The UK is catching up the US as an internet crime hotspot, according to IT security consultancy Global Secure Systems (GSS).
GSS bases its warning on a study of the recently released Internet Crime Report by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3).
"Despite the fact that the IC3 study is a national US annual report, it concludes that the UK is in second position with 15.3 per cent when it comes to the origin of US internet crime reports," said David Hobson, managing director of GSS.
"This is significantly ahead of other cyber-crime hotspots such as Nigeria (5.7 per cent) and Romania (1.5 per cent). It's also worth noting that internet crime in the US hit an all-time high in 2007, with an almost 20 per cent increase on the fraud reported in 2006."
According to Hobson, reported internet crime losses are only the tip of the cyber-crime iceberg, as there are many more cases that go unreported for various reasons.
He added that the report should act as a "wake-up call" to companies that are not properly securing their networks from attack from the organised criminal gangs who are prowling the web searching for new targets.
"How they achieve their fraud is irrelevant. If they can find a way in, they will," he said.
According to the IC3 report, 90,008 complaints were referred to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the US.
According to Hobson: "That's around one complaint every six minutes throughout the year, day and night. If that statistic doesn't make a company IT manager sit up and take note, I don't know what will."
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