Waikato University world leader in fight against cyber-attacks

New figures reveal the scale of cybercrime is larger than the worldwide illegal drug trade, with more than one billion people subjected to a cyber-attack last year.

There are three billion internet users on the planet, and last year over a billion of them were hit by cyber-crime. Source: 1 NEWS

Waikato University's specialised cyber crime unit is at the forefront of tackling the issue, working closely with Interpol.

"We are on track to becoming one of the top (cyber cime units) in the world," Ryan Ko from Waikato University Cyber Security Lab told 1 NEWS.

The unit is New Zealand's only research lab focusing on cyber crime.

One major project they are working on in conjunction with the government is called Stratus, the aim of which is to create a kill switch, enabling you to keep hold of your data even if you're hacked.

"If you're a person who has a child and you have a photo uploaded online you don't want it falling into the hands of paedophiles," Mr Ko said.

Stratus also aims to keep you in control of sensitive personal information given up online every day to the likes of banks.

The research carried out by the lab will be invaluable to Kiwi businesses, with cyber crime costing them more than $250 million a year.