The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported a record-breaking year for 2021 in the number of complaints it received, among which business email compromise (BEC) attacks made up the majority of incidents.
IC3 handled 847,376 complaint reports last year — an increase of 7% over 2020 — which mainly revolved around phishing attacks, nonpayment/nondelivery scams, and personal data breaches. Overall, losses amounted to more than $6.9 billion.
BEC and email account compromises ranked as the No. 1 attack, accounting for 19,954 complaints and losses of around $2.4 billion.
"In 2021, heightened attention was brought to the urgent need for more cyber incident reporting to the federal government. Cyber incidents are in fact crimes deserving of an investigation, leading to judicial repercussions for the perpetrators who commit them," Paul Abbate, deputy director of the FBI wrote in the IC3's newly published annual report.