According to City of London law firm RPC, last year there were 65 prosecutions for computer hacking in the UK, up 38% on the 2017 total of 47. But the figures still represents less than one per cent of all reported cyber crimes in the UK.
The data showed that there were 17,900 reported cases of computer hacking in 2018, with social media and email accounts the most common targets for cyber criminals.
The low success rate in prosecuting cyber attackers shows the challenges faced by police to identify criminals from around the world and bring them to justice.
“Cyber crime has become accepted as a low-risk, potentially high-reward activity for organised criminals,” said Richard Breavington, partner at RPC.
“Understandably the priorities for policing cyber crime have been in areas which have a potential nation state impact. A result is that the rise of less sensitive cyber crime has gone largely unchecked and it has been left largely to the private sector to deal with.”