Symantec Releases 2011 Cybercrime Report
September 7, 2011

Symantec Releases 2011 Cybercrime Report


Symantec Corp., the maker of Norton antivirus software, has calculated for the first time the annual cost of global cybercrime: $114 billion.

The Norton Cybercrime Report 2011 found that 431 million adults were the victims of cybercrime within the past year, with the cost surpassing the combined global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

According to the report more than two thirds of online adults have been the victim of cybercrime in their lifetime. Every second 14 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than a million cybercrimes every day.

The report revealed that 10 percent of adults online have experienced cybercrime on their mobile device. And the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16 reported that there were 42 percent more mobile vulnerabilities in 2010 compared to 2009. Increased social networking and lack of protection of on most mobile devices are likely to be some of the main culprits behind the growing number of mobile cybercrime victims.

In a group of men between the ages of 18 and 31, the report found that 80 percent of men who access the Internet through a mobile phone have fallen prey to cybercrime in their lifetime.

Globally, the most common type of cybercrime is computer viruses and malware with 54 percent of respondents saying they have experienced it in their lifetime. Viruses are followed by online scams at 11 percent, and phishing scams at 10 percent. The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report also found more than 286 million unique variations of malware in 2010 compared to 240 million in 2009, a 19 percent increase.

“There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cybercrime,” said Adam Palmer, Norton Lead Cybersecurity Advisor. “Cybercrime is much more prevalent than people realize.”

“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,” Palmer told Reuters.

“And while 89 percent of respondents agree that more needs to be done to bring cybercriminals to justice, fighting cybercrime is a shared responsibility. It requires us all to be more alert and to invest in our online smarts and safety,” he added.

The separation between awareness and action is further highlighted by the fact that while 74 percent of respondents say they are always aware of cybercrime, many do not take the necessary precautions. The Norton Cybercrime Report 2011 found that 41 percent of adults said they do not have an up-to-date software security suite to protect their personal data online.

Additionally, less than half (47 percent) review credit card statements regularly for fraudulent activity, and 61 percent do not use complex passwords or even change them on a regular basis. Among those who access the Internet via their mobile phone, only 16 percent install the most up-to-date mobile security software.

The surveys were conducted by global consulting firm StrategyOne between February 6 and March 14, 2011. The firm conducted interviews with 19,636 people, of which 12,704 were 18 or over, 4,553 between 8 and 17 years old, and 2,379 teachers. People from 24 countries were included in the survey (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Africa, Singapore, Poland, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates).

The margin of error for the total sample of adults is 0.87 percent with 95 percent level of confidence. The global data has been weighted to ensure all countries have equal representation.

For more findings from the Norton Cybercrime Report globally and by country, please visit: