Using dubious sources, which they might bought off in the first place, and fantasy fiction posing as White paper, Mcafee managed to convince ignorant world leaders and lazy reporters that Cybercrime costs $1 Trillion (The whole US economy is only $14 Trillion). Symantec failed to outdo Mcafee in fearmongering, but its reports said that Cybercrime cost American companies $250 billion a year. Both companies have no solid proff of their claims. The figure couldn't be proved anywhere. So, how did they do it? Simple - they used dubious fogures from an informal survey of business executives and then 'extrapolated' the figures.
Propublica explains how hard it is to gauge the extent of damage from Cybercrime (basically, solid data is hard to get):
- 1. One of the biggest categories of cybercrime is one of the least discussed — insider theft, by disgruntled or ex-employees.
- 2. There’s also a category of attacks that do not have overt financial motives and that can constitute acts of war: Attempts to create havoc in computer systems that control nuclear power plants, dams and the electrical grid. This category is of the greatest concern to national security officials.
- 3. One reason it’s a challenge to measure the financial costs of cybercrimes is that the victims often don’t know they’ve been attacked. When intellectual property is stolen, the original can remain in place, seemingly untouched. Even when the breach is known, how do you put a dollar value on a Social Security number, a formula for a new drug, the blueprints for a new car, or the bidding strategy of an oil firm?
- 4. There’s an added complication in some attacks: Companies can be reluctant to admit they have been hacked because they fear a loss in confidence from consumers or clients. This can lead to underreporting of the problem.