Global cybercrime costs estimated at $445bn

A new report from McAfee, the internet security company, has estimated that last year cybercrime cost the global economy $445bn (£266bn), with the damage to business from the theft of intellectual property exceeding the $160bn loss to individuals from hacking. McAfee calculated its figures by estimating that the internet economy annually generates between $2tn and $3tn. Based on additional figures from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, cybercrime extracts between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the value created by the internet. McAfee suggested that if cybercrime was a business, it would be ranked 27th in the world based on revenue — above the likes of Singapore, Austria and Denmark.

The world’s biggest economies bore the brunt of the losses, the research found, with the toll on the US, China, Japan and Germany reaching $200bn a year in total. Brazil was criticised in particular for its especially weak laws against cybercrime. One third of Brazilian companies have been victims of cybercrime, according to a survey of local businesses, with at least five per cent suffering financial losses. India was also highlighted as the ‘ransomware’ capital of Asia-Pacific, while across the Soviet Union there are 20–30 cybercrime groups that enjoy ‘nation-state-level capacity’…

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