There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Or something like that. However, there are also some really interesting figures emerging about online life right now which are worthy of repeating here.

How about this report that the numbers of web sites on the Internet has risen from, can you believe it, just 50 in 1992 to an astonishing 162 million today. That's probably worth repeating, 162 million web sites. Now how many have you bookmarked and how many, apart from DaniWeb and Google of course, do you visit every day?

Another report that has caught my eye is rather less joyful, although equally astonishing. It concerns the number of viruses and malware floating around, and predicts that the number will hit one million by the end of this year. Perhaps even more amazing is the suggestion that around 25 percent of all unique malware has been created in just the last six months of the 20 year history of viruses.

The final number is perhaps the most sobering though, and that is the 219,553 complaints about online crime that were received by the Internet Crime Complaints Centre last year. Of these 90,008 were referred to law enforcement agencies, and the total dollar loss for these referred complaints came to a whopping $239 million, a median loss of $680 per complainant.

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

it's hardly surprising that the growth of malware is explosive.
2nd generation script kiddies have access to ever more clever tooling as the first generation script kiddies enter university CS courses and learn real skills they combine with their illegal activities.
Mitnick was one of the first, he won't be the last (and after seeing his example many will be far more careful).