fallen victim to such an attack."

Earlier this year, the central bank of the UAE said it had fended off an onslaught from hackers trying to bring down its website.

Israeli hackers were apparently behind the attack, having vowed to target various state-linked websites in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in revenge for a wave of credit card code thefts by a hacker who claimed to be operating out of Saudi Arabia.

The websites of Israeli institutions have also been targeted.