A huge underground market exists for
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In 2014, more than 181,000 Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan records, including 25,096 social security numbers were recently stolen from the Utah Department of Health. The group admitted millions of people may have been affected because some of the stolen files contained information on hundreds of individuals. Health data attacks had law firms eyeing the prospect of a windfall from lawsuits. If health groups are to be sued by all the people affected, costs could rise into the millions of dollars.
As of 2015, some 81% of US health care executives say their systems have been compromised by at least one malware, botnet or other cyber-attack during the past two years, and only half feel adequately prepared to prevent attacks, according to the Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey by big four accountancy firm KPMG.
Estimating the Value of Losses
Insurance rates for companies vulnerable to cybercrime are skyrocketing.
It's getting increasingly difficult to estimate the value of IP losses to businesses.
The cost of stolen intellectual property is the most difficult to estimate.
Other costs include money spent to secure business networks. The threat of service disruption can be part of an extortion scheme or a potential area of risk for some critical infrastructure.
Intangible costs include the loss of military advantage by the victim country, increased military advantage for the acquiring nation, and the costs to repairing any damage.
High Tech Industries
Countries where IP creation and IP-intensive industries are important for wealth cre ation lose more in trade, jobs, and income from cybercrime than countries that depend more on agriculture, extractive industries, or low-level manufacturing.
High-profile cybercrimes that garner tens of millions of dollars from banks have become a global phenomenon.
Direct Financial Crime
In Mexico, banks lose up to $93 million annually just to online fraud. The National Police Agency estimates that Japanese banks lose about $110 million annually.
The 2013 hack against the US retailer Target alone cost banks more than $200 million, and this does not count associated costs for the retailer and its customers.
In the third quarter of 2015 Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled a total of 235,415,870 malicious attacks from online resources located all over the world. There were 5,686,755 registered notifications about attempted malware infections that aim to steal money via online access to bank accounts.
A Bleak Future
High-end cybercrime is morphing into financial manipulation that will be exceptionally difficult to detect.
IP theft can range from paint formulas to rockets. The loss from IP theft is also the most difficult component of the cost of cybercrime to estimate.
Valuing IP is an art form, based on estimating the future revenue IP will produce, or the value the market places on IP (which are not always the same). The actual value of intellectual property can be quite different from the research and development costs incurred in creating it.
Hackers can take a company's product plans, its research results, and its customer lists, but the company may not even know that it has suffered loss.
In 2011, attackers targeted the computer networks of key Canadian government departments, including Finance and Treasury Board. CSIS determined that foreign actors were seeking to steal Canadian secrets and spy on Canadians citizens from thousands of kilometres away.
In 2004, the Government of Canada introduced Canada's National Security Policy. The policy established the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), housed out of CSIS national headquarters and comprised of experts from across government whose role is to produce comprehensive assessments of the terrorist threat to Canadian interests, both domestic and international.
In the summer of 2014, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) was subjected to a serious foreign cyber intrusion.
The US Response to Cyberwarfare
After Russia's 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia and its 2008 attacks on Georgia during their brief war, U.S. officials concluded that cyber attacks had become a staple of modern warfare.
Cyber espionage has surged against governments and companies around the world in the past year, and cyber attacks have become a staple of conflict among states, says the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. military and civilian networks are probed thousands of times a day, and the systems of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters are attacked at least 100 times a day, according to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general. "It's no exaggeration to say that cyber attacks have become a new form of permanent, low-level warfare," he said.
More than 100 countries are currently trying to break into U.S. networks, defense officials say. China and Russia are home to the greatest concentration of attacks.
The Pentagon's Cyber Command is scheduled to be up and running next month, but much of the rest of the U.S. government is lagging behind, debating the responsibilities of different agencies, cyber-security experts say. The White House is considering whether the Pentagon needs more authority to help fend off cyber attacks within the U.S.
Some U.S. intelligence officials and analysts worry that cyber weapons may become the next "loose nukes" problem. "The question is: When will these leak to al Qaeda?" said James Lewis, a cyber-security specialist at the Center for Strategic and International studies who regularly advises the Obama administration. "These are very tightly controlled, but some number of years from now, nonstate actors will have really good stuff."
Gen. Keith Alexander, the chief of the new U.S. Cyber Command, recently told a congressional panel: "What concerns me the most is destructive attacks that are coming, and we're concerned that those are the next things that we will see."
The danger, Gen. Alexander said, is that such attacks can do damage that is difficult to reverse and can't be fixed by blocking Internet traffic, destroying computers and other automated devices connected to the Internet before the government or a company can respond.
"That could cause tremendous damage," he said. "If that were to happen in a war zone, that means our command and control system and other things suffer."
Another danger, he said, is that such an attack could be mounted on the U.S. electrical or banking sector, and the affected company would largely be on its own to defend itself.
The White House is still trying to figure out how the government could aid the response to an attack on the private sector. If there were an attack today, Gen. Alexander said, his Cyber Command does not have the authority to respond to it.
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