The UK is one of the world's top targets for e-crime, and more must be done to not lose the fight against online criminal activity, MPs have warned. With our severe lack of security and defence in this area, The Home Affairs Select Committee have identified a ‘black hole’ where e-crime is committed without arrest.
Currently, the UK has 800 officers specialised in internet crimes, with as many as a quarter possibly facing redundancy due to budget cuts. The Home Office has identified 1,300 online criminal gangs specifically targeting Britain's internet users, costing the nation £27 billion. This seems like a somewhat unfair fight.
“We are not winning the war on online criminal activity. We are being too complacent about these E-wars because the victims are hidden in cyberspace. The threat of a cyber attack to the UK is so serious it is marked as a higher threat than a nuclear attack."
A primary issue throughout their report is that much of the smaller cases of e-crime are not being reported. Banks, for example, simply reimburse victims of online fraud with no pursuit of the criminals. Even if it's low-level fraud, it can create huge profits if done on a large scale, meaning that many perpetrators are operating under the radar that the authorities are not acting on at all.
The fix? A "state-of-the-art espionage response team" to deal solely with delivering swift justice to all reported e-crimes, tighter control over ISPs, much more funding, and an organisation equivalent to the 'Internet Watch Foundation.'