The world has experienced a wave of cyber-attacks in recent months, but the rise in internet crimes has been particularly damaging.
A new report by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro shows that internet crimes are now at a three-year high and that online crimes now account for roughly half of all cyber-related revenue.
The new study, which analysed data from the United Nations’ Global Internet Crime Index (GICI), shows that more than half of the internet crimes were perpetrated by cyber-criminals.
The report also found that the number of cybercriminals worldwide rose from 9,400 in January to 17,700 in April.
Trend Micro said it is “not surprised” by the figures.
“Cybercrime is a threat to both society and individuals and is becoming a more important issue as new technologies, including smart devices, new ways of operating and new forms of payment are emerging,” the company said.
“This data highlights the need for the global community to work together to reduce and counter cybercrime.”
Trend Micro found that cybercrime has risen by an average of 16 per cent per year since the beginning of this year, which is the fastest rate in the world.
It found that there are now more than 100 countries where cybercrime is widespread.
Cyber crime in the US has surged, with the FBI’s National Cybersecurity Center reporting that the total number of criminal cyber-operations is now at about 3.3 million.
The company’s report also says that criminals are also using social engineering and spamming to try and take advantage of the public’s confusion over their identities.
“It is not uncommon for victims to be lured into giving up personal information or for the attacker to use a bot to mask their identity,” the report states.
“We have seen cases of cyberattacks where the perpetrators could take advantage a victim’s confusion about their identity or their lack of awareness of their physical location and access to their computer.”
Trend Meter found that more people than ever before are using apps to access the internet, including smartphones, tablets and TVs.
This trend will only accelerate as people begin to become more aware of how their personal information is being used.
Trend Meters research director, Dan Greenfield, said he was surprised by the spike in cybercrime and internet crime in Australia.
“What we’ve seen in recent years is a lot of governments around the world have had a real opportunity to address these issues, but they haven’t taken advantage of it,” Mr Greenfield said.
The US and China have been accused of not doing enough to tackle cybercrime.