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The true cost of computer crime

Celeste Biever, New Scientist,
AS SOCIETY changes, so do the crimes that people commit. And as the internet takes on an ever more important role, computer crime is emerging as the misdemeanor of choice. But just who are the victims, and how much is it costing them?
Remarkably, perhaps, we don't know. But that is about to change as researchers start to investigate the real effects of computer crime. And they have come up with some surprises. While it is well known that attacking websites and networks can prove costly for those that own them, it also hits companies such as Microsoft and Cisco that released the vulnerable software exploited by the hackers. That could provide a much-needed incentive for software vendors to produce more secure code. These attacks are also not necessarily as costly as their victims may claim, a finding which should help businesses decide how much to invest in security technologies. ...
Andy Ozment, who researches vulnerability disclosure at the University of Cambridge, has presented data to WEIS showing there is an 8 per cent chance that one or more people will independently discover the same vulnerability before it is patched. Ozment analyzed the source code of OpenBSD, an open-source operating system that runs many web servers.
Updates to OpenBSD are recorded, and by looking for the exact date on which the software was patched, Ozment has been able to create his own database of vulnerabilities. This database, he says, shows that the number of vulnerabilities decreases as a result of disclosure, which encourages people to patch their computer systems.
He now plans to create a model that vendors such as Microsoft could use to evaluate the costs and benefits of disclosing vulnerabilities. A key parameter will be the average time it takes for two people to independently find a software flaw. "The likelihood of rediscovery is a really important factor," he says. If it happens quickly, vendors should release patches straight away. If it takes weeks or months, then it will be better for software firms to bundle many vulnerabilities into one big patch. These are harder for attackers to exploit, and easier for system administrators to install than a succession of patches. Software vulnerabilities are not the only facet of computer security whose cost businesses would like to quantify.
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Basic rights under The Fair Credit Reporting Act

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America Asleep at the Keyboard as Cyber Warfare Gets Real

Freepress Online
“When you look at the patterns, the crimes that have been committed in the past, it's all there,” said Alperovitch. “In the end, these are humans that are doing this in the intelligence service. You have 22-year-old cadets, whether it is in the United ...
America Asleep at the Keyboard as Cyber Warfare Gets Real

WannaCry, NotPetya and the New Age of Cyber Warfare

SC Magazine
On the flip side, business models have emerged to deal with a certain level of cyber crime and theft of intellectual property. Banks, for example, accept a certain level of fraud as a cost of doing business. One can even insure against cyber theft at ...
WannaCry, NotPetya and the New Age of Cyber Warfare