Now a new lead on cybercrime by Britain’s police has revealed that almost everybody living in the UK has been hacked with most details being sold on the dark web.
UK Chief Constable Peter Goodman, who is the National Police Chief’s Council lead for cybercrime, made this statement whils speaking at a media briefing on the government’s response to hacks and data breaches on the 19th of November.
Goodman gave a striking warning on the ever-growing computer hacking incidents and told firms to inform their customers whenever their security gets compromised.
He stated that cybercrime is “fastest-growing, most complex, difficult form of volume crime we’ve ever seen.”
Online fraud has become the UK’s most common crime now. Over five and a half million cyber and fraud offenses take place in the country each year, with daily attacks alone costing them billions. Reports also suggest that almost half of all UK businesses experienced a cyber-attack or breach last year.
However, despite these alarming figures when cybercrime comes into play, only 100 police officers are currently investigating these numerous cyber-related cases with some forces having to wait until next year to get additional resources to fight the problem.
Goodman’s comment came from personal experience as the Derbyshire chief himself revealed that he himself has been hacked three separate times with hackers stealing his name, date of birth, address and email address.
Speaking at the briefing, Goodman stated that: “I can almost guarantee that every single one of you around this table has had a data breach against you and that some of your personal data is held somewhere on the dark web and is being sold, traded—are you happy with that? And you probably don’t know about it.”
When asked if he believed that almost every Briton has been a victim of cyber-attack, he said “Yes.”
Goodman added that the biggest problem is that, no one gets typically informed whenever there is a breach. People tend to search for information on whether they’ve been hacked or not on some websites because if they do not do that research themselves, they may never have the answers.
“There are certain websites you can go to where you can do a search and find out if your data has been stolen,” he stated.
“But unless you actively look for it, then you never get told.”
He went further to vent his frustrations stating that: “Am I happy if, for example, my data was stolen in the TalkTalk breach and nobody ever told me? I have not had the chance to think if I’m happy with my security, do I need to change my password? Because I don’t know.”
He also added that Russia is by far the worst culprit as they have been attacking the UK with “state-sponsored” attacks daily and that they have some Russian actors in custody.
The UK’s top policing experts on cybercrime also stated prior to this briefing that Russian groups were not targeting only UK’s major infrastructure and financial institutions, but also small businesses such as hairdressers in their major attempts in search for data. This claim does nothing but add up to what Goodman is saying about how Russia is at the heart of cyber-attacks in the UK.
Goodman speaking on the police’s response to the widespread nature of cybercrime attacks admitted that response has been slow and that police investigation has been a “patchwork quilt, adding that it’s a postcode lottery for victims.”
Head of the National Cyber Crime Unit, Oliver Gower who also spoke at the briefing stated that Russian speaking nations were the number one enemy and there were “increasingly blurred lines between state-sponsored attacks and criminal activity.”
“For several years we have reported that Russian speaking nations are the number one cybercrime threats to the UK.”
“The available intelligence is a crossover between state and criminal cyber actors,” Gower stated. Adding that, “When we talk about Russian speaking countries and Eastern Europe we are seeing an overlap between state and criminal groups, there is clearly some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement.”
Gower concluded with a warning that major widespread attacks against the UK are not stopping anytime soon.
“WannaCry is not going to be the last attack to hit the UK, and things are likely to get worse before they get better,” Gower said. “State actors have tried and will try again to target the UK.”