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Study: Cyberattacks Cost Global Economy $445 Billion

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Trainees work in front of their computers at the 'Cyber Gym' center, where IT and infrastructure company employees train to defend against cyber attacks. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Trainees work in front of their computers at the ‘Cyber Gym’ center, where IT and infrastructure company employees train to defend against cyber attacks. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – According to a new study, cyberattacks cost the global economy about $445 billion.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies along with the security firm McAfee estimate that cyberattacks can also account for the loss of 350,000 jobs in the U.S. and Europe.

“Cybercrime is a growth industry,” the report said. “The returns are great, and the risks are low.”

The authors of the study gave a range of $375 billion to $575 billion, but were being conservative.

“The costs of cybercrime is going to continue to go up, barring a miracle,” Stewart Baker, a former Homeland Security official and co-author of the study told Phys.org.

Researchers had difficulty collecting data. “Maybe half of the companies that get hacked don’t tell the local police,” James Lewis, a CSIS fellow and co-author of the study, said at a forum where the study was unveiled. “Many governments don’t produce any data at all.

The researchers figured in the impact of hundreds of millions of people losing their identity in their cost of cyberattacks. “One estimate put the total number of victims at more than 800 million individual records in 2013,” the authors said in their report. “This alone could cost as much as $160 billion per year. Criminals still have difficulty turning stolen data into financial gain, but the constant stream of news contributes to a growing sense that cybercrime is out of control.”

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