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Credit crunch causes increase in cyber crime

Lack of law enforcement also a problem

Cyber criminals are using the credit crunch and the potential global recession as a way to cash in, security experts warned.

McAfee highlighted in its 'Virtual Criminology Report' that the economic downturn is drawing increasing numbers of people to the web in a bid to save money but at the some time offering cyber criminals more potential victims.

See also: Mega Monday will see £320m in online purchases

McAfee also revealed the lack of law enforcement agencies with the specialist skills to stop online fraud, and the fact that Russia and China have become safe havens for hackers means less and less cyber criminals are being reprimanded. A lack of communication between different countries over cyber crime is also hindering catching those behind web scams.

"Cybercriminals are exploiting the global recession by luring in susceptible victims through the promise of easy money. While governments and law enforcement bodies' attentions are diverted by the current economic crisis, the door is left open for cyber criminals to continue to target bank balances worldwide and to potentially damage the consumer trust needed to aid rapid recovery," said Dave DeWalt, CEO and President of McAfee.

"Governments need to commit to funding the resources needed to combat cybercrime. Everyone must play their part in a global battle that has only just begun and will continue long into 2009 and beyond if it's not properly addressed."

See also: Stolen credit cards net cybercriminals £3.3bn

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