Bank robbers have a clear motivation for their crimes: money. It's there for the taking; all you have to do is get to it. But there are a lot of inherent risks involved with robbing banks, and, as a new study shows, not a great deal of return. And yet people keep robbing banks. In cybercrime, the motivation is the same, the rewards are huge and the risk of being caught is far lower. So the question is, why isn't cybercrime worse?
If you look at the relative difficulty of the crime, it's unclear why anyone bothers to rob banks at all anymore. The security countermeasures deployed by banks today make life extremely difficult for the would-be bandit. Mantraps, motion sensors, time locks, silent alarms, custom-designed safes and armed guards present the attacker with a daunting set of obstacles. Getting to the money is not easy, and if you're able to do that, it turns out that the haul from your misdeed is likely to be rather disappointing. A study published in a statistical journal this month shows that bank robbers in the U.K. pulled in the equivalent of about $19,800 per job.