Where does the most cyber crime happen?

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
Where does the most cyber crime happen?

Welcome to the new 65 cyber warriors who joined us last week. 🥳 Each week, we'll be sharing insights from the Black Hat MEA community. Read exclusive interviews with industry experts and key findings from the #BHMEA23 keynote stage.

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This week we’re focused on…📣

What area of the world faces the most cyber crime.


In a panel discussion at Black Hat MEA 2022, Neil J. Walsh (Head of Mission - UNODC Regional Representative to Eastern Africa) said:

“There is a false equivalence that cyber crime hits Western states more than the Middle East, more than Africa, more than Asia — it is simply not true.”

What do the stats say? 🔎

Data published by AAG suggests that:

  • In Q3 2022, 22.3 million Russian internet users were the victims of a breach – the highest of any country.
  • Following Russia, the countries with the highest breach rates during the same time period were France (13.8 million), Indonesia (13.2 million), the US (8.4 million) and Spain (3.9 million).
  • The cyber crime rate in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 168% between May 2020-2021.
  • But the UK and the USA have significantly more victims of cyber crime per million internet users than other countries – the USA for example had 759% more victims in 2021 than Canada, which was the next highest country that year.

Could there be a reporting issue? 👀

Those stats suggest two things: cyber crime is having a serious impact on countries all around the world; but at the same time, certain countries do appear to be more acutely targeted than others.

But there’s another question to ask here – how much are statistics like these affected by regional variations in how (or if at all) breaches are reported and recorded?

And the short answer is probably a lot: global cyber crime statistics can’t be a definitive reflection of reality because different countries report in different ways.

For example:

  • Different countries have different definitions of cyber crime, so a breach that is recorded as a crime in one place might not be recorded as a crime in another.
  • Some countries have more stringent cyber crime regulations than others – which means crimes are reported more often. Countries with less comprehensive laws around cyber crime may have lower levels of reporting.
  • Some countries have more mature infrastructure and resources for detecting and reporting cyber crime – and this also leads to higher stats. Less well-resourced countries might appear to have lower levels of cyber crime because it’s not detected or reported.

Crime stats aside, Walsh noted that we don’t have equivalence of investigative capability, digital forensic capability, or law – and we need to develop that equivalence in order to address a global threat.

Do you think a universal definition of ‘cyber crime’ is possible?

1. YES 🤓 vote

2. NO 🤔 vote

That’s why all countries need to engage in the cyber crime conversation

Because cyber crime isn’t a localised problem, and a global solution can’t be developed if only a relatively small number of countries collaborate on it.

Governments, policy makers, and cyber security professionals from all over the world need to help shape a consensus: both on how to define cyber crime, and then on how to address it.

Learn more in our new blog post: Can the world agree on a definition for cyber diplomacy?

Do you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts. Our next newsletter is scheduled for 11 October 2023.

Catch you next week,
Steve Durning
Exhibition Director

P.S. - Mark your calendars for the return of Black Hat MEA from 📅 14 - 16 November 2023. Want to be a part of the action?

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