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A study sponsored by McAfee has losses to cybercriminals ranging from $375 billion to $575 billion or roughly the equivalent of Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP). That’s all the goods and services produced by the entire nation of Sweden in a single year.
A world tax
In a reuters.com story by Paul Sandle (link to article), Jim Lewis of CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said “cybercrime is a tax on innovation and slows the pace of global innovation by reducing the rate of return to innovators and investors. For developed countries, cybercrime has serious implications for employment.”
The numbers affected
Unless you happen to be a cybercriminal, the numbers are not pretty. Every year, the USA, China, Japan and Germany are losing $200 billion to online thievery in one form or other. Losses connected to personal information, e.g., stolen credit card data, is approximately $150 billion.
Forty million Americans or 15 percent of the population have had their personal information stolen by hackers while 54 million in Turkey, 16 million in Germany and more than 20 million in China have been affected by breaches.
A bit of good news
Pointing to the destruction of a crime ring that infected hundreds of thousands of computers with Gameover Zeus, McAfee said improved international collaboration was beginning to show results in reducing cybercrime.