Cybercrime Costs U.S. $117 Bln Annually

A new report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the cybercrime in all its forms is costing the U.S. over $117 billion each year.   The report was issued on Monday, jointly released through the offices of Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the committee on Homeland Security, and James R. Langevin (D-R.I.), chairman of the subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology, the report states,   “These projected losses are based on direct and indirect costs that may include actual money stolen, estimated cost of intellectual property stolen, and recovery cost of repairing or replacing damaged networks and equipment.”   Cybercrime consists not only of white-collar computer crime, but also phishing and identity theft.   However, according to David A. Powner, GAO Director of IT Management Issues and lead author of the report, much cybercrime is unreported or underrepoted, while yet more is completely undetected. Some banks reportedly experience $1 million a month in losses from phishing, for instance.   One problem in the crime fight comes from the government itself. The staff rotation policies in place mean that there’s little continuity, and the expertise gained by individuals becomes wasted. The report has recommended changes.   “In order to address the challenge of ensuring adequate law enforcement analytical and technical capabilities,” it reads, “we are recommending that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security reassess and modify, as appropriate, current rotation policies to retain key expertise necessary to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.”  

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