South Africa ranks No. 6 in the world for being hardest hit by cyber crime – or No. 3 – depending on which report you believe.
South Africa was listed as the sixth most active country for cyber crime globally by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), costing South Africans 2.6 billion rand annually (about $260 billion), according to a report in DestinyConnect.com.
But that number could be much higher because of the way that cyber crimes are documented, the report said. They are often listed as fraud rather than cyber crime.
Another report by U.S.-based computer security software company Symantec asserts that South Africa is No. 3 in the world when it comes to cyber crime. In a Symantec survey, 73 percent of respondents said they’d experienced cyber crime in their lifetime, and 55 percent said they’d been hit in the past year.
South African cyber crime victims collectively spent more than 3.42 billion rand ($342 million) in the past year cleaning up their cyber mess, according to the report by Symantec in FlareNetwork.
The Symantec report is based on interviews with 13,022 adults in 24 countries between July and August.
Symantec’s data showed that more than 1 million South Africans were victims of cyber crime in the past year at an average cost of $233 per victim.
According to Symantec, Russia takes the No. 1 spot for cyber crime (85 percent of those polled said they had been victims) and China is No. 2 (77 percent) the second most, according to the security firm.
The Symantec report followed the U.S. FBI list, published in October, which said South Africa was the sixth most-active country where cyber crime took place.
Informal consensus in the private sector corroborates the Symantec report, according to the FlareNetwork report.
According to Symantec, 378 million people around the world were victims of cyber crime in the past year – more than 1 million per day – costing a collective $113 billion.
This is actually fewer than in previous years, the report said, but the cost to each victim has increased.