Police in the UK have been working closely with banks to prevent hundreds of attempts to hack into accounts from being successful.
The partnership, which uses techniques originally created to pursue terrorists, is thought to have stopped the theft of $285.4 million in the last nine months.
Around 20,000 suspect attacks have been identified since April 2013, which is positive news for the new partnership and customers of the banks involved.
Steve Head, City of London Police commander and national economic crime co-ordinator, told the Financial Times: "We have ways of identifying quite clearly which accounts are being used illegally and we work with the banking association to take them down quickly."
Cyber criminals are also attacking major utilities in the UK and may be helped by information on blogs, social networks and specialist papers.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) study indicated that many industrial sector websites and academic papers reveal detailed information about staff and their social media data, which could be exploited to mount attacks.
By Tony Aynsley