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Ghana lost $105 million through cybercrime in 2018

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The Director of the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Ghana Police Service, Dr Gustav Yankson made the announcement on Thursday, May 2, 2019, while launching the cyber insurance survey conducted by the Institute of Compliance and Cyber Studies (ICCS) in Accra.

According to him, the nation lost $69 million in 2017 and US$35 million in 2016 respectively and thus, attributed the prevalence rate of cybercrime to individuals’ attitudes and actions, which exposed their personal information to the public.

“The cybercrime cases we received last year, fraud was number one constituting 60 per cent and followed by various forms of intrusion while sextortion placed third,” he said, adding that, “The indicators are that many people are so vulnerable to social engineering, meaning everything we’re told, we believed it without cross-checking the source, and the mode of fraud is to deceive you using false pretences.

Sextortion indicators showed that between 98 and 99 per cent of the victims were women, indicating that females are the most vulnerable because women like taking pictures of their naked bodies and send them to their boyfriends and loved ones.

The Cybercrime Director further said there was little the Police could do to protect people’s data from getting into the hands of Internet hackers and fraudsters because the telecommunication networks had custody of people’s data and it cannot be easily retrieved from them, unless it is secured with court authorisation, especially when a particular case was under investigation.

He hence suggested that corporate organisations in the country should employ the services of cybersecurity information experts to conduct comprehensive assessment in order to identify their risk levels, which would inform them about the mitigation measures needed to be instituted to curb potential cyber intrusion or hacking.

Dr Yankson again urged the National Insurance Commission to intensify public awareness creation and sensitization among insurance firms in order for them to undertake cyber insurance cover.

Ghana was ranked 87th out of the 165 nations in the global cybersecurity index, which was conducted by the International Telecommunications Union and was among the top 10 countries in Africa with very high prevalence rate of cybercrime in 2018.