The report from the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS) said cyber crime was a growth
industry that damaged trade, competitiveness and innovation.
A conservative estimate would be $375 billion in losses, while
the maximum could be as much as $575 billion, said the study,
sponsored by security software company McAfee.
"Cyber crime is a tax on innovation and slows the pace of global
innovation by reducing the rate of return to innovators and
investors," Jim Lewis of CSIS said in a statement.
"For developed countries, cyber crime has serious implications
The world's biggest economies bore the brunt of the losses, the
research found, with the toll on the United States, China, Japan
and Germany reaching $200 billion a year in total.
Losses connected to personal information, such as stolen credit
card data, was put at up to $150 billion.
About 40 million people in the United States, roughly 15 percent
of the population, has had personal information stolen by
hackers, it said, while high-profile breaches affected 54
million people in Turkey, 16 million in Germany and more than 20
million in China.
McAfee, owned by Intel Corp, said improved international
collaboration was beginning to show results in reducing cyber
crime, for example in the takedown last week of a crime ring
that infected hundreds of thousands of computers known by the
name of its master software, Gameover Zeus.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Pravin Char)
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