Nearly 1.9K Reports of Cybercrime in Arkansas in 2016: FBI

July 12, 2017
There were nearly 1,900 instances of internet crime in Arkansas last year, from nonpayment scams to cyberattacks on state agencies, according to the FBI.

FBI officials said the state’s attacks are a small percentage of the nearly 300,000 cyberattacks tracked nationwide in 2016. But agency officials said Arkansas is seeing more complex attacks, including cyberattacks from overseas.

“Doing something like that is not easy,” FBI Special Agent Sebastian Montes said. “It takes an individual with a level equivalent to computer scientists. These folks, they’re very savvy and they have the luxury of time.”

Those complex attacks show a global trend in evolving techniques of infiltrating government, business and personal computer systems, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The most common internet crimes reported in 2016 were nonpayment or non-delivery scams, when a product or service isn’t compensated or never received.

The FBI noted that ransomware, software that blocks access to a computer system until money is paid, is also on the rise in the U.S. In 2016, $2.4 million was paid in ransomware attacks.

“The advice that we gave them and we give everybody is we don’t advocate paying the ransom,” Montes said. “That’ll only encourage them to do it more. However, the reality of the situation is if they don’t have backups, they’re out of options.”

The FBI said complaints of cyberattacks are difficult to verify, but most of the time they’re not reported. They estimate that only 15 percent of cyberattacks are reported to federal authorities.

According to the FBI, more than $1.3 billion was lost in 2016 through cyberattacks in the U.S., which is the highest total since 2000.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.