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AIC: New study examines link between data breaches and cybercrime


The Australian Institute of Criminology’s Serious and Organised Crime Research Laboratory has released a new Statistical Bulletin on the relationship between data breaches and other forms of cybercrime victimisation.

  • Almost one in 10 respondents to a survey of 15,000 Australian computer users conducted in June 2021 said they were notified their information was exposed in a data breach in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • Compared with respondents who had not been notified of a data breach, respondents notified of a data breach were 34 percent more likely to have been a victim of identity crime, 17 percent more likely to have been a victim of an online scam or fraud and 80 percent more likely to have also received a ransom message on their device.
  • The most common signs of being a victim of identity theft were being told by a bank their identity had been stolen or account was misused, finding unauthorised activity on their credit card, getting calls about unpaid bills, finding suspicious transactions on their bank statement, being unable to apply for credit, and missing or strange bills. These were all more likely to happen to respondents who had been notified their information was exposed in a data breach.

The findings demonstrate that measures to protect individuals whose information has been exposed in a data breach from other potentially related cybercrimes are essential and should be prioritised when data breaches occur.

Read the AIC media release.

Read Data breaches and cybercrime victimisation on the AIC website.

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