Cybercrime costs up to $500 bn: study

Jul 22, 2013
A delegate works on a tablet computer at the Conference on Cyberspace in London on November 1, 2011. Cybercrime costs the global economy between $100 billion and $500 billion annually, according to a study which acknowledged more data is needed for precise estimates.

Cybercrime costs the global economy between $100 billion and $500 billion annually, according to a study released Monday which acknowledged more data is needed for precise estimates.

The study by the McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies said the US economy loses some $100 billion to and cyber espionage, including loss of key business data and intellectual property.

The estimate is lower than some earlier reports which put the costs as high as $1 trillion, but study authors said it was a matter of narrowing the range of damage from .

"It will always be a range," said James Lewis, a CSIS scholar on and co-author of the report.

"The data is either sparse or distorted."

But Lewis said the report offers a better way to compare the cost of cybercrime to other types of risks such as or other types of theft.

"We believe the CSIS report is the first to use actual economic modeling to build out the figures for the losses attributable to malicious cyber activity," said Mike Fey, chief technology officer at McAfee.

"Other estimates have been bandied about for years, but no one has put any rigor behind the effort."

The report said the impact of cybercrime includes loss of intellectual property and confidential information; reduced trust for online activities; additional costs for security, insurance and recovery; and damage to reputations.

Lewis said the impact on business could translate into the loss of as many as 508,000 jobs in the United States, based on a government formula for the ratio of exports to US jobs.

"The raw numbers might tell just part of the story," he said.

"The effect of the net loss of jobs could be small, but if a good portion of these jobs were high-end manufacturing jobs that moved overseas because of intellectual property losses, the effect could be wide ranging."

Explore further: Escaping email: Inspired vision or hallucination?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SKorea cyber attack part of long campaign: US study

Jul 09, 2013

The massive cyber attacks on South Korean banks and broadcasters earlier this year were part of a broad campaign of cyber espionage which dates back at least to 2009, a US security firm has concluded.

The inverse CSI effect in the age of digital crime

Jul 10, 2013

The "CSI Effect" has been described as being an increased expectation from jurors that forensic evidence will be presented in court that is instantaneous and unequivocal because that is how it is often presented for dramatic ...

US Senate panel to weigh cybercrime costs

Mar 22, 2011

A key US Senate panel announced Tuesday it will hold a March 29 hearing on the economic costs of cyberattacks and cyber crimes like identity theft and hacker strikes on government computers.

Chinese economic spying 'intolerable': US lawmaker

Oct 04, 2011

A US lawmaker said on Tuesday that Chinese economic espionage, including cyber spying, has reached an "intolerable level" and called for the United States and its allies to confront Beijing.

Recommended for you

Country Web domains can't be seized: regulator

2 hours ago

The Internet's regulatory authority said Wednesday that country-specific Web domains cannot be seized in court proceedings, as it sought to quash an effort to recover assets in terrorism-related lawsuits.

User comments : 0