Cybercriminals are some of the most successful criminals nowadays. However, maybe you have wondered what they are doing with their money. A new independent study asked the same questions and they managed to find out how much money they are earning and what they choose to spend it on.
The business of cybercrime
“Cybercrime is a lucrative business, with relatively low-risks compared to other forms of crime. Cybercriminals are rarely caught and convicted because they are virtually invisible. As criminals further monetize their business allowing anyone to buy pre-packaged malware or hire hackers on demand, the ability to catch the king-pins becomes even more challenging,” said Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium, the company who announced the findings of the study.
The study managed to find out how much cybercriminals are earning, and it appears that the income is quite high. High earners earn about $2m/£1.4m. Meanwhile, mid-level criminals make up to $900,000. This is more than double than the presidential salary in the United States. Even the entry-level hackers are earning around $42,000, which is quite a lot.
“The cybersecurity industry, business and law enforcement agencies need to come together to disrupt hackers and cut off their revenue streams. By focusing on new methods of cybersecurity that protect rather than detect, we believe we can make cybercrime a lot harder,” explained Bromium.
What are they spending the money on?
The data was collected from 100 cybercriminals, both currently engaged and convicted. When it comes to spending, the study discovered that 15% of the hackers used that money for their immediate needs, including bills. 20% spend the money on their vices, such as drugs. 15% spend their money on objects that could be used to improve their status, such as jewelry.
30% of cybercriminals prefer to invest the money. Either into new property or other things such as wine or art. Finally, 20% of cybercriminals use the money for more equipment.