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Symantec's research on the apparent rise in the 'black market' for goods on the Internet makes for interesting reading. That's 'interesting' if we take it to mean 'nothing much has happened so we might as well read it in case there are any odd findings'.

The interesting thing for me is not that £3.3 billion is being squirreled away by people using stolen credit card details, nor even that people are selling dodgy details online (I wonder if anyone pays for dodgy details with a dodgy credit card?)

It's not even that organised crime might be involved. Depressing though it is, it seems to me pretty obvious that if there's this much money involved then some pretty heavy, unpleasant types are going to involve themselves in it. It's really not a surprise.

No, what surprises me is the narrowness of the parameters of the report. Items stolen with lost of stolen credit cards are certainly one example of theft. But there's also the phishing scams (for which people still fall), the Nigerian scams in which people - bafflingly - part with their money apparently willingly because they've been promised more.

The figures they're giving out are £3.3 billion. I have a nagging feeling this is a fraction of the real total.

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