Cybercrime isn’t going away, but hacking prosecutions are falling

PC Plod can’t catch criminals if they don’t have the resources.

Cybercrime isn't going away, but hacking prosecutions are falling

Law firm RPC reports that the number of UK hacking prosecutions has dropped again:

The number of computer hacking prosecutions fell for the second successive year in 2017, despite the ever-increasing threat to businesses and individuals

The number of prosecutions under the UK’s Computer Misuse Act in 2017, which covers unauthorised access to computer material, fell to 47 in 2017, down 18% from 57 in 2016.

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Cause for celebration? Have UK hackers determined that the chances of them getting caught and the penalties they will receive are so great that it just isn’t worth it?

Somehow I very much doubt that’s the reason there has been a drop in UK hacking prosecutions.

Law enforcement agencies in the UK simply don’t have the resources to investigate anything but the most high profile hacking cases. And with many cybercrime attacks having an overseas element, an investigation’s length, cost, and complexity only multiplies, and the chances diminish of successfully bringing those responsible to justice.

Just look at the numbers. In March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its Crime Survey for England and Wales, there were an estimated 1.7 million cyber-related crimes in the UK last year.

Richard Breavington, a partner at RPC, sums up the situation well:

“Police forces are doing their best with the resources they have but the scale of the problem means businesses cannot necessarily rely on the police to really help them when there is a cybercrime.”

It’s no wonder so many have been tempted by a life of cybercrime.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “Cybercrime isn’t going away, but hacking prosecutions are falling”

  1. Brian

    Good news… not really. Human behavior (defaults) never rest's. What's left to do but patch, patch, and patch again.

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