Cybercrime, Drug Dealing And Made Up Statistics

from the say-what-now? dept

A few weeks ago, there was a story making the rounds that plenty of people were talking about. The headline was just too good for many to pass up: Cybercrime pays off more than drug trafficking. Of course reading through the article you realize that the "security expert" who made the statement didn't seem to give any proof to back up the statement, and now lots of people are questioning the claim, saying that no matter how you do the math, it doesn't seem to add up. Of course, part of the problem is that it's pretty difficult to add up the numbers in any realistic way. However, how likely is it that for years now we'll see the phrase "cybercrime is bigger than drug dealing" quoted as fact by lazy reporters (and people pitching security companies)?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 3:23am

    on the spot

    93-94% of statistics are made up on the spot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    rewtguy, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 4:57am

    Re: on the spot

    like that one?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Stoned4Life, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 5:49am

    No Subject Given

    Unless you have the resources, and get lucky, A LOT, cybercrime couldn't, and wouldn't pay off more than drug trafficking.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Chris, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 5:52am

    Re: on the spot

    Hooray! You got the joke!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    giafly, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 6:51am

    OMG! Piracy is everywhere!

    When I visit their URL http://www.bsa.org/idcstudy/pdfs/European_Union.pdf up pops a dialog, saying in full:

    The Adobe PDF has special features
    Click on the Picture Tasks button in this tookbar to activate tools for working with pictures in this document:
    - Export, edit, and save pictures
    - Create slideshows with your favourites
    - Share pictures online and order high-quality prints
    [ ]Don't show again [OK]

    W00t! It says "Share pictures online". Their own PDF is encouraging piracy.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 7:08am

    Re: on the spot

    Did you make that up on the spot?

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Howard, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 7:09am

    The penalties are not as severe...

    Cybercrime may or may not be more lucrative than drug dealing, but cybercrime doesn't get you hanged in Singapore. Although that probably depends on your position in the organization.
    --
    Texas Concealed Handgun License Courses in Plano, TX
    The 2nd amendment isn't about duck hunting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    anonynous, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 7:37am

    Re: The penalties are not as severe...

    99.3% of this thread is BS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Geoff, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 8:30am

    Freakonomics

    One of the chapters in the recent bestseller "Freakonomics" was entitled something like "Why most drug dealers live with there mothers", and described (with lots of stats) how little money the average dealer makes.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Coe, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 8:43am

    It just piles up

    The article that questions the truthfulness of the $105B claim makes reference to the BSA's bogus "study" interpretation, as though it were some bearing on "acurately" (read: guessing) how much monetary damage that cybercrime is truly responsible for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    alternatives, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 8:55am

    The difference between the bottom and the top.

    In cybercrime, a one man operation COULD make a considerable amount of cash.

    In drug dealing, one man isn't gonna be able to do alot.

    At the top of the drug chain, there is alot of money sloshing about. There isn't the same sorrta 'provider' structure in cybercrime. Rings, yes...just like in drugs. But 'a cybercrime lord'? Only in the movies or cartoons.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    AngloAfro, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 9:33am

    Re: The difference between the bottom and the top.

    In drug dealing, growing modest sized crop of [fill in drug of choice] and selling biannually can make a considerable amount of cash. It doesn't scale as well as cyber crime, but your market base is MUCH broader and demand is seemingly infinite. You don't have to seek out customers like you do with cybercrime. However your definition of considerable may be different than mine.
    And cybercrime lords do exist, they're just called crime lords. They outsource [not necessarily india] to technically inclined people and there are plenty of news articles about major busts and the shift towards online crime to support it. It's not just one guy trying to get your bank account to transfer his fathers millions from Nigeria before the government siezes it (just one example, which can make a surprising amount of money.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    riot, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 9:53am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I know. I make so much money selling drugs. Theres no way I could do the same on the internet.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    gid, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 10:30am

    Re: Freakonomics

    I think I am noticing a disturbing trend... How many computer dweebs live in their parents basements?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 5:02pm

    Re: The difference between the bottom and the top.

    Also, you can't make bit-perfect backups of your pot stash.

    I can dream, can't I??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Xyro TR1, Dec 9th, 2005 @ 9:23pm

    Re: The penalties are not as severe...

    Just something random: Howard, kinda cool that I live in Plano, too.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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