Russia ranked top of global cybercrime index in new study

10 April 2024, 19:04

Cyber security concept. System hacked warning alerts on a computer notebook screen. Cybercrime, virus, online hacking, cyber attack, malicious malware
Cyber security concept. System hacked warning alerts on a computer notebook screen. Cybercrime, virus, online hacking, cyber attack, malicious malware. Picture: PA

The ‘world-first’ index ranks countries by their cybercrime threat level, with the UK ranked eighth.

Russia, Ukraine and China have been named as the world’s cybercrime hotspots in a new study ranking the most significant sources of cybercrime threats.

The World Cybercrime Index has been published in journal Plos One following three years of research by academics from the University of Oxford and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra.

The index said Russia housed the greatest cybercrime threat, followed by Ukraine, China, the US and Nigeria. The UK was eighth on the list.

The rankings were based on data gathered by the researchers, which saw them survey almost 100 cybercrime experts from around the world, and asked each to identify the most significant sources of five major types of cybercrime, ranking countries according to the impact, professionalism and technical skill of its criminals.

The study’s co-author, Dr Miranda Bruce, said the research would enable cybersecurity agencies to focus on key hubs of cybercrime, directing funds and focus more effectively.

“The research that underpins the index will help remove the veil of anonymity around cybercriminal offenders, and we hope that it will aid the fight against the growing threat of profit-driven cybercrime,” she said.

“We now have a deeper understanding of the geography of cybercrime, and how different countries specialise in different types of cybercrime.

“By continuing to collect this data, we’ll be able to monitor the emergence of any new hotspots and it is possible early interventions could be made in at-risk countries before a serious cybercrime problem even develops.”

Fellow co-author associate professor Jonathan Lusthaus said the index could help shine a light on what is often difficult to trace activity.

“Due to the illicit and anonymous nature of their activities, cybercriminals cannot be easily accessed or reliably surveyed. They are actively hiding,” he said.

“If you try to use technical data to map their location, you will also fail, as cybercriminals bounce their attacks around internet infrastructure across the world.

“The best means we have to draw a picture of where these offenders are actually located is to survey those whose job it is to track these people.”

The researchers said they hope to expand the study to examine whether different national characteristics such as education rates, GDP or levels of corruption impact the amount of cybercrime emerging from a country.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Openreach engineer

Plans to build full fibre broadband in more than 500 new places unveiled

Greg Clark

AI regulators in UK are ‘under-resourced’, warns science committee chair

TikTok strategy

Tory TikTok launch ‘pathetic’ compared with Labour’s ‘savvier’ approach – expert

Person using laptop

More than 300 million children a year face sexual abuse online, study suggests

There are calls for mobile phones to be totally banned for under 16s

Calls for mobile phones to be totally banned for under 16s

A young girl using a mobile phone (picture posed by model)

Next government should consider banning phones for under-16s, report says

Sir Chris Bryant

AI should be used to develop an app which detects skin cancer, Labour MP says

Handout image from Microsoft of its Copilot virtual assistant displayed on a laptop screen

Microsoft expanding Copilot AI assistant to organise meetings and support teams

Solar panels on a house roof

Octopus Energy launches ‘buy now, pay later’ for solar panels

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi set for June IPO in welcome boost for London market

A person using a laptop

Nations agree to develop shared risk thresholds for AI as Seoul summit closes

Microsoft new equiment

Data regulator looking into Microsoft’s AI Recall feature

An easyJet plane

EasyJet uses AI to better manage flights from new control centre

Cabinet meeting

AI safety summits could help shape UK legislation, Technology Secretary says

Someone at a laptop

Safety institutes to form ‘international network’ to boost AI research and tests

Soldiers' boots

Army personnel feel ‘let down’ after MoD cyber attack