March 12, 2001, 12:00 AM

Cyber crime on rise, survey says

Theft of proprietary information and online financial fraud increase at e-commerce sites.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Thirteen percent of business organizations surveyed by the Computer Security Institute reported online theft of e-commerce transaction information in 2000, up from 8% the previous year, and 8% said they’d been the victims of online financial fraud, up from only 3% the previous year. The sixth annual survey from the San Francisco-based professional organization and the San Francisco Federal Bureau of Investigation, released today, was based on information from computer security personnel at more than 500 U.S. corporations and business organizations including retailers, manufacturers, financial, government and academic institutions. Only 35% of the respondents were willing or able to quantify financial losses due to web crime. Those that did reported that besides losses from theft of proprietary information – reported by 34 survey respondents and pegged at more than $151 million -- the most serious loss was from online financial fraud, reported by 21 respondents and estimated at $93 million. “The results of this year’s survey again demonstrate the seriousness and complexity of computer crime,” said Bruce J. Gebhardt, director of the FBI’s Northern California office.

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