Cy­ber­crime on the rise, $600b world loss

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By ZHAO HUANXIN in Wash­ing­ton huanx­inzhao@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

Quick adop­tion of new tech­nolo­gies by cy­ber­crim­i­nals, the ris­ing num­ber of new users on­line and the in­creased ease of com­mit­ting cy­ber­crime have con­trib­uted to the an­nual loss of about $600 bil­lion to the world econ­omy, or 0.8 per­cent of the global GDP, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

The re­port, Eco­nomic Im­pact of Cy­ber­crime—No Slow­ing Down, pre­pared by the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies (CSIS) with McAfee, a com­puter se­cu­rity soft­ware com­pany, said the an­nual loss is up from a 2014 study that put global losses at about $445 bil­lion.

Other fac­tors that ratch­eted up the losses over the past three years in­clude the oc­cur­rence of an ex­pand­ing num­ber of cy­ber­crime “cen­ters” and a grow­ing fi­nan­cial so­phis­ti­ca­tion among top-tier cy­ber­crim­i­nals that, among other things, makes mon­e­ti­za­tion eas­ier, the re­port said.

As one of the pre­scrip­tions to the global scourge, the re­port un­der­lined the need for in­creased in­ter­na­tional law en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion, both with other na­tions’ law en­force­ment agen­cies and with the pri­vate sec­tor.

The re­port said the theft of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty ac­counts for at least a quar­ter of the cost of cy­ber­crime. It claims China is the fo­cus of IP theft con­cerns.

Com­ment­ing on US crit­i­cism of China’s IP rights pro­tec­tion on Aug 14, Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said that re­cent years have wit­nessed blowouts of in­no­va­tion in var­i­ous fields, and China has drawn world-wide at­ten­tion as a leader of in­no­va­tion.

As of 2016, the num­ber of the ap­pli­ca­tions for patents by China had ac­counted for 38 per­cent of the world to­tal, which ranks first and is 1.9 times as many as that of the US, and China’s to­tal in­put into re­search and devel­op­ment ac­counts for 17.6 per­cent of the world to­tal, near­ing that of the US, Hua said.

“We hope the US side can view the rel­e­vant is­sue in a mat­ter-of-fact way and ob­jec­tively re­mark on China’s ef­forts and progress in IPR pro­tec­tion and its achieve­ments in in­no­va­tion­driven eco­nomic devel­op­ment,” she said.

The CSIS and McAfee re­port said, “China, for both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional rea­sons, ap­peared, un­til re­cently, to be liv­ing up to the 2015 agree­ment,” and “it ap­pears that Chi­nese com­mer­cial es­pi­onage against US com­pa­nies has de­creased.”

The 2015 agree­ment refers to the con­sen­sus reached be­tween Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and then US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2015 on China-US cy­ber­se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion.

One point of the con­sen­sus is that nei­ther coun­try’s gov­ern­ment will con­duct or know­ingly sup­port cy­ber-en­abled theft of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, in­clud­ing trade se­crets or other con­fi­den­tial busi­ness in­for­ma­tion, with the in­tent of pro­vid­ing com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages to com­pa­nies or com­mer­cial sec­tors.

At the first China-US Law En­force­ment and Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Di­a­logue held in Wash­ing­ton on Oct 4, both sides agreed to con­tinue their im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2015 con­sen­sus.

Both sides in­tended to im­prove co­op­er­a­tion with each other on cy­ber­crime, in­clud­ing shar­ing cy­ber­crime-re­lated leads and in­for­ma­tion, and re­spond­ing to Mu­tual Le­gal As­sis­tance re­quests, in a timely man­ner, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased af­ter the di­a­logue.

The two sides also agreed to con­tinue to co­op­er­ate on net­work pro­tec­tion, in­clud­ing main­tain­ing and en­hanc­ing cy­ber­se­cu­rity in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, as well as con­sid­er­ing fu­ture ef­forts on cy­ber­se­cu­rity of crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, the state­ment said.

The sec­ond round of the di­a­logue on law en­force­ment and cy­ber­se­cu­rity is ex­pected to be held in the sec­ond half of the year, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment fol­low­ing Chi­nese State Coun­cilor Yang Jiechi’s visit to Wash­ing­ton in early Fe­bru­ary.

Nick Sav­vides, Sy­man­tec’s chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer for the Pa­cific re­gion, said that in 2017, cy­ber crim­i­nals caused ma­jor ser­vice dis­rup­tions around the world, us­ing their in­creas­ing tech­ni­cal pro­fi­ciency to break through cy­ber de­fenses.

“In 2018, we ex­pect the trend to be­come more pro­nounced as these at­tack­ers will use ma­chine learn­ing and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to launch even more po­tent at­tacks,” he said in 2018 Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Pre­dic­tions posted in De­cem­ber.

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