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Oft-cited cybercrime cost estimates hosed down

Taylor Armerding | Aug. 30, 2012
Report highlights security vendors' built-in conflict of interest

In short, they are much more cautious than either McAfee or Symantec.

But the other reason some experts are willing to grant those companies some leeway is because, whatever the precise number is, it is a very big one.

Indeed, there are daily stories about data breaches -- the recent hack of Dropbox that resulted in the theft of user names and passwords is just one of the more recent.

NetBenefit reported research by software vendor SecurityCoverage that found the number of pieces of information illegally sold during the first quarter of 2012 was up 67% from 2010 figures.

"It's not good to inflate estimates," Gary McGraw said. "But cybercrime is a huge problem. You can talk about cyberespionage and cyberwar, but cybercrime is worse than those."

The solution is to "build stuff right," he said. "If we did that, it would reduce the probability of war, cut down on espionage and take a bite out of crime."

Read more about malware/cybercrime in CSOonline's Malware/Cybercrime section.


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