FBI: Viruses, spyware, other computer-related crimes cost U.S. businesses $67.2 billion per year

The new 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey is the FBI’s largest survey on such issues to date. The survey—developed and analyzed with the help of leading public and private authorities on cyber security—is based on responses from a cross-section of more than 2,000 public and private organizations in four states.

Among the key findings:
• Frequency of attacks. Nearly nine out of 10 organizations experienced computer security incidents in a year’s time; 20% of them indicated they had experienced 20 or more attacks.
• Types of attacks. Viruses (83.7%) and spyware (79.5%) headed the list. More than one in five organizations said they experienced port scans and network or data sabotage.
• Financial impact. Over 64% of the respondents incurred a loss. Viruses and worms cost the most, accounting for $12 million of the $32 million in total losses.
• Sources of the attacks. They came from 36 different countries. The U.S. (26.1%) and China (23.9%) were the source of over half of the intrusion attempts, though masking technologies make it difficult to get an accurate reading.
• Defenses. Most said they installed new security updates and software following incidents, but advanced security techniques such as biometrics (4%) and smart cards (7%) were used infrequently. In addition, 44% reported intrusions from within their own organizations, suggesting the need for strong internal controls.
• Reporting. Just 9% said they reported incidents to law enforcement, believing the infractions were not illegal or that there was little law enforcement could or would do. Of those reporting, however, 91% were satisfied with law enforcement’s response. And 81% said they’d report future incidents to the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. Many also said they were unaware of InfraGard, a joint FBI/private sector initiative that battles computer crimes and other threats through information sharing.
• Bruce Verduyn—a special agent in Houston’s Cyber Squad, which administered the survey-said that this new survey differs from the annual CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI. “We surveyed about three times as many organizations and focused more on new technologies, where attacks originated, and how organizations responded,” he said.

Agent Verduyn believes the survey is a clear sign of the urgent need for vigilance against both internal and external cyber assaults. Frank Abagnale, security consultant and subject of the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” echoed those comments, saying: “Every company, both large and small, should study this survey and use the data as the basis for making changes. Those who ignore it do so at their peril.”

Source: United States of America Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“When extrapolating the survey results to estimate the national cost, the FBI reduced the estimated number of affected organizations from 64 percent to a more conservative 20 percent,” Joris Evers reports for CNET News. “‘This would be 2.8 million U.S. organizations experiencing at least one computer security incident,’ according to the 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey. ‘With each of these 2.8 million organizations incurring a $24,000 average loss, this would total $67.2 billion per year.'”

“These figures do not include much of the staff, technology, time and software employed to prevent security incidents, Verduyn said. Also, losses to individuals who are victims of computer crime or victims in other countries are not included, he said,” Evers reports.

Full article here.

By the way, the FBI uses Apple Mac OS X machines whenever possible according to SecurityFocus. More info here.
Apple’s Mac OS X has had zero viruses and no known spyware for over five years and counting. Mac-based businesses have a massive competitive advantage on Windows-based businesses. Apple offers a complete line of award-winning systems, software and support to help your business save on computer downtime and costs, increase business productivity — and turn your goals into reality. Benefit from the enhanced security and stability of the latest Mac operating system, Mac OS X “Tiger.” Did you know that everything you need to run your business works on a Mac, including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, Intuit’s Quickbooks, MYOB, HP printers and scanners, and the world’s most widely used database, FileMaker Pro?

And when you need an easy-to-use, secure and powerful server solution, look to Mac OS X Server and the Apple Xserve. With an intuitive interface for quick setup and administration, you can quickly manage shared files or printers, or centralize your storage and backup. And Mac OS X Server is built on standards-based technology, allowing your business to collaborate, share and protect your company’s computing assets across multiple computing environments.

Apple computers are designed to be interoperable and work seamlessly with your Windows-based systems. With Mac OS X, Mac and Windows computers can easily share the same network, files, and peripherals. In managed networks, Mac and Windows systems can connect to the same file, print, mail, web, and directory servers, and Macintosh computers can be used with Active Directory, Exchange mail servers, and Microsoft’s VPN server. In addition, Apple computers support wireless connectivity based on industry-standard 802.11g Wi-Fi, giving you instant connectivity on the road.

From purchase to upgrade to support, Apple offers award-winning service to help your business install and manage it’s sometimes sophisticated technology solutions. Apple provides help from trained business consultants online, over the phone or in-person at Apple Retail stores worldwide. You can also stop in for Business Days at the Apple stores — free workshops for your company to learn about the latest in Apple technology for business. And there are over a thousand certified Apple Consultants across the country, to provide on-site help and advice when and where you need it. Apple’s your perfect business partner.

Are you ready to stop spinning your wheels and wasting time and money? Good. Visit Apple’s Store for Business now.

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ZDNet: How many Mac OS X users affected by the last 100 viruses? None, zero, not one, not ever – August 18, 2005
Intel CEO Otellini: If you want security now, buy a Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC – May 25, 2005
Apple touts Mac OS X security advantages over Windows – April 13, 2005
97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – April 05, 2005
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New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
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  1. Interesting but the article does not even mention MDN´s preaching of buy the Mac as a solution.

    If someone breaks into a home, the police will offer solutions to stop the crime from recurring.
    Yet the FBI or other securtiy officials – not one suggests stop using Windows.

    (Because there is this little line of code in Windows for the FBI and other Big Brothers to unknowingly snoop on any and all Windows computers…..Apple, too? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”gulp” style=”border:0;” /> )

  2. I wonder if that 68 billion includes the price of the added security measures to prevent future attacks, or is it just lost time and productivity figure.

    Oh, and Jon, your obviously using your Windows computer for great things, by surfing a Apple fanboy site.

    <–fanboy ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. The ad Apple should do:

    “It’s estimated that there are over 165,000 computer viruses in existence. Over 10,000 new viruses are created and unleashed each month.”

    “The FBI estimates that the cost of these viruses to US business is over 67 billion dollars annually.”

    “Macintosh OSX has NO viruses.”

    Short, sweet, hits you right between the eye! Doesn’t call out Windows per se. And, yes, I know I’m over-simplifying things, but you get the idea.

  4. Dear CEO,

    The moral of the story is you could buy ‘more expensive’ Apple Macs and replace all of your workstations and ‘retrain’ all of your workers and ‘cross grade’ all of your software and still improve your profit margin and your stock price.

    Hell, laying off half of your IT force alone would improve your stock price by 2 or 3 points.

    Your IT department won’t do it for you, you have to initiate this yourself.

  5. Me Likey MDN, Apple won’t do it because an ad like that is major bad karma. That is the same reason that Southwest Airlines never ran an ad saying no one died in a crash of a Southwest Airline. Because eventually it did happen.

  6. They all believe that they live in a perfectly normal world and the reason why Macs aren’t being attacked is because they make up for such a small market share.
    They all believe that viruses, worms and spyware are parts of a normal computing experience.
    They all believe that Microsoft is as secure as can get and neither Linux nor Mac OS X is more secure, they are just obscure.

    Again – who is drinking the Kool-Aid here?

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