UK law enforcement anti-hacker efforts stopped crooks stealing over £1bn from businesses and citizens in the last two-and-a-half years, according to the Met's Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU).
The PCeU revealed the figure in its latest Harm and reduction report 2013. As well as the monetary sum the report reveals PCeU operations have led to 126 suspects being charged and the conviction of 89 cyber criminals, with a further 30 awaiting trial.
The operations are also listed as having disrupted 26 national and international cyber-based organised crime groups and secured a total of 184 years imprisonment for the 61 criminals given custodial sentences.
The police force originally pledged to reduce the cost of cyber crime by £504m within four years in 2011. The report highlighted the Allandale and Caldelana operations as key victories that helped it double its projected goal.
Operation Allandale was a sting against a gang conspiring to defraud banks worldwide using a sophisticated phishing scam. The operation resulted in the arrest of three men and is listed as preventing £74m worth of harm in the UK alone.
Operation Caldelana saw police target an organised crime group responsible for a sophisticated phishing scam responsible for stealing vast sums of money from victims' bank accounts. The operation is listed as mitigating £39m worth of harm within the UK.
Commander Steve Rodhouse, head of gangs and organised crime at the Met, said the PCeU was able to exceed its projected goal by collaborating with other countries' law enforcement departments and wider industry.
"The PCeU has exceeded all expectations in respect of making the UK's cyber space more secure. This is due to its innovative partnership work with industry and law enforcement across the globe and its dynamic system for developing intelligence, enforcing the law and quickly putting protection measures in place," he said.
Increasing collaboration with law enforcement and the wider industry when combating cyber crime has been a central goal of the UK government's ongoing Cyber Strategy. The strategy was launched in 2011 when the government pledged to invest £650m to bolster the country's cyber defences.
Since launching the strategy the government has introduced several initiatives to achieve this goal, including the creation of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP). The partnership is designed to help protect the UK's growing digital economy from hackers by facilitating real-time data sharing between the government and private sector.
Despite the positive development, the £1.01bn figure is only a small chunk of the UK's overall digital economy, which the government currently lists as being worth £82bn.
The news follows widespread reports hackers are developing new, sophisticated ways to increase the monetary yield of their cyber scams. Most recently Microsoft reported the authors of the notorious Sefnit Trojan have resurfaced using advanced infection and click-fraud techniques to earn vast sums of money through bogus advertising.
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