Most of today's Internet criminals are operating from Russia, China and
Southern America. Over the next five years, there will be a significant
increase in attacks from Central America, India, China and Africa, according to
a prediction from security specialists.
The researchers at F-Secure’s Security Labs have mapped the shifts in
Internet crime trends since 1986. The three maps below depict how computer
crime has evolved and show a shift from Europe and North America to emerging
virus writers operating from areas in Europe, United States, Australia and
characterised by opportunistic ‘hobbyists’ learning their craft.
replaced by professional, targeted attacks.
creation hotspots are growing in the former Soviet countries (such as Russia,
Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia). Other major areas of criminal
activity are Brazil and China, which have large numbers of individuals with
sophisticated computing skills but without the job opportunities to make a
living for themselves in the IT sector. Online crime often presents a more
lucrative path to raising living standards for people like these.
Future (2008 onwards):
e-criminal groups likely to appear in Mexico and Africa.
crime becoming even more sophisticated with targeted attacks and exploits. This
is a result of the alignment between broadband penetration and socio-economic
factors such as economic development and lack of IT employment opportunities.
usage is growing fastest in Asia, followed by Africa. IT job growth will be
lacking behind, creating a breeding ground for online criminals.
many countries there will be a delay before the legal system catches up with
developments in the IT sector. Computer criminals may also be able to escape
the law more easily in countries which are undergoing serious political and
at F-Secure, believes malware creation hotspots are defined by a number of
socio-economic causes – particularly in terms of job opportunities.
The trend is expected to continue and
spread into areas such as Africa, India and Central America experts said. This
is partly due to the limited IT job prospects in these markets. People are
developing sophisticated computer skills, but have limited opportunities to
profit from them legally.