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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Study USD 200 billion in illegal cybercrime profits is laundered each year

Friday 16 March 2018 | 02:25 PM CET

Bromium has announced the findings of an independent, academic study into the macro economics of cybercrime and how cybercriminals launder the profits. 

The findings are part of a larger nine-month study titled Into the Web of Profit, sponsored by Bromium. The full findings will be presented at the RSA Conference in April by Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University, England.

According to the report, cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 % of total illegal profits laundered globally; amounting to an estimated USD 80 to USD 200 billion each year. 

The report found that virtual currencies have become the primary tool used by cybercriminals for money laundering. Many are ditching Bitcoin for other less known cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, in-game purchases and currencies are spurring a rise in gaming-related laundering; as China and South Korea become hotspots for gaming-currency laundering

Covert data collection found that PayPal and other digital payment systems are employed by cybercriminals to launder money

Digital payment systems laundering often involves the use of micro-laundering techniques where multiple, small payments are made so laundering limits aren't triggered

Methodology

Into the Web of Profit is a nine-month academic study by Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Surrey University. It draws from first hand interviews with convicted cybercriminals, data from international law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and covert observations conducted across the Dark Web.

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