Blog post

Ever wondered how a cyber crime gang operates?

Created:  10 Apr 2017
Updated:  10 Apr 2017
Author:  Matt Carey
Part of:  Cyber attacks
Cyber crime: understanding the online business model

Most people are aware of phishing emails, and the risk of clicking on links and attachments that could potentially infect your computer or personal device with malware.

Those unfortunate enough to have been the victims of cyber crime are all too aware of that sinking feeling that accompanies the realisation that money has been stolen from your bank account.

However, very few people are aware of the extent of the online criminal ecosystem that supports and enables these attacks, and the business model behind it. Our new report  - Cyber Crime: understanding the online business model - explains just that.

The report, which we're publishing today to support the NCSC's ongoing transparency agenda, briefly outlines how cyber criminals are organised, their methods, and how their activities are monetised. It describes how Organised Criminal Groups (OCGs) share similar techniques and services, and communicate with each other over the ‘dark web’ where they can collaborate and advertise new services, tools and techniques.

To learn how to protect yourself from cyber crime, or if you've been a victim of cyber crime and want to report an incident, please refer to:

  • Cyber Aware: cyber security advice for individuals and small businesses, including software updates and information on creating effective passwords.
  • Cyber Essentials: industry-supported scheme to guide businesses in protecting themselves against cyber threats. 


Matt Carey

Head of London Operations Team, NCSC



Karl Almond - 10 Apr 2017
Hi. Is it possible to get a contact to discuss reproducing this content for internal intranet?
Matt Carey - 26 Apr 2017
Thanks for your comment Karl. I’d encourage you to get in contact with our enquiries team who will be able to find you the best person regarding this matter. You can do this on our ‘Contact Us’ page here on the NCSC website.
Maria Hodge - 14 Feb 2018
Gudge - 07 Aug 2018
I recently gave a Masterclass on this very subject at work. The auditorium had standing room only. There is huge interest in the topic and raising awareness is essential. However, the view that it won’t happen to us pervades. As cybe crime becomes ever more automated you may not be the single target but simply the next one on the list. Being resilient in the face of increasing sophisticated bad guys will be a continuous effort and not a single investment.

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