Sep 12, 2011

Internet shock: huge cost of cybercrime revealed by … cyber security firm

Cybercrime costs the world hundreds of billions of dollars a year, according to a leading cyber security firm. But it depends on what you call cybercrime.

Bernard Keane ā€” Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

So, you’re a successful cyber security company, and you’re keen to maximise revenue from the sale of your online safety products. What do you do? If you’re Symantec, the company behind the Norton anti-virus software, you produce a spiffy-looking “report” about the cost of cybercrime with the biggest, most dramatic numbers possible, release it with a nice webpage that allows journalists from every country mentioned to examine a country-specific report, and let it rip.

That’s what the company did last week, and the media did the rest, at least in Australia.

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4 thoughts on “Internet shock: huge cost of cybercrime revealed by … cyber security firm

  1. ggm

    I’ve never yet found the ‘you don’t need any’ defence workable, so I’m not going to dive right in, but I do wonder: since Microsoft now offer a small, focussed virus scanner with daily updates *for free*.. well, I went there. And, it works.

    like 99% of humanity on the internet, I am behind a NAT in the form of my home router. Even with IPv6 enabled, I have substantially less incoming un-solicited packetflows since the basic firewall rule ‘establish inside’ is running in both versions of the protocol stack, 4 and 6.

    Sure, there is random acts of kindness in the form of spam attachments and stupid internet link risks, but thats what I believe the Microsoft Security Essentials does for me: it deals with that stuff.

    What *is* the business model for Symantec, and other bloatware?

    PS Vista closed off sapphire. I do a lot of measurement relating to Internet growth/usage and I can be quite confident in saying that there is a 50%+ overhang of Windows XP hosts out there, lost, alone, folorn and full of nasty bad behaviour but the world post Vista is quite different. As a confirmed Microsoft hater for 25 years+ this takes some saying: their current product is much less prone to being visibly a problem.

    I think the cashflow of independent virus scanner writers is looking a bit iffy. The cost of some of these packages is less than the cost of replacing your OS with one more in line with modern coding expectations.

    Oh yea. I think their threat marketing is bullshytte,


  2. paddy

    Hmm….Symantec/Norton quoting online threat figures….. Always reminds me of a police spokesman, quoting the “street value” of a drug bust to the media.
    Codswallop +10

  3. bally

    “…such shocking findings as the fact that 58% of people who are victims of cybercrime feel ‘angry’…”

    I wonder what the other 42% feel? Vaguely suspicious that their anti-virus software failed? Sad that they didn’t realise they were ‘victims’ as defined by their anti-virus software company? Turned off by meaningless, self-promoting statistics from vested interests? Or totally non-plussed that “Shaky ethics and questionable behaviour” was a category included in the compilation of those statistics?

  4. Mark Duffett

    The study I want to see is the one that looks at the cost of cybersecurity (e.g. the lost productivity arising from draconian privilege restrictions on work PCs, and consequent need to tie up IT staff), compared with the cost of cybercrime. Or the effectiveness of cybersecurity, such as requirements for passwords that are so ‘strong’ and have to be changed so often that…most people have to write them down, usually somewhere near their computer. Brilliant.

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