Computer hacking is significantly different from other crimes in a number of key ways.
First, there is distance or remoteness between the perpetrator and the victim. Anyone connected to the Internet anywhere on this planet is vulnerable to anyone else on the Internet.
Second, there is the technical nature of the crime that is significantly more sophisticated than holding up a liquor store with a handgun.
Third, there is the automated nature of these crimes as they can be repeated over and over again with computer systems doing all the heavy- lifting.
Fourth, due to the repetitive nature of hacking crimes, hackers do not have to go after the single big strike like in the movies "Oceans Eleven" or "The Italian Job". The hacker, due to all of the aforementioned unique aspects of hacking, can simply slice a tiny fragment of value from millions or billions of accounts/people.
This practice of taking a tiny slice from many, many people by automated tools remotely, is often referred to as "salami slicing". Think about it for a moment. There are now more cellphones on this planet than there are people (is anyone screaming for zero cellphone growth?). If a hacker developed a program to slice just half a penny from each of those cellphone bills each month, the take would be incredible! Not only that, but who would notice an extra half cent to their cellphone bill. In many cases, it wouldn't even show as it would be considered a "rounding" error.
So, let's do the math. There are 7 billion cellphones on planet. If we multiply 7 billion times a half cent ($.005), the result would be $35 million dollars per month! On an annual basis, that would be $420 million! The beauty is that no one would feel victimized for a half penny a month.
Salami Slicing, anyone?