Cybercrime Revealed: Hacker Capitals of the UK

Watch Dogs Legion sees an open-world London taken over by an all-seeing surveillance system that targets the vulnerable. In the game you are responsible for building the resistance, growing your hacker group DedSec to liberate the city, whilst unravelling a deep conspiracy framing DedSec for a string of terrorist attacks.

Watch Dogs Legion may take place in a fictionalised representation of London, but is it truly a hacker capital? We investigated the number of hacker cyber crimes (including personal hacking, extortion through hacking and social media or email hacking) in the UK across the last 12 months to find out which regions are victim to the most cyber attacks.

£8 million lost to hacking crimes in the UK since September 2019

The hacking Capitals of the UK

London is the hacking capital of the UK with £4 million lost

With £7,571,77.40 lost to hacking crimes across the UK between September 2019 and September 2020, and £4,031,900 lost in London alone, the real life backdrop in Watch Dogs Legion takes first place for British hacking hotspots with 4,348 reported cases. Drastically ahead of its regional counterparts and five times ahead of second place hacking capital the West Midlands, the vast population of London and its large work force is integral to its title as the hacking capital of the UK.

Home to 1,993 cases in the past 12 months, the West Midlands saw £727,100 lost to cyber criminals, closely followed by the South East which lost £534,900. At the lower end of the scale residents of Northern Ireland were subjected to 303 cases with a loss of £14,133, and Scotland only lost £606 across 355 cases.

Cyber calm: £0 lost to hacking in Guernsey and the Isle of Man

However, cyber crime has not taken over the entire country with calm over Guernsey and the Isle of Man, with zero pounds lost to hacking crimes in the past year.

The hacking Capitals of the UK Index

Hacking fraud increased by 87.5% during COVID-19 lockdown

Looking at hacking cases over the past 12 months, the pandemic lockdown enforced from March 23rd saw an 87.5% increase in reported cases. 3,000 cases were reported in April, up from 1,600 in March. As entire industries and life moved online, so did cyber crime, peaking with the surge of less experienced users and digital fraud awareness.

Search volume data from online visibility platform Semrush shows that the top scam related searches in the UK were Paypal Scams (up 49% since lockdown) and Amazon scams (up 84% since lockdown), showing that online purchases were targeted.

Interestingly the move to working from home also influenced the increase in cyber crimes, with businesses changing their data regulations and security details in line with working remotely.

Wherever you live, step up and protect yourself online. Take some simple precautions from installing up to date antivirus software and only opening emails and downloads from trusted sources to checking your privacy settings and back up your data regularly.

Leveraging next gen upgrade technology, buy Watch Dogs Legion on PS4 and Xbox One and get a free upgrade to the Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X versions.


Metric Methodology Source
England/Wales Population
North West Population ONS had the '0' for the population of Greater Manchester, therefore Eurostat was a better source due to its inclusion of GM Eurostat
Scotland Population
Wales Population
Gurnsey Population
Jersey Population
Isle of Man Population
Money Lost
Search Volume Data