The federal agency’s tally of reported hate crimes reached a five-year high in 2016, with a significant bump in the last quarter of the year as Trump was unexpectedly swept into the White House.
The number of hate crimes reported in the United States reached a five-year high in 2016, taking a noticeable uptick toward the end of the year around the time of Donald Trump’s unexpected electoral college victory, reports the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FBI said Monday that law enforcement agencies nationally tallied 6,121 reports of hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent from the 5,818 reported in 2015. However, 88 percent of participating law enforcement agencies reported no hate crimes in their jurisdictions, an ongoing challenge for data collection efforts. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates an annual average of 250,000 incidents of hate crime victimizations in the U.S., about 40 times the number reported by the FBI.
The FBI figures show that 1,747 hate crimes were reported in the last quarter of 2016, a 25.9 percent increase over October through December in 2015. That figure supports a sharp increase in bias incidents reported by journalists and civil rights organizations in the wake of the election. The FBI said about 59 percent of victims were targeted because of their ethnicity, race or ancestry. Another 21 percent were picked out because of their religious affiliation and 16.7 percent based on sexual orientation. The FBI reported 381 anti-Muslim crimes, up more than 20 percent from the 301 reported in 2015. Anti-Jewish crimes increased to 834 reported incidents in 2016, up 16 percent from the previous year.
Security experts say ransomware attacks are an Internet scourge, but a new FBI reports suggests that the vast majority of its victims simply don’t bother reporting incidents of this growing financial cyber-menace.
Despite its expanding threat, ransomware infections are rarely reported to law enforcement agencies, according to the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report. Bleeping Computer reports that the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received just 2,673 complaints about ransomware attacks in 2016. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Victims who did report to the FBI said the attacks resulted in just $2.4 million in damages in 2016. But the numbers do not reflect what’s happening in the real world, where ransomware is one of today’s most prevalent cyber-threats, according to multiple reports from cyber-security companies.
Experts suggest that people and companies are paying ransoms, restoring files from backups, or reinstalling PCs without filing a complaint with authorities. Last year, the FBI reported that ransomware incidents had doubled from 2014 to 2015. In 2016, the number of ransomware complaints remained the same, despite cyber-security companies reporting an increase in activity. For example, an IBM report said email spam spreading ransomware spiked 6,000 percent in 2016, while a PhishMe report said spam delivering ransomware accounted for 37 percent of all email spam. A Carbon Black report said ransomware operators were on track to make nearly $850 million from ransom payments this year.