Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cybercrime Now Worth $105 Billion, Bypasses Drug Trade

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-your-mom-said-computers-would-never-be-important dept.

Security 177

Stony Stevenson writes "Citing recent highly publicized corporate data breaches that have beset major companies like Ameritrade, Citigroup, and Bank of America, McAfee CEO David DeWalt, said that cyber-crime has become a US$105 billion business that now surpasses the value of the illegal drug trade worldwide. Despite the increase in government compliance requirements and the proliferation of security tools, companies continue to underestimate the threat from phishing, data loss, and other cyber vulnerabilities, DeWalt said. 'Worldwide data losses now represent US$40 billion in losses to affected companies and individuals each year, DeWalt says. But law enforcement's ability to find, prosecute, and punish criminals in cyberspace has not kept up: "If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online," DeWal remarked. "The cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting cyber-criminals is just not there."'"

cancel ×

177 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

McAfee? (4, Insightful)

parcel (145162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663549)

McAfee CEO David DeWalt, said that cyber-crime has become a US$105 billion business that now surpasses the value of the illegal drug trade worldwide.
erm, conflict of interest?

Bypasses drug trade? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20663595)

Bypass: A means of circumvention.
Surpass: To be or go beyond, as in degree or quality; exceed.

Re:Bypasses drug trade? (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663865)

Maybe that means the drug trade is worth more, but cybercrime bypassed it! Those dastardly hackers!

Re:McAfee? (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663597)

erm, conflict of interest?

McAfee

Only if McAfee is committing cybercrimes. I wonder if McAfee and Symantec were on the same system if they would report each other as addware? Of course, such a system would have no memory left do make such a report, so...

Re:McAfee? (0, Offtopic)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663609)

^^^

Use the Preview Button!

Don't try to change me, slashdot.

Re:McAfee? (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663881)

3 or 4 years ago this was the case, if you had more than 1 AV installed it norton would sometimes report the other program as suspicious software.
Very similar to ad aware and spybot of a couple years ago, 1 would always report the other as spyware and/or adware.

Hey Wait (1)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664439)

So now that there's better money in cybercrime than in drug trafficking, does that mean that now everyone involved in drugs is a loser instead of everyone except the higher-ups in the trafficking organisation?

Sounds scary (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663555)

Considering the international nature of the Internet and the ability to hack from just about anywhere, including extradition-free countries, it seems like anyone could become a cybercriminal and make billions of dollars.

Does O'Reilly or Manning have a book on how to become a cybercriminal? Besides the Camel, I mean.

Re:Sounds scary (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663751)

I'm sure O'Reilly has books on how to become a hacker cybercriminal. I mean, on how to combat hacker cybercriminals. *cough*

It is scary. AV coordination is suspicious though (4, Informative)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663941)

The BBC has a nice write up [slashdot.org] on how open and inviting the world of cybercrime is. Tools are passed around and improved and auctioned along with the results, according to William Beer, of Symantec. The scene is booming, with almost double the number of new threats in the first six months of 2007 as in the last of 2006.

Arbor Networks is reporting the same boom from the ISP perspective [slashdot.org] , and thinks the infrastructure of the internet itself is in danger.

Darkreading [slashdot.org] details some of the sophistication of the attacks, from an IT perspective as reported by MessageLabs.

Hmmm. Symantec, MessageLabs, McAffe, all at once reporting the same thing. Not to downplay the threat, but is a new version of Windows out?

Re:It is scary. AV coordination is suspicious thou (2, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664067)

Not to downplay the threat, but is a new version of Windows out?

Yes, thankfully. It's been out for 8 months, it has twice [hitslink.com] the market share of Linux and OS X combined, and it's much more secure than the one it's replacing.

BTW, I think it's funny that you'd give so much weight to companies that you've referred to in the past as "snake oil vendors".

Given the fact that the vast majority of computers on botnets are there because of user action instead of exploited vulnerabilities, I fail to see what a new version of Windows has to do with this or not. People will infect a mainframe if the given the chance and someone can be bothered to write the malware for it. Hmmm. BonzyBuddy for OS/390 must be quite an experience. I wonder if it runs on InfoMan...

Re:It is scary. AV coordination is suspicious thou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664367)

that woosh is the sound of unstated cynicism flying over your head.

Penalties are not that much lower (1)

The_Fire_Horse (552422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663557)

I've heard that penalties for white collar crime were a lot harsher than real life crimes.

You can beat someone almost to death and take their wallet, and get minimal time, but steal money from a corporation online and expect a much harsher sentence.

Re:Penalties are not that much lower (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663583)

Oh yeah.

That Conrad Black will be facing a real "three strikes" kind of deal!

Now expect (3, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663561)

The covert Government support of CyberCrime by "intelligence" agencies, and the monopoly of profits from this - just like the drug trade.

Too bad the CIA can't destroy the black urban population of America with phishing spam, like they did to the brothers ad sisters with drugs in the 70's and 80's.

Maybe this isn't true (2, Insightful)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663569)

Maybe drug dealers are getting smarter.

Re:Maybe this isn't true (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663767)

Maybe drug dealers are getting smarter.

Maybe drug dealers are just using cyberspace now, thus making this whole thread a practice in futility.

Re:Maybe this isn't true (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663795)

No, this just means we're finally achieving victory in our War on Drugs!

Re:Maybe this isn't true (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664563)

Zonk is also achieving victory in his war on the English Language! (Hint: the word is not bypass)

Re:Maybe this isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664705)

Lets all smoke a bowl to celebrate!

Uhhh, wtf? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663593)

"If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online," DeWal remarked. "The cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting cyber-criminals is just not there."
Yeah, it's the difference between a violent crime and shifting some numbers from one table in a database to another.

What an idiot.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20663863)

Not really. And it says more about "real" crime laws than cyber crime laws. In some states, three counts of felony theft (stuff like shoplifting, no need for violence) means you go to prison for life.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663911)

Is it really that clear-cut that violent crimes should be punished more harshly than non-violent "white collar" crimes? An employee of a 7-11 who gets held up suffers some stress (unless he gets shot, but that's rare) and the company loses a few hundred dollars. I would say that people responsible for the Enron fraud for example caused much greater suffering to more people (who lost their life savings, pensions etc) than a crackhead who robs a 7-11.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663981)

The purpose of prisons is to separate those who are a danger to society from society.

As much as I believe those responsible for the Enron disaster are a danger to society, they can be neutralized simply by prohibiting them from being directors of companies ever again.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (2, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664107)

The purpose of prisons is to separate those who are a danger to society from society.

There is a bit more to it than that. In all countries there is a retributive element in the justice system, i.e. making the punishment proportional to the severity of the crime. If your statement were true, anyone who commits a crime and can show that they are not able to commit that crime again should just be let go.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664135)

Yeah, the whole "we'll be complete assholes to you so that other people think twice before doing what you did" thing. It's barbaric.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (4, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664415)

Sadly, some incentive to others to not follow in the person's footsteps is often helpful. Many people aren't fundamentally good - they're fundamentally selfish, and any legal system that doesn't take this into account is doomed to failure.

If I had some way to push a button and take one dollar from every American in the country, with a 5% chance of getting caught and no penalty besides losing the money I'd gained, I'd honestly probably push it. If the penalty was instead 80 years in prison, I wouldn't. Penalties are important.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664471)

As much as I believe those responsible for the Enron disaster are a danger to society, they can be neutralized simply by prohibiting them from being directors of companies ever again.
Well, you do have a point, just that after Ken Lay received the Aspen Pardon(dying before sentencing), neutralization went out the window.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663969)

Robbery isn't necessarily violent, although he probably should have used home burglary as a better example. It does seem ridiculous that "white collar" crimes are less penalized since any one case typically affects many more people than any one burglary.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664029)

Robbery isn't necessarily violent
Huh? Then it's not robbery.

although he probably should have used home burglary as a better example
You're suggesting that burglary is the same thing as robbery?

Ok...

It does seem ridiculous that "white collar" crimes are less penalized since any one case typically affects many more people than any one burglary.
Larceny, whether committed via burglary or fraud or hacking carries the same penalty, determined by the value of the goods stolen. Burglary may carry other penalties, like trespass, or entering a domicile while the occupants are home, or damaging the property.. but that's just co-incidental.

Uhhh, wtf?-Harsher Downloads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664057)

"Yeah, it's the difference between a violent crime and shifting some numbers from one table in a database to another."

Indeed. What's your PIN number again?

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664197)

If you are an athiest, where life is defined only by what you make of it, the trickle-down effect of millions lost is far more devastating and troubling than some poor replaceable schmuck getting offed for a few hundred bucks from a 7-11 register.

So, to those people, violent crime is a stupid distinction.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664225)

So you're saying that atheists are required to value money more than life.

yah.

   

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

cyclepathology (782819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664303)

Ah, come on! Admit it! Everyone, just for once, admit that all those stereotypes and straw men are true and accurate reflections of reality. Something like: "I'm a Christian and while I haven't eaten a child all day, I must admit that one would certainly hit the spot right about now." Or: "I'm an atheist. You can tell by the 'Will commit murder for a quarter.' sign around my neck." This is slashdot, we KNOW the truth anyway. No reason to hide it.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664467)

No, I'm saying exactly what I said in my post. The effect of the millions may be felt by the athiest, but the effect of the 7-11 will not. Therefore, lacking any connection to the 7-11, the trickle-down of the millions is more important.

This was in response, mind you, to a post where someone attacked another poster for pointing out that the 7-11 crime would be prosecuted more harshly than the internet "nobody can get hurt" crime.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (2, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664431)

If the lost money causes two people to starve to death, or 100 people to die one year earlier than otherwise due to slightly inferior medical care, then you could easily argue that the lost millions is indeed a great cost than a single murder.

If you want a real challenge, try to figure out exactly how much emotional pain and depression is equivalent to one murder.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664267)

Shooting someone violates old deep seated morality. Moving data does not. Check out the portion on the inner chimp [wnyc.org] .

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664291)

Yeah, it's the difference between a violent crime and shifting some numbers from one table in a database to another.

What if shifting numbers results in a riot or suicide ?

Say if, someone "shifts some numbers" on the stock market, an investor loses everything he has because of this shift & hangs himself, could that be considered violent crime ?

What if someone alters a news release on a company website to artificially decrease the value of that companies stock & it causes a riot ?


Cybercrime has the potential to effect alot more lives than your everyday 7-11 robery.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664345)

Blah. Both people who suicide and people who riot are responsible for their own actions.

If erroneous data is all it takes to make people riot then they don't belong in society.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664393)

You're obviously too young to understand the concept of innocent bystanders, sorry to have pissed in your cherios kid.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

thetan (725014) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664381)

Exactly. Most courts put a higher premium on our physical integrity and well-being than mere money. Consider what is implicitly being advocated: the harshness of punishment is proportional to the amount stolen, not the violence threatened.

Would anyone be happy to see a pickpocket who steals $50 receive a harsher punishment than someone who threatens to rape you and cut your throat to steal $10? What sort of warped values would you need to have to accept that proposition?

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664391)

It's the difference between a potentially violent crime and shifting some numbers from one table in a database to another.

Or to place bias evenly...

It's the difference between a crime of the possibility of slightly disrupting the function of some organic matter and shifting numbers from one table in a database to another.

Re:Uhhh, wtf? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664459)

Sorry, but armed robbery isn't "potentially violent".. it's violent.

This number (5, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663613)

...sounds like it was pulled out of someone's ass. I don't deny that there's a problem, but what concerns me is that this "number" could very well become another excuse for the government to pursue "solutions" that are even more invasive than our current crop of 9/11-related idiocy.

Re:This number (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663747)

but what concerns me is that this "number" could very well become another excuse for the government to pursue "solutions" that are even more invasive than our current crop of 9/11-related idiocy.

      Everyone knows those cyber-terrorists are building weapons of mass destruction. You are either with us or against us, you liberal cyber-terrorist facilitator...

      You know, the scary thing is it's almost not even funny anymore.

Re:This number (1)

ammonynous (1119371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663907)

That must be why you got modded insightful...

Re:This number (2, Funny)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663813)

but what concerns me is that this "number" could very well become another excuse for the government to pursue "solutions"

Oh, the "war on cybercrime" is just a campaign slogan away from reality. Are you ready for random searches of your hard drive? With my luck, a random search of my hard drive would reveal trace amounts of cocaine.

How to make a number up (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663841)

Exactly how does cybercrime cost almost $20 for every man, woman and child on the planet? There must be some creative accounting going on here.

If the RIAA are involved in creating the stats, then they're probably using their $750 per track damages. If MS does the same thing for pirated versions of Office (probably $10000 per copy) etc, then just the piracy part of cybercrime would add up pretty quickly.

Bottom line: This sounds like a number that has been created to support some proposed course of action.

Re:How to make a number up (4, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663937)

There must be some creative accounting going on here.

They're including sales of Windows Vista. If releasing that thing to the market isn't a crime, I don't know what is.

(Ba dump bump.)

Re:This number (5, Interesting)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663901)

...sounds like it was pulled out of someone's ass.
Absolutely! When a thief robs a liquor store of $1000, he actually has the money, and the store has really lost the money. Now let me relay something I learned from a lecture I attended by a wekll-know former hacker a few years ago; He had used social engineering to obtain a copy of some cell-phone infrastructure s/w from a large, well-known high-tech company. He later learned that when the cops questioned the mgt of the company, they wanted a dollar amount of the damages. When the mgt hesitated about how to determine the damages, the cops asked: "So what did it cost to develop it?" And that was the number they used! The hacker had done nothing but use social engineering to persuade an employee to FedEx him a copy of the s/w which he kept, but did nothing with it. He never even broke into a single computer, nor ever distributed the s/w, nor did any kind of damage. But in their zeal to pump this up into a big case, the cops used the completely bogus multi-million dollar cost of the project and charged him with that dollar amount of (non-existent) damage.

Re:This number (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664531)

Yeah this number is way too low, $105 Billion is about the expected loss for a record company if you just downloaded a song of theirs from a torrent!

Shift emphasis (4, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663627)

Legalize drugs for consenting adults, and put the crime-fighting resourses to use stopping cybercrime.

Re:Shift emphasis (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663799)

Legalize drugs for consenting adults, and put the crime-fighting resourses to use stopping cybercrime.

Yeah, but you know their solution is to just trump up a third never-ending war. In addition to the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror", we'll have the "war on netcrime" which will result in nothing less than an increase in the rate of usurpation of powers by the Federal government.

Re:Shift emphasis (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663939)

Don't forget the war on copying.

We could probably make this easier by just call them all "the war on freedom".

Re:Shift emphasis (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663843)

Legalize drugs for consenting adults

I think you have your vices mixed up a little bit, there Harmonious.

- "Do you consent to these drugs, baby?"

- "Yes. Can we have sex now?"

Re:Shift emphasis (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663967)

Did you just refer to sex as a vice?

Only on Slashdot..

Re:Shift emphasis (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664077)

Did you just refer to sex as a vice?

Only on Slashdot

In the general sinful naughtiness usage, not the illegal act usage. And you have to read the comment with your head tilted to one side. I guess I should have made that more clear. Thought it was just understood.

Re:Shift emphasis (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664423)

Even better: legalise cybercrime and put the crime-fighting resources into tax rebates.

Punishments... (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663637)

"If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online,"

Like... distributing a mp3 on a P2P network?

Re:Punishments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664185)

"If you rob a 7-11 you'll get a much harsher punishment than if you stole millions online,"


If you rob a 7-11 you should get a stiffer punishment. Doesn't matter that the payout is much less, you put lives at risk. Robbery's a violent crime and should result in serious time.

A cybercriminal should certainly see some jail time as well as loss of assetts but it's not a violent crime and shouldn't be punished as such.

Windows to blame? (2, Insightful)

Orthuberra (1145497) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663649)

Maybe they wouldn't be hacked so much if they used a secure operating system?

This must mean... (5, Funny)

NeoSkink (737843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663657)

We're winning the drug war! That's the only way to explain such low numbers!

Maybe we'd better start a war on cyber crime too, seeing how the drug war has been so successful!

Drugs vs Cybercrime (4, Insightful)

RancidPickle (160946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663663)

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Why risk getting 'capped' picking up ten bricks of heroin, risk getting snagged at some border transporting the bricks, and getting it home, just to get shot by your partner, when you could sit at some Starbucks, sipping a Venti White Chocolate Mocha and rake in tens of thousands of dollars.

Pushing ones and zeros are safer than pushing dope. No wonder organized crime has delved into the digital world.

Re:Drugs vs Cybercrime (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664363)

Pushing ones and zeros are safer than pushing dope. No wonder organized crime has delved into the digital world.

Does that mean my local dealer is going away?

The Courts (4, Insightful)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663671)

I agree that cybercrime is a huge problem (although I don't buy that it's more of a problem than illegal drug trade). At the very least, it is a crime on a lesser level because no one is placed in danger of physical harm through it's effects.

Cybercrime, as well as other crimes, should be punished according to the level of damage caused.

With that in mind, the current US court systems cannot seem to wrap their heads around the tactics and ideas put forth in the discovery period of civil copyright cases. There is a common misunderstanding or complete lack of understanding on the part of most of society in the ways of computers and networking.

At this point, I doubt very seriously that most of the accused and prosecutors have the knowledge or ability to fairly fight a cybercrime court case.

In physical, there is always some level of evidence present to tie a suspect to the crime. In the land of computers, it's much more difficult to do so. Where a physical bank robber can wear a mask or clothing to conceal identifying aspects of his physical person. But there remains at the scene hairs, fibers, eyewitness accounts, surveillance tapes and other evidence that helps to narrow down the criminal.

With cybercrime, the 'break-in' can happen from thousands of miles away without the perpetrator ever setting foot, or having ever previously set foot on the premises. There is no physical description, no chemical or biological evidence left behind. The attack could come from a public terminal at a library, or even someone's open (or hijacked) wireless access point. Through the use of zombie computers, the attack could come from my mother's computer.

How can we expect to catch, let alone prosecute cybercriminals without special law enforcement and prosecution/defense attorneys and judges capable of fairly trying people like my mother or the guy who used her computer to break into the Bank of America system?

Re:The Courts (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663731)

With cybercrime, the 'break-in' can happen from thousands of miles away without the perpetrator ever setting foot, or having ever previously set foot on the premises. There is no physical description, no chemical or biological evidence left behind.

      The money has to go SOMEWHERE, otherwise there's no point. Follow the money.

Re:The Courts (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663781)

What about in a case where no money is stolen, but rather credit card numbers and SSNs?

Likely the person who makes use of that information is not the same person who stole it. Even if that's the case, how many different places can you go to swipe someone's name, SSN and even DOB? Until recent years, universities used SSNs as student ID numbers.

If money goes from account A to account B, sure follow the money. When bits and bytes with no direct monetary value goes missing from one place, who's to say that where it ends up is anywhere having to do anything with the initial crime?

Re:The Courts (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664261)

>don't buy that it's more of a problem than illegal drug trade). At the very least, it is
>a crime on a lesser level because no one is placed in danger of physical harm through it's effects.

That is faulty reasoning. You are thinking that dealing drugs is worse than theft because the "damage done" is worse (at least with harder drugs like cocaine and heroin). However, you aren't considering *responsibility*.

If a free person does something to harm themselves, it is no crime. It is just foolish and being a fool can be no crime, or the president and all of congress would be made felons. The state has no business protecting people from themselves. If someone steals from a free person, that is a crime because they are harming someone else. The state does have a responsibility to keep people from harming each other, although it seems to execute this poorly.

A free adult who purchases and abuses dangerous substances of his own free will bears total responsibility for his own actions. The drug seller cannot be held liable for damages done to the purchaser, unless the seller misled the purchaser into believing that there were no dangerous side effects to his products.

To say that this doesn't reflect the law, is to merely say that we don't live in a very free or just society, which should be news to no one.

Re:The Courts (1)

paulmer2003 (922657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664707)

I agree that cybercrime is a huge problem (although I don't buy that it's more of a problem than illegal drug trade).
It isn't a problem. Consenting adults should be able to do whatever the fuck they want with their bodies. Detox facilities and the like should be available to those with addiction.

Fabricated Numbers (4, Insightful)

Rothfuss (47480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663685)

I don't want to belittle the impact of cyber-crime, but this $105 Billion number is just fabricated to make the problem look large. On the other hand, the numbers for drug trade are basically an estimated amount of drug sales.

Drug numbers are *real* numbers. They still may not be accurate, but at least they represent the summation of finite transactions - like the global automobile trade, or the global whale oil trade. It is a sales number.

Cyber crime is a 'damages' number. Like the woman that spilled hot coffee on her leg and sued McDonalds for several million dollars in 'damages'... and at least she had a specific amount of damages ruled in her favor. The trumped up cyber-crime numbers... along with the RIAA numbers... are just manufactured because it is handy to provide very large numbers if you are on the side of the people producing the numbers.

What I would like to see is how many $$s were actually phished last year? How much did the Nigerians actually rake in by claiming to be my/your/her/his brother in law or trusted barrister?

Chump change (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664005)

We spent 87 Billion on the first year of war with Iraq. We managed to misplace 9 billion of it. We spend 400 Billion just on interest on the national debt. 105 billion? Chump change. But... from a jobs standpoint:

$105,000,000,000/$65,000=1,615,384 new tech jobs! So... If you can't make it legitimately because your job was shipped to India, there's always CyberCrime Inc. Now hiring 1.6 million techies. ;)

All kidding aside, I agree completely. Totally fabricated numbers. That would be a ten mile high stack of $1000 bills. If that kind of money was going out the doors, there'd be no end to new onshore tech jobs dedicated solely to defending against the threat. It would be major news, not a "slow news day" blurb on Slashdot.

Re:Fabricated Numbers (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664049)

I don't want to belittle the impact of cyber-crime, but this $105 Billion number is just fabricated to make the problem look large.
I'm leaning in that direction also... Especially because of something in TFA.

"[McAfee CEO] DeWalt said that cyber-crime has become a US$105 billion business ... Worldwide data losses now represent US$40 billion in losses to affected companies and individuals each year"

So are they really saying that cybercrime is a $65 billion business with $40 billion in collateral damages?

If that's how they're playing the numbers, then you can easily jack up the cost to society of drugs, just add in hospital bills, lost worker productivity, $$ of stolen/damaged property that can be linked to drug crime, etc etc etc. Those easily qualify as "losses to affected companies and individuals".

Re:Fabricated Numbers (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664051)

Exactly, and I would like to hear what else is included in this $105 bil. The total amount of money companies spend on data security, virus protection etc? The article doesn't say but it wouldn't surprise me. That would be a) closer to matching a number like that b) completely pointless. You might as well count the cost of all the locks, security guards and alarms in the world and call it the cost of burglaries.

Here's Another Reason: Cybercrime Pays (4, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663699)

You know what your hourly wage works out as any dealer not on top of the local pyramid? Check out Freakonomics, its an interesting case study. Using one gang's meticulously kept accounting records, they estimated the average dealer makes a bit more than minimum wage. Oh, and for that he has a 25% chance of death or imprisonment over an N month interval. (I can't remember what N was but, yikes, for 25% it wouldn't matter if it were 120!)

Compare this to cybercrime. I have been, at points in the past, a spam researcher. At the time, I lurked in spammer forums to get an idea of what the enemy is thinking. Ignoring the "I make a million a month and own a fleet of cars and a harem" boasting, and just focusing on the deals that were offered and consumated there, it is clear that cybercrime makes Serious Money especially by the standards of the locales where some criminals hang out. A single script to clean a spam mailing list, which is what, two or three hours of work, costs about a month worth of a legit Russian programmer's wages.

Or take a look at the opportunities for low-level criminals in the US, like "cashers". A casher is the guy at the end of the identity theft chain who gets the only risky job: turning the swiped data into money. (Phisher turns credentials over to casher, casher gets money, pays phisher.) He has a non-zero chance of his photo ending up on camera. For this, he gets perhaps 35% of the take from the scam. 35% of the banking account of say a lower-middle class family is easily thousands of dollars. No drugs in your pocket, no guns in your face, and no dedicated squad of police officers busting into your apartment at 1:00 in the morning if you get sold out by a buddy.

Why would you sell drugs if you weren't using, given these risk-vs-reward scenarios?

Re:Here's Another Reason: Cybercrime Pays (1)

intelinsight (992905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664497)

Why would you sell drugs if you weren't using, given these risk-vs-reward scenarios?

Because, perhaps, there is a cyber criminal who has made millions and now wants to spend them on pleasurable things like drugs! If there is a demand then someone needs to address it, to fulfill his/her own needs, under his/her own 'convenient' circumstances: the drug dealer in this case.

Oh noes, another war... (0, Redundant)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663701)

The war on drugs and the war on terrorism is not enough, so they need yet another war... war on cybercrimes, they got to use up all those tax moneys somewhere!

Allow me to puke on yet another statistics based "news article" whith sole purpose of conditioning the general public like they do with the war on drugs and the like.

ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20663745)

why hasn't anyone linked MS to this? surely being the target for nearly 99% of the botnets out there and the majority of cyber crime being directed at it you'd think someone would connect the two. it's a 105 billion dollar thing when MS doesn't make even half that, therefore MS hurts the economy more than it helps it

Bypasses? (2, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663753)

Cybercrime passes, or even surpasses drug trade but I don't know why you think cybercrime "goes around" drug trade.

Forgive me for being an English Nazi but jeez Louise, have they now outsourced Slashdot editing to people who don't speak English?

Snark (4, Funny)

ewhac (5844) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663763)

"Dear Customer,

"Thank you for your correspondence dated 17 May 2001, 22 January 2002, 8 July 2004, 14 March 2006, and 19 September 2007, requesting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation enforce existing wire fraud statutes with at least the same vigor with which we enforce non-violent drug posession statutes. Upon review, we regret to inform you that your requests to date were not of the form required by this authority.

"Please re-submit your request according to the traditionally established procedure. The most recent edition of this procedure may be obtained from the office of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). Your request may be filed at any Republican party field office. Please enclose with your request a cashier's check made payable to the Republican National Committee in the sum of no less than fifteen million (15,000,000) US dollars or equivalent sum in easily-convertible currency excepting Euros. Please do not enclose cash.

"We pride ourselves on providing our customers the best and most convenient law enforcement service possible, and look forward to receiving your request."

Re:Snark (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664551)

easily-convertible currency
Would you like that in dollars, rubles, yuan, yen, pounds sterling, Australian dollars, US jobs, university admissions, no-bid contracts, or members of Congress?

As of this post(excluding Iraqi dinars):
15 million USD = 379.977708 million Russian rubles
15 million USD = 112.819279 million Chinese yuan
15 million USD = 1.72651934 billion Japanese yen
15 million USD = 7.4940048 million British pounds
15 million USD = 17.8507676 million Australian dollars

right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20663771)

But law enforcement's ability to find, prosecute, and punish criminals in cyberspace has not kept up
I think these companies should focus on their own security policies instead of trying to blame data loss on law enforcement. TBH, this feels like some kind of trick, perhaps someone is grasping for an excuse to "build a better, more secure internet".

Surpasses US market, not global (2, Informative)

fafalone (633739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663801)

The value of the global illegal drug trade is upwards of $300-500 billion by most estimates (and at least 150-200 by almost all others); of which the US market makes up about $60-100bn. Why is fact checking virtually non-existent with anything related to drug prohibition? And the other tactic, deceptive use of statistics, such as implying the $90bn maximum value of the trade is the entire value based and neglecting to mention that's only the wholesale market, is equally acceptable in even the most reputable publications. Why? Oh yeah, because virtually every actual fact contradicts the political consensus that prohibition is the best way to deal with the harms drugs create.

How do you divide 105 B$ ? (2, Funny)

hernick (63550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663867)

Divide 105 B$ between these kinds of cyber-crime:

x B$ stolen from e-mail users who have to work through deluges of spam
x B$ stolen from drug companies by thieves who sell illegal generics online
x B$ stolen from software vendors by digital-high-seas pirates
x B$ stolen from the RIAA and the MPAA by the common man who won't pay retail price
x B$ stolen from bookstores by project Gutenberg
x B$ stolen from encyclopedia makers by Wikipedia users
x B$ stolen from McAfee and other security vendors by Linux and OS X users
x B$ stolen from buggy-whip makers by car drivers

McAfee is here to help: your computer will be safe from all these cyber-crime enablers.

Re:missed one.. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664409)

x B$ stolen from Microsoft and SCO and others by Linux and OS X users

Wow. (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20663953)

There must be more of me. Because my personal share is not going up that much.

From the 419 Grammar Nanny (0, Troll)

HaveNoMouth (556104) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664035)

This has got to be the sloppiest 419 I've ever read. Many things were unclear, such as
  • Whether Mr. DeWalt was alive or deceased;
  • Why his US$105 billion could not easily be transferred out of the country. Although you hint at "cross-border sophistication in tracking and arresting..." I would still prefer a more explicit explanation of the difficulty.
  • What you are offering as my percentage for assisting you with the transfer;
  • Where I should reply with my acceptance of your offer.
I also note the absence of a pleasant, disarming greeting at the top, and the phrase "May the blessings of God be with you" at the end. Those are pretty much mandatory.

Please correct these mistakes and try again.

lol (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664061)

TFA goes to show that the data (if such a thing exists) doesn't lie. The stoop heads spinning it do.

Victimless Crime (1)

Mike610544 (578872) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664117)

It's interesting that the comparison is between something that is, to the end-user, consensual in one case and not in the other, and in the consensual case 100 (1000?) times more resources are expanded to stop it.

Victimless Stupidity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664231)

"It's interesting that the comparison is between something that is, to the end-user, consensual in one case and not in the other, and in the consensual case 100 (1000?) times more resources are expanded to stop it."

Well here we go again. New to you, bud. Not all drug situations are victimless. And even if it's just you? I really don't want to get up at three in the morning and drive down to load your ass into the meat wagon. So do us both a favour and don't do drugs.

Not True (2, Informative)

klblastone (972628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664139)

Cybercrime alarmists have been saying this for two years, but it's simply not true. The United Nations drug statistics indicate that the global market for illicit substances is approximately $322 billion. More information here: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051129-5648.html [arstechnica.com]

ugh (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664169)

Problems:

A) Pulling numbers out of ass.
It's crime. Criminals don't pay taxes. Where did this revenue estimate come from? Surely not from the IRS or the criminals' accounting department.

B) Playing the victim card.
The "victims" of "cybercrime" are almost always entirely at fault due to gross negligence. We shouldn't cry for people (or businesses) that cause themselves harm... especially if the "crime" involves losing a laptop filled with private data.

C) Trying to present something old as new.
It's not theft, it's cybercrime! It's not stalking, it's cyberstalking! It's not beating off, it's cybersex.

Lastly, SOX is a worthless piece of legislative bullshit.

Drug Dealers (3, Funny)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664247)

The drug dealers just need to move their whole business online, then they'll be on top again!

Imagine IRC channels dedicated to the drug trade! /me is ready to meet in the alley behind the liquor store

self-evident self-interest (1)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664377)

A man who stands to directly benefit from our fear of the cyberevil is telling us that said cyberevil is a) epic, b) growing in excess of other epic evils we are familiar with, and c) being grossly underestimated by everyone. Fantastic. Where's the credibility? We don't really need to attack his figures - the intractable flaw in the analysis is that his interpretation of them will never be without the looming spectre of disingenuousness, even if we cannot pinpoint it. Let's hear from people who aren't in line to make a few hundred million in salary, perks and bonuses if this ruse goes off without a hitch.

Short memory? (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664389)

Just go back two articles and we see that the industry lied blatantly about the $40 billion losses of piracy in Canada, and that such numbers are hard or impossible to obtain. And in other news "cyber-crime has become a US$105 billion business"...

Do we ever learn?

I don't think that word means what you think (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664447)

"Bypass", v: to avoid something by going around it.

I think the word you're looking for is "surpass" (to do or be better than).

(Definitions taken from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary [cambridge.org] .)

inflated numbers (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664503)

That is nonsense. they are using grossly over inflated numbers. Kind of like when the RIAA claims they are being damaged by people downloading music.

I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664561)

do not welcome our cybercrime overlords.

imagine... (1)

Cr0t (963724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664595)

ordering blow with IRC... suddenly you have some dude at your door with a mirror and a razor blade.

bitching

WAR!!!! (2, Interesting)

s1oan (992550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664627)

I see it coming... We had a war on drugs, a war on terror and soon we'll have a war on cybercrime. What country must be invaded this time?

inf0rmative nigganigga (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664687)

flaws in the BSD c7othes or be a
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>