Australian companies are being ripped off more than ever by customers, suppliers and cyber-hackers using the dark web, backed by organised crime.
Advisory firm PwC revealed that customer fraud was the No.1 economic crime in Australia, with 45 per cent of companies surveyed attacked in the past two years.
PwC’s global economic crime survey, out today, warned businesses that organised crime syndicates using the dark web were becoming more sophisticated and used new technologies to fake documents and IDs to infiltrate and rob organisations.
PwC’s cyber markets leader Steve Ingram told AM 60 per cent of economic crime in Australia was committed by a “frenemy” who comes in the guise of employee, customer or supplier.
“Technology has been an agent for us in improving the efficiency of our economy. It’s also a great tool for organised crime,” Mr Ingram said.
“They use technology to penetrate organisations, to create false information and false identities.
“They use technology to steal legitimate identities and apply that in a fraudulent manner.”
Mr Ingram said not only was fraud and hacking becoming easier, it had also become cheaper.
“On the dark web, tools to exploit fraud are cheaper than they were 10 years ago,” he said.
“You can go on the dark web and find people supplying tools to penetrate an organisation.
“They actually have star ratings on their service and the effectiveness of their tools so it’s not dissimilar to what we see in the normal world.”
‘Neck and neck race’ to keep up with criminal technology
Mr Ingram said despite measures by the federal government and regulators, the race to keep up with the criminals was a daily battle.
“I think it’s a neck and neck race,” he said.
“People often say, ‘Let’s get ahead of the curve’. But the thing with crime is that you rarely get ahead of the curve. You just have to keep pace.
“There’s no end game here. We just need to be forever vigilant.”
Despite the growing threat from cyber attackers backed by organised crime, Mr Ingram worries that many organisations are too complacent.
“A lot of organisations, individuals as well, think this will happen to someone else and that it won’t happen to them,” Mr Ingram said.
“While there’s a cost [for preparedness] the cost of doing nothing is even greater.”
Australia is among 18 countries of the 123 in the survey where cybercrime is a growing problem.
The PwC global survey spoke to 7200 respondents, including 158 from Australia.