We sure hear a lot about cyber crime, and hackers. In fact, it seems like some company, business, government agency, or other organization is being hacked into every single day. One has to ask; how bad is the problem, and will it ever go away? There are so many hackers, it's hard to tell what they're up to, some are just curious doing it for thrills, some are up to no good, some are hacktivists, and others are actually terrorists, or rogue nation cyber armies purposefully attacking our infrastructure, data, or corporations to exploit us.
That's a scary thought indeed, and our government spends 10s billions of dollars every year securing its data centers, and networks. The amount of money spent on IT security in Washington DC is unbelievable, and some of this is due to Lobbyists, fear, political pet projects, job employment, and an honest assessment in protecting our military computer systems.
There was a rather troubling piece in the Homeland Security Online News recently titled; "Cybercrime statistics wildly inaccurate, says researcher" which was published on June 29, 2011 that stated;
"A cybersecurity researcher questions statistics from government officials & IT sector as evidence of the runaway effects of hackers; Cormac Herley, of Microsoft research states the existing data on the estimated losses from cyberattacks is wildly inaccurate. Analysts have no idea what the problem's economic impacts are; estimates of annual cost range from $560 million to $100 billion to $1 trillion, asks: "How can this be? How can you have estimates of the same problem ranging across three orders of magnitude?"
Well, there are probably a lot of reasons why these estimates are so large, and part of the problem is that not everyone reports all of the hacking or cyber crime, because they don't want to admit that their IT systems are less than fully secure. Of course they do have to by law warn customers when their data has been breached, or now shareholders as well, if anything that has happened, or if a significant amount of pertinent data has been stolen.
Some IT professionals say their systems are hacked into, or attempted on each and every day. And of course there is a little bit of fear in the media, and publicity scare tactics, along with IT Lobbyists, and Cloud Technology Companies looking for big government contracts. The Military Cyber Commands also wish to maintain strong funding, build new buildings, and by more systems. And the hackers love to brag each time they hack into someone else's network, and they are the first ones to alert the media for those bragging rights.
Because of all these factors it's hard to say whose data you can trust, or whose figures are correct. But I believe that Cormac Herley from Microsoft Research is correct, and he puts it in very simple terms. Indeed it appears that no one knows, and anyone who does know, doesn't seem to be telling, or rather their data is being washed out by media propaganda on all sides. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.