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McAfee Exaggerated Cost of Hacking, Perhaps For Profit

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the exaggeration-is-a-great-capitalist-tradition dept.

Security 105

coolnumbr12 writes "A 2009 study (PDF) by the McAfee estimated that hacking costs the global economy $1 trillion. It turns out that number was a massive exaggeration by McAfee, a software security branch of Intel that works closely with the U.S. government at the local, state and federal level. A new estimate by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (and underwritten by McAfee) suggests the number is closer to closer to $300 billion (PDF), but even that much is uncertain. One of McAfee's clients, the Department of Defense, has used the $1 trillion estimate to argue for an expansion of cybersecurity, including 13 new teams dedicated to cyberwarfare. Despite the new data, Reuters said McAfee is still trying to exaggerate the numbers." The $1 trillion study has seen other criticism as well, so the new data is a step in the right direction.

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105 comments

News at 11? (5, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about 9 months ago | (#44367289)

McAfee Exaggerated Cost of Hacking, Perhaps For Profit

... perhaps?

Re:News at 11? (2)

Mr0bvious (968303) | about 9 months ago | (#44367575)

Perhaps if you include the amount paid to virus protection rackets (McAfee et al) it may just reach or exceed that $1 trillion...

 

Re:News at 11? (1)

Full of shit (2908417) | about 9 months ago | (#44368299)

Between them the 2 studies show that the cost is about $300bn, the more reliable figure, with a margin of error of about 700bn. In that range is 400bn profit. What do mcafee and the anti-virus mafia bring to the US economy per year?

Re:News at 11? (2)

dingen (958134) | about 9 months ago | (#44368539)

What do mcafee and the anti-virus mafia bring to the US economy per year?

I wouldn't be surprised if the combined time a virus scanner takes away by using system resources and asking users for updates and other stuff is more than the time it saves by blocking malware and viruses.

Re:News at 11? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 9 months ago | (#44369667)

Perhaps if you include the amount paid to virus protection rackets (McAfee et al) it may just reach or exceed that $1 trillion...

Don't forget the fake antivirus software that has you remove antivirus software, only to pull malware in, encouraging purchase of fake anti-malware software, which pulls viruses onto your machine, which lands most non-experts into a tech shop, where antivirus software is installed.

*breathe*

Re:News at 11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44370051)

I never could figure out why people give McAfee and Norton money any more. There are plenty of free AV products that are as good as or better than the commercial packages, inclusing one from Microsoft. Why would you pay for something when you can get it legally and ethically for free??

Re:News at 11? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 9 months ago | (#44370659)

* This *

I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for several years now without a hitch. It's free and it doesn't seem to slow the machine down. If it weren't for preinstalled bloatware McAfee, Norton, NOD32, Kaspersky, etc. (well, mostly McAfee and Norton) would all be out of business. I'm sure that a lot of unsophisticated users believe that McAfee is the ONLY way to protect their PC from viruses and they simply must purchase it. Heaven knows, the scare tactics they employ are surely helping. Completely unethical in my view...they'll never see a nickel of my money.

Re:News at 11? (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 9 months ago | (#44367789)

Well I got to say most of us little shop guys certainly profit from McCrappy, we get paid to remove that shit because its fricking worse than the malware! You want to see a laptop grind to a fricking halt use McCrappy or Norton and just watch the cycles get wasted.

So TFA really doesn't surprise me that they are pulling shady shit as their products are frankly more of a PITA than a lot of the infections I've seen of late. You want to know which AVs to avoid? Norton, McCrappy, and I'll get hate for saying this but I'd add MSE to that list. what I've found is that MSE is really more of a placebo, you give it to those that already follow best practices and it'll make them feel more comfortable but it really doesn't do much and usually scores at the bottom of most tests. Honestly that shouldn't be a surprise to anybody as it was originally called Giant AntiSpy and was made to keep spyware and toolbars off, NOT worms and rootkits and viruses.

If you want a good AV that doesn't cost a dime? Here in the shop I've both tested the AVs myself as well as seen how well they work based on my customers and I'd say Comodo Internet Security and Avast Free are both REALLY good. Comodo is for your geeks as it has really REALLY fine grained controls and you can customize the hell out of it, although frankly you don't have to as for the past few years the defaults have been sane and well thought out. For your non geeks, your average Joes and Janes? Avast Free works really well, it holds their hand with info bubbles in English instead of geek speak, has a built in software updater that will warn you when your third party stuff is out of date, and its UI is REALLY simple and straightforward.

So do us all a favor and don't reward bad behavior by buying McCrappy, not only are they pulling numbers out their behinds but their AV ties a boat anchor on the system.

Re:News at 11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368105)

So do us all a favor and don't reward bad behavior by buying McCrappy,

Yet you endlessly promote Microsoft products here.

What price credibility?

Re:News at 11? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 9 months ago | (#44368209)

If you are gonna lie at least try to make your lies believable, okay Miss Coward? So far I've slammed MSE, Windows 8 and 8.1, Zune, Kin, Sidekick, XBL, the Windows Appstore, and Vista.

So if you consider saying a whole THREE products out of a dozen released in the past decade are good is "promoting" a company I'd say get your head out of your behind, because i call it as I see it and if a company puts out a good product, even if most of their products are shit? I'll be happy to give them props when they do something right, because unlike you Miss Coward I stand by my positions and always have.

As for the other guy that points out MSE doesn't score dead last but kinda in the middle...and? If there are FREE products that score BETTER than MSE why on earth would you want the inferior product? Don't get me wrong, just because its not a great AV doesn't mean it doesn't have its uses, since my gaming system is really only used for gaming and movies i have MSE on it and for just scanning the occasional game patch or downloaded video? It works just fine for that. But on my netbox I have Avast Free because it consistently scores higher than MSE and since i surf on that box I want the better protection that Avast Free gives me over MSE. the only positive MSE really has is how low resource it is but I'd argue that its so low resource because frankly it don't do much. When all the stink about MSE flunking the AV tests came out I fired up a box at the shop and decided to do some tests of my own and went to known infected sites like topsites...know how many pages MSE stopped from loading? NONE, zip zero zilch, in fact i never got MSE to block a single infected webpage from loading. After restoring from a disc image I ran the same test with both Comodo IS and Avast Free and they stopped the web pages from loading and warned that malware had been detected on them.

So I'd say if all you really need is a file scanner like ClamAV? Then MSE works great in that role, if you need real time protection? Stick with Avast Free and Comodo IS, hell of a lot better at stopping the nasties and like MSE both are free so why take worse protection when you don't have to?

Re:News at 11? (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 9 months ago | (#44368123)

AV-comparatives puts MSE a little lower down the list of detection rates, but far from placebo.

I myself have had good results with removing a rootkit on an XP box that had no AV on it before.

Re:News at 11? (1)

danomac (1032160) | about 9 months ago | (#44374173)

You mean the Avast Free that continually nags users to buy a subscription?

I used to recommend it to people, but I don't now.

Re:News at 11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367859)

Next, they'll break the shocking story that record labels have been exaggerating the "cost" of "piracy" for years.

Re:News at 11? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 9 months ago | (#44370707)

Yeah, kinda like how the cops put a "street value" on drug busts. As if some dude that just got busted with 10 kilos is going to be standing on a street corner selling dime bags.

Re:News at 11? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 months ago | (#44368579)

Don't worry. None of these industry people are ever in a government position responsible for anything related to their business or anything, at least!

Oh wait...

Re:News at 11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44372341)

I think the real news of this is that he was less than a decimal place off. I was expecting at least two 0's of error, but it looks like his (probably evidence free) number is less than quadruple the findings of the study.
That puts him as significantly more reliable than weathermen, journalists, and politicians, but I still won't pay for his software.

Cyberwarfare? (4, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about 9 months ago | (#44367333)

Department of Defense, has used the $1 trillion estimate to argue for an expansion of cybersecurity, including 13 new teams dedicated to cyberwarfare.

What exactly is this "cyberwarfare" that I keep hearing about?
Who are we fighting? What are the objectives? When will it end?

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367371)

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I can say that this cyberwarfare" is probably expensive. And apparently because its expensive, we should spend more money on it. Seems like a positive feedback loop in the hacking budget to me.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367419)

What exactly is this "cyberwarfare" that I keep hearing about?

An undeclared war on everyone (including ourselves) to collect information, and damage property, intellectual and otherwise.

Who are we fighting?

Its a war on intelligence. I know that sounds stupid. (pun intended. If you think the pun is stupid, consider that a extra self referential aspect of the joke. I can't lose!)

What are the objectives?

Some mixed combination of spending money, and collecting cool secrets to share in some agency somewhere.

When will it end?

After the war on drugs, the war on terror (be afraid!), the upcoming war on congress, and the corresponding war on progress.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#44368183)

"....and the corresponding war on progress."

It's no accident that the idea comes up repeatedly in sci-fi over many decades of an elite under whose aegis all pure and applied research, all technological and medical developments, are reserved for themselves, shared somewhat with The Accepted, and meted out parsimoniously to The Acceptable at least whilst in the performance of their duties. I think it not so far-fetched to see we're in the midst of that happening.

While wealth has long, if not always, had its own virtue and its own power, it now has under fairly good control an increasing lock on technology and with it communication (thus eventual lock on research - if you can't tell it you can't share it, etc.) and with it their own little forever vision of the future of the species.

To take just the narrow yet furthest reaching realm of research, given the breadth, depth, and pace of experimentation, discovery, publication, collaboration in the vital areas of gene, nano-, and neuro-, along with computational studies and modeling viz. AI, robotic vision systems, and various developments in movement and power systems, there's absolutely no way that sneaker-net can be of any effective use apart from as a curiosity to be squashed whenever needful.

It's game over, folks. The only larger laws still operating are those of, say, thermodynamics. Those of you with brains, talent, and the capacity for obsequious loyalty will have some kind of at least somewhat congenial future. For the rest of us, not so much.

"That a few (90-99+%) might suffer that the worthy shall prosper is the nature of Life, is it not?" Well of course it is, and every self-congratulatory sanctimonious fuck on this site will be slurping this up with a spoon. Until, also of course, they discover just how much their masters truly value them. Turtles all the way down, so take comfort in your zone.

Hmm. Upon reflection this is nothing new; it's as it was, is, and will be. Vagaries of law, constitution, politics, the drama of war and boredom of peace, are shadow plays for the underlying reality, and are but amusements for the masses. So, sorry for long post; I wanted to say it anyway, for the exercise, perhaps. Philo 102, maybe; takes me a long time to learn stuff.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369233)

... self-congratulatory sanctimonious fuck

As those fucks point-out, everyone is smarter, richer, healthier, 'safer' in the new century. They use this fact to excuse increasing government oppression. But they ignore the fact that this better lifestyle was built by the middle-class. So taxing the middle-class more, imprisoning them more, denying their freedoms more hurts a technological society worse than anything done to the 'job-creaters', who in reality, lost that status a long time ago.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#44374239)

What's left of the middle class is becoming more irrelevant as a social class, and the loss of revenue from them will be used to further stratify the status quo whilst excusing further privation for the lowers. It's long been my impression that the ubermenschen tend to be petty, paranoid, sadistic, and not terribly bright as a class, none of which matters. Far enough along the system may possibly collapse due to widespread rot but the core families of the few brighter ones will always prosper, essentially hidden, as I surmise they have done for many centuries, since I figure they're self-pruning and remain sufficiently prudent in how they manage their affairs.

I don't consider the class to be monolithic but I think it largely irrelevant in terms of their effect on the remainder of the species. It's only the relative openness of late that calls any of this into question, but attention spans are short as are memories.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 9 months ago | (#44369411)

...repeatedly in sci-fi over many decades of an elite under whose aegis..

X-Files came off as ridiculous most of the time but the main story line, which was often nestled in between stupid ad-hoc urban legend episodes, was based on an inner cell of powerful individuals (starting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff) who arranged to kill JFK (they were anti-communists who were totally pissed off after JFK cancelled the invasion of Cuba after these guys spent half their career preparing for it) and remained in power for a generation afterward operating in the shadows. Sent chills up my spine as one of the most plausible JFK assassination theories I have ever heard. It had the "ring of truth" to it. Not claiming it is true, but I found the main story line of X-files compelling with the filler episodes being totally stupid (although the main storyline ends rather far-fetched, the beginning--fleeting compared to the length of the series--was chillingly plausible).

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#44373905)

Yeah, I liked that - it had the ring of self-consistency from a start at least as plausible start as any of the others and lent a fine back story for the arc. Another one I came across, earlier and simpler, was as payback by the Diem family.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367427)

What exactly is this "cyberwarfare" that I keep hearing about?

"I put on my robe and wizard hat"...

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367479)

What exactly is this "cyberwarfare" that I keep hearing about?

"I put on my robe and wizard hat"...

I take off your robe and wizard hat...

That was suppose to undo putting them on, but I just made it worse didn't I?

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#44367449)

We're fighting the Cybermen, of course. They want to 'upgrade' us and we don't want them to.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 9 months ago | (#44367537)

We're fighting the Cybermen, of course. They want to 'upgrade' us and we don't want them to.

Dammit! Where's the Doctor when we need him?

Someone fetch the Brigadier quickly!

Re:Cyberwarfare? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#44367689)

Other countries and organizations are trying to hack into the US (so they say.)

We are fighting them on our own electronic turf - "they" being primarily North Korea, China, and Russia (so they say.)

The objectives are to protect the personal data of the citizens of the United States (the NSA is doing quite enough spying already, after all) and state secrets (which is why they're so pissed at Snowden since they spent all that money trying to stop China from getting shit and he just handed them a laptop. Doh!)

It will never end.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368149)

It's where governments spend massively to scoop up (and/or perhaps train) "white hat", "black hat", "green hat", "government hat", "ethical", and other people who call themselves "hackers" but who really are skiddies or maybe rote crackers at best.

Then they "go to war" against each other.

It's the new shtick in government funding. The terrist gambit was a good one and brought in large bunches of money, but not so much for the military, and they, like anybody else, like money too.

Simple (1)

TentativeFate (2588155) | about 9 months ago | (#44368341)

We're cyberfighting cyberterrorists to cyberkill them before they cyberkill us. More seriously: Think of the spygames of the cold war, with the punch that you don't need to physically be in the location you're attacking. The objectives are as diverse as they ever were: gather intel, sabotage, manipulate data and the public. So we're targeting any device worth spying on (that is, all of them, prioritized), any infrastructure, any database, any public (foreign or otherwise). And we (our devices, infrastructure, database and public) are being targeted by any half-assed hacker with a laptop, and several armies of fully-assed ones. It ends when the cyberwarring governments sign a non-proliferation treaty, or at least a non-aggression pact, so that their interests shift from offense to defense. Then you'll see companies suddenly becoming liable for their vulnerabilities, and soon after the net will be much more secure. A warning, though: a side effect may well be a much less free net, in the same sense that The West is not as free as when it was Wild.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369005)

Most likely never end like the war on terror never ends.

Small corruption fighting larger institutionalized corruption.

Re:Cyberwarfare? (1)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#44369041)

Wars ending? You still from the 20th century? When is the last time the USA ended a war? Iraq, Afghanistan, drugs, terrorism - all the more recent wars are designed and intended to last forever.

McAfee study challenges McAfee study? (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44367337)

If I get this correct, this is the original study being challenged:

A 2009 study (PDF) by the McAfee estimated that hacking costs the global economy $1 trillion.

And here is the new evidence:

A new estimate by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (and underwritten by McAfee) suggests the number is closer to closer to $300 billion

So this is two different McAfee-funded studies dueling it out?

Re:McAfee study challenges McAfee study? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44367677)

Seems confusing, until you consider the founder is a drug addled maniac who probably gets into fisticuffs with himself just trying to brush his teeth in the morning.

Re:McAfee study challenges McAfee study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367771)

Sex, Lies and Cyber-crime surveys: http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/149886/SexLiesandCybercrimeSurveys.pdf

Re:McAfee study challenges McAfee study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367819)

Actually the "new study" isn't even a study: they come up with the $100 bn number by analogy. They reason that car crashes cost about $100 bn a year, so maybe cybercrime costs about this also. Impressive analysis.

BTW McAfee != McAfee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367343)

Along with $1 trillion != $1 trillion and Cost to the economy != Cost to the economy.

Got it?

Drake's equation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367345)

These numbers are like those from the Drake's equation but plugging data for commercial profit of both, AV companies and defence contractors.

mcafee is POS software anways (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#44367365)

mcafee is POS software anways

Re:mcafee is POS software anways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368315)

mcafee is POS software anways

Sorry, did you say: mcafee is POS software anways?

I missed the body of your post because I was so busy reading the subject!

Lucky for me this time: the body of your post was redundant.

Just like most of your other posts.

Re:mcafee is POS software anways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369691)

Point of sale software needs mcaffee! Teh hackz0rz!

Re:mcafee is POS software anways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369887)

Even McAfee's founder John McAfee confirms it's PoS:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/john-mcafee-uninstalling-software-video

It actually is a trillion dollars (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#44367375)

Further on they say global losses are "probably" in the "range" of $300 billion.

These are the losses - data loss, the costs of identity theft and notification. If you want to count the cost of the Windows malware ecosystem you have to include both the losses and the cost of defense. That's all the costs of data losses, the entire revenues of all antivirus, firewall, next-gen endpoint sofware companies including the (now Intel) McAffee. These things cost money, and without the Windows monoculture they could not persist.

I have long said that the cost of the Windows malware ecosystem far exceeds Microsoft's own revenues. This is proof. The cure is easy: Don't run Windows. You can choose to not have this problem. You can opt out. Google did. If someday your choice of other OS becomes also so infested because it has become too popular and its developers lose track of security you can choose another. The OS isn't really that important anyway.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367577)

Nice try John.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44367681)

Now add in the various costs, from lost productivity to tech support costs, of shitty AV software like McAfee.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#44367869)

If you're running AV then the fraction of expense committed to defense has to be at least 50% of your desktop IT spend because that's how much of a PC's capacity modern AV takes - even though it doesn't work.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

funkify (749441) | about 9 months ago | (#44369431)

If you're running AV then the fraction of expense committed to defense has to be at least 50% of your desktop IT spend because that's how much of a PC's capacity modern AV takes - even though it doesn't work.

Modern? If your antivirus software uses 50% of your PC's system resources, then I'm going out on a limb to guess that either your antivirus software or your PC (or both) are not exactly modern.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#44369733)

What kind of piece of junk PC are you running? My four year old laptop is sitting here idling at 3-6% CPU usage, almost all of that Firefox. If yours is sitting there over 50% then you've got something seriously wrong with your machine.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (3, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#44367697)

The OS is damn well important if you're trying to play a current gen video game. *sigh*

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 9 months ago | (#44367733)

That's being resolved. Apparently by revenue 90% of games are on Steam, and Steam is cross-platform now because W8 App store doesn't allow Steam, and GabeN is not a moron.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369149)

That's being resolved. Apparently by revenue 90% of games are on Steam, and Steam is cross-platform now because W8 App store doesn't allow Steam, and GabeN is not a moron.

That's all well and good, but it hasn't done much to encourage developers to build for Linux as well as Windows. Don't get me wrong, having Steam on Linux is a Good Thing, but porting a glorified download manager is a long way away from bringing games to the platform. In fairness, since Steam arrived on OSX the selection has improved, but not to the point where you could pick 5 titles and find more than one that is cross-platform.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 9 months ago | (#44369719)

Valve also ported pretty much all of their games to Linux. And quite a few other games have followed - 247 as of this moment.

Sure, that's not many compared to the number on Steam (can't find a total right now, but I recall it being above 2500 a few years ago). And most of them are small, indie games - the only big, AAA titles on there are Valve games.

But these things take time. It's a step - several steps - in the right direction, but it's a long journey.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#44368213)

True, but with increasing use of for instance CL, GL, emulators, vm, library lookup (a la Wine), cross-platform languages then the underlying OS will become of lesser importance. I expect the trend to continue until OS is either a matter of user preference for specific usage or be transparent altogether, but it's gonna take a while to get there. Meanwhile, as you say.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368197)

This is why redmond maintains they are great innovators and ecosystem enablers. Yes, that's right, they're spinning their own incompetence and marketeering tactics creating a monoculture of vulnerable software as good for everyone.

Re:It actually is a trillion dollars (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#44370225)

Sorry, any massive shift to another OS will just focus the attention of thousands of pirate hackers instead of Windows. I maintain the security of Linux is largely still security thru obscurity -- nobody cares to hack at it, the way they do Windows.

A few dozen guys are not thousands from poor, corrupt countries who are on a mission from god to make an illicit buck.

Black projects and classified losses (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367397)

The real number might be closer to the $1T if we allow for the cost of losses that have not been released due to the very existence of the project being secret. They never would have admitted it at the time if a spy had compromised the Manhattan project. Do you think it is any different today?

Re:Black projects and classified losses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369271)

... if a spy had compromised the Manhattan project ...

Apparently, the Kremlin was aware of the Manhattan project. Robert Oppenheimer suspected some colleagues of being communist sympathizers but said nothing. A decision that would later bite him on the arse.

Re:Black projects and classified losses (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 9 months ago | (#44374331)

if a spy had compromised the Manhattan project

I believe you're looking for Klaus Fuchs [wikipedia.org]. The Soviets did spy on the Manhattan Project, and Stalin had to look surprised when Truman told him about it at the Potsdam conference.

About $2.5 billion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367457)

Cyber war needs cyber casualties, $300 billion is hugely inflated too.

Take out the cost of basic security, which should already be part of business, you don't count the cost of the locks on your doors as losses due to theft, yet these inflated numbers always count the cost of basic security as a loss due to hacking.

The reason this number is hugely inflated is because it's part of the cyber-war justification. If you want a big budget (NSA gets $10 billion? $20 billion? 30?) then you need to be able to inflict casualties. They need to exaggerate a threat from script kiddies to justify that.

Credit card and bank fraud is about 1% of online sales, so it won't be much bigger than that. So 1% of 250 is $2.5 billion:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/08/forrester-forecast-online-retail-sales-will-grow-to-250-billion-by-2014/

No different than... (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | about 9 months ago | (#44367521)

Law enforcement's take on drugs which often (always?) values things based on the sale of minimal quantities. Busted a couple of tons of pot? Value it based on the highest value of selling joints on the street.

It's all lies, meant to justify their existence.

Re: No different than... (1)

nbritton (823086) | about 9 months ago | (#44368227)

I've oftened wondered how the price of a drug is decided, does it follow free market economics? You would assume that most of the money is profit, yet we don't see sellers undercutting sellers to reach a natural economic equilibrium. Is this exactly what gang turf wars are about? It would seem the gang leaders have a firm grasp on capitalism and business management. Maybe in prison we should offer an MBA program, on second thought... we have enough criminals at the top already.

Their figures are shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367549)

Which is to be expected since McAfee pulled them out of their ass.

This is the entire history of the antivirus crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367565)

The big virus scares in the 80s were media frenzies partly promoted by the big antivirus producers.... including one John McAfee, who, if you study his history will realize is a very good huckster.

Its also the entire history of the govt, where every bureaucracy studies itself to say that it needs more money and is of utmost importance.

Funny how there is no branch of govt that is in charge of making sure the govt doesnt go bankrupt.

But nobody can exaggerate how crappy (3, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 9 months ago | (#44367585)

But nobody can exaggerate how crappy their bloated, pile of dung, machine slowing, worst-possible-time pop-up, fear mongering, computer newb fooling, circle of garbage really is.

In the future when people are writing case studies about the PC industry they are going to point a huge finger at the bloated trialware business model that has ruined the experience of buying a new computer. Basically consumer PCs are sold profitless. Then the companies hope that a certain percentage of the fools buy one of these piles of snot software packages of which the manufacturer gets a significant cut. Profit.

But the end result is that non-tech people unwrap their shiny new machine only to find all kinds of confusing icons for music services, media services, a trial for MS Office, and the worst... some AV pile of vomit. The AV vomitus will then tell them that they need to subscribe to their service otherwise the machine will be more infested than a street-walking Bangkok lady-boy.

Some defenders will scream, "If they don't want it then they can uninstall it." But the simple reality is that your average computer buyer from Staples is 100% unable to uninstall it thus will have this software threatening them every time they look at the screen.

I don't know how many giant screens or kiosks that I have seen screaming about the subscription running out.

But then the next layer of pain is that nobody hardly trusts these popups. With people like myself saying, "For the love of all that is good don't buy that crap." So now how can they distinguish between some AV crap trying to scam them and just their OS telling them that they should install the update.

Then people like myself come along and see that they are about 3 years behind on their updates because they were to scared to ever OK the updates. Their Adobe Flash is 4 versions out of date and their browser is running a beta of this new Javascript thing. So the fear caused by the bloatware AV has now caused them to allow their machine to become woefully insecure.

The alternative is that they blindly trust everything that seems helpful resulting in so many toolbars that they are left with around 1 inch of working browser and their machine takes 5 minutes and 8 casino ads to boot up.

So to me these AV types are not just the scum they obviously are but an insidious destroyer of the PC industry.

The best part is how people have been leaping to smart-phones to get away from desktops that scare them only to find many of the Telcos have installed "Helpful" software that points to obscure music/ringtone services, custom search engines, and other things that no doubt send a kickback their way.

Re:But nobody can exaggerate how crappy (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 9 months ago | (#44367701)

The sad thing is, those same folks who are unable to uninstall their AV and finally give up and pay $60 for the subscription are the ones who are going to open up that attachment that seems to be from Aunt Sally that says "omg you have to see this so funny!!!" which will probably brick their machine when they don't head the warnings from the AV that the file is unsafe.

Re:But nobody can exaggerate how crappy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368219)

Infact AV trial crap can not be completely uninstalled.
The only way is to buy a fresh copy of Windows 8 (yes, my new computer is unable to run Windows 7, there are no drivers for the hardware anymore).

There was so much crap installed, that to create a factory install disk it asked me to get 8 DVDs. And it would take about 2 days to create this set of DVDs. WTF.

Another hideously obtuse comment gets voted up.... (1)

Kodack (795456) | about 9 months ago | (#44369791)

Thinking McAfee's security products are consumer virus scan is like thinking all Dells products are Best Buy laptops.

The simple fact is the majority of the product line up are non consumer and invisible to you. I'm not just talking about enterprise malware, I'm talking about IDS, IPS, SIEM, Solidifiers, Risk and Compliance, Encryption, etc.

The majority of the product line up and business model is corporate and government customers monitoring and blocking threats on the wire. Little or nothing to do with some rinky dinky bloatware on your walmart laptop.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 9 months ago | (#44367693)

One of McAfee's clients, the Department of Defense, has used the $1 trillion estimate to argue for an expansion of cybersecurity, including 13 new teams dedicated to cyberwarfare.

Clearly the DoD, when its job would clearly seen to be Defense, should march first towards cyberwarfare. I mean, who cares that the US Government's handling of cybersecurity is a joke? Nah, we need to attack those Chinese hackers now and hard. Because surely we can use highly paid, low in number hackers in the US--but only those that can hold onto a security clearance, not do drugs, and stomach actually working for "the man"--against a population 3x the size and with salaries a fraction of the cost per hacker with clearly a regime more interested in getting things done and looking the other way than simply finding yet another excuse to bloat the departments budget--presumably because that's handle different in China (ie, political and personal maneuvering to get funds with little focus on "reports"--although on second thought, that sounds awfully familiar).

But, then, I guess maybe the DoD is just really stupid? They think they can defend US computers with cyber-soldiers and cyber-tanks? They don't understand that a well constructed computer [fire]wall or access [panel] is basically indestructible (although there's always DDoS attacks)?Nah, it's hard to believe they're that stupid.

Re:The Best Defense is a Good Offense (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 9 months ago | (#44368503)

Well, you have to hand it to them...a cyber-war sounds a lot more juicy than a regular war -> less casualties (on your side), comfier seating and schedules, less risk, and better pay.

Of course, the reality is that a cyber-war is just the latest is the long series of handouts for defense contractors...more of an invention, really, than something substantial, and definitely not the way to go liberty-wise if you want to have any kids in the future and not regret it. But such is life.

The DoD, perhaps, is suffering from an inability, like many government agencies, of either hiring the right talent, or actually taking said advice one the talent is hired. Their network admins probably know several dozen ways until next Tuesday how to tighten security on their networks without impacting ease of use or efficiency, but are, in all likelihood, told to leave it to the security guys, or to do the plain minimal (because of policy). Going a step further, the network admins could even be so out of touch with control of their own networks, that they don't even get to decide what firewalls / switches / whatever are run on it (someone else, with purchasing authority, makes less than optimal purchases here, possibly).

hello (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368557)

my best friend's mother-in-law makes $74 every hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her pay check was $18367 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site........Buzz55.m

They're a SCAM (1)

longk (2637033) | about 9 months ago | (#44369231)

I used their PCI compliance program once. My server did not comply, but complaining to my account manager with McAfee got rid of all the warnings and errors. They care about the money only.

(Note: I never did store any customer information on this server. The goal of the PCI certificate was simply to see if it would benefit sales.)

of which McAfee constitutes 50% (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44369515)

The price people pay for McAfee and its competitors as well as the lost productivity and power consumption of McAfee and its competitors needs to be figured into that total.

3x or MASSIVE? (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 9 months ago | (#44369695)

Seems to me being off by a factor of 3 is not a "massive" mistake in calculating economic _estimates_.
There's a lot of guesswork involved.

The fact that everybody guesses in the best direction for their employer is not strange.
How many of the top 500 economists predicted the 2007 recession?. Many of them even said we weren't in a recession when we actually were.

btw, if you haven't disabled advertising, this particular thread on slashdot sends you wonderful offers from McAfee ;-)

is this new? (1)

beefoot (2250164) | about 9 months ago | (#44370099)

Have you read a news article that says police busted a weed house and got rid of $30 millions weed? Usually that $30 millions is the price of all grown up weeds selling at the top street price. They may only confiscated a few baby plants.

Never Underestimate Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44370259)

For the informed, and most IT minded individuals, AV is one of the most useless pieces of crap that most on here have clearly pointed out. However, for the average "dumb" user that is more than happy to click those links that come from people they don't know, it is absolutely one of those pieces of protection that is required. It certainly will never been a full proof system, but something is going to be exponentially better than nothing.

In the enterprise, McAfee does do a lot of things beyond just AV protections, many use it for their forensic investigations because of it's ability to get to a lot of the data that others don't have access to. When you talk about the usefulness of the product as well, we have to remember that it is very difficult to show how many "attacks" have been stopped simply by having AV there. At the end of the day, each line of defense that you put in place means that the adversary has to change their attack and look for another way in. AV is going to at least cause them to change their attack, that doesn't mean that AV is useless.

Take AV off, an most end users are going to popped within a few hours because they do everything they shouldn't.

It is an *estimate* (1)

home-electro.com (1284676) | about 9 months ago | (#44370943)

Intel's one is also estimate. There is no way to validate either one of them. And, they of the same order of magnitude, so it really is unfair to stipulate that McAfee exaggerated theirs.

Extremely difficult to quantify (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#44371369)

Say my home network gets hacked and all my data gets released into the wild. There's a tangible cost in time it would take me to change passwords, but how do you quantify costs of embarrassment or damage to your reputation? Say I've got some scathing criticisms of a family member or reprehensible views on some issue.

Can you put a price tag on the damage to Anthony Weiner from the leaked sexting conversations?

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