NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Measuring Cybercrime

March 22, 2000

The Computer Security Institute, in cooperation with the FBI, asked information systems professionals whether they had experienced crimes involving unauthorized use of their systems within the past 12 months: 70 percent of respondents reported that they had.

  • Some 59 percent cited an Internet connection as a frequent point of attack -- up from 38 percent as recently as 1996.
  • Disgruntled employees and independent hackers were blamed for more than three-quarters of the attacks -- followed by U.S. and foreign competitors and foreign governments.
  • Transfer of a virus was mentioned in 85 percent of cases -- followed by insider abuse of Internet access, unauthorized access by insiders and theft of a laptop.
  • Of the 72 percent of respondents who reported losses, 42 percent were willing to quantify them -- reporting total losses of $266 million.

Forty-four percent of the victims said they did not report the intrusion, usually due to concern about negative publicity.

Source: M.J. Zuckerman, "Criminals Hot on Money Trail to Cyberspace," USA Today, March 22, 2000.


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