Despite 2017 being a record year for breaches and putting cybersecurity in the spotlight, reported cybercrime losses actually decreased, according to the FBI’s recently released IC3 Internet Crime Report for 2017.
Total reported losses from cybercrime last year came to $1,417.8 million, according to the report, which is slightly less than losses reported in 2016 ($1,450.7 million). However, complaints submitted to the IC3 were up to 301,580 from 298,728.
The top three crime types reported by victims in 2017 were non-payment/non-delivery, personal data breach, and phishing. Ransomware reports, despite making the headlines, were down from the previous two years, with the IC3 receiving 1,783 complaints identified as ransomware in 2017, compared to 2,673 in 2016 and 2,453 in 2015.
BEC (business email compromise) and EAC (email account compromise) scams were the main cause of losses, resulting in 15,690 complaints and adjusted losses of over $675 million in 2017. Tech support fraud was another major gambit, leading to 10,949 complaints with losses of nearly $15 million – a 90% increase in losses from 2016.
The least frequently reported internet crimes were gambling (203 complaints), terrorism (177) and hacktivism (158).
According to the report, there was a substantial discrepancy in victims’ ages – under 20s submitted the fewest complaints (9,053) and reported the least losses ($8,271,311), whereas over 60s submitted the most (49,523) and reported the biggest losses ($342,531,972). However, it should be kept in mind that not all complaints were associated with an age range, and the discrepancy in reporting is not necessarily reflected by an equal discrepancy in numbers affected.
The majority of complaints submitted to the IC3 were from US citizens (unsurprisingly). California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania were (in descending order) the states which submitted the most complaints, though in terms of reported losses the top five were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona.
Outside the US, the top five countries for submitting complaints were Canada, India, the UK, Australia and Mexico.
The countries which submitted the fewest complaints were the UAE (259), Spain (248), and Argentina (238); the US states which submitted the fewest were the US Virgin Islands (48), American Samoa (17), and Northern Marina Islands (13).