NSA's $1 trillion dollar cybercrime 'greatest transfer of wealth in history' loss estimates

Credit: flick/Alan Cleaver

Loss totals derived from Symantec and McAfee, but researchers behind those numbers cry foul. Can we trust corporate-funded studies, and the NSA?

Speaking to the American Enterprise Institute last month, NSA head General Keith Alexander claimed cybercrime is the "greatest transfer of wealth in history." An excellent long-form investigative piece in ProPublica titled "Does Cybercrime Really Cost $1 Trillion?" digs deep into the sources of the loss estimates and finds them suspicious at best and fictional at worst.

Of course, this speech also included Alexander's assertion that, "We don't store data on U.S. citizens," when asked about the $2 billion data center being built in Bluffdale, Utah. Alexander also explained that tighter cybersecurity controls are "absolutely vital to the future of our country."

Agendas abound

What's nsa really after?

Anonymous on threatpost.com

Fear...it's a great selling tool! Buy now!

mindragon on zdnet.com

Basically, the problem is real, but the proposed solutions—surveillance and tracking, treating the world’s population like criminals while giving known abusive corporations broad immunity—are not going to work at all.

John on propublica.org

Why are we placing cybersecurity policy decision making in the hands of moronic idiots that we call senators and representatives?

f0real on threatpost.com

Threats and IP losses

The first is that “Intellectual Property” damage number is basically whatever Hollywood says it is. It’s how much income they CLAIM they’ve lost because someone watched a movie without paying for it.

John on propublica.org

"increasingly sophisticated threats, especially those posed by insecure mobile devices that are now the norm in U.S. enterprises" FUD anyone?

Brian G on threatpost.com

I have personal involvement with the types of events that the General is talking about. A big part of the transfer of wealth is theft of intellectual property. It is happening for real, on a massive scale. You don't hear about it because it is not useful to the companies for you to hear about it.

mihondo2012 on zdnet.com

Have you considered …

Actually, the federal government transferred $13 trillion U.S. to the Wall Street banks. Public to private.

Rabid Howler Monkey on zdnet.com

If you count electronic vote shifting to switch Presidential election results in favor of a neocon administration that would pursue wars of choice and financial deregulation, the cost of cybercrime must be a multiple of a trillion dollars.

Cliff Arnebeck on propublica.org

the greatest transfer of wealth was perpetrated by Wall Street execs a few years ago with the Financial Derivatives, Credit Default Swaps, Mortgage bundling, etc...

jkohut on zdnet.com

Do you trust the numbers used by General Keith Alexander? Why or why not?

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