By John Leyden
27th March 2009
A leading security researcher has unpicked the origins of the myth that
revenues from cybercrime exceeds those from the global drug trade,
regurgitated by a senior security officer at AT&T before Congress last
Ed Amoroso, Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer of AT&T,
told a Congressional Committee on 20 March that cybercrime was a $1trn a
year business. It'd be nice to think that Amoroso had been misquoted or
made a slip of the tongue but written testimony from Amoroso repeats the
amazing claim, made before a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science,
and Transportation Committee.
The end of paragraph 5 of the written submission states:
Last year the FBI announced that revenues from cyber-crime, for the
first time ever, exceeded drug trafficking as the most lucrative
illegal global business, estimated at reaping more than $1 trillion
annually in illicit profits.
As Richard Stiennon points out the quoted figure would make cybercrime
bigger than the entire IT industry. The top 10 Fortune 50 firms turned
over $2trn last year.
Put another way, revenues from cybercrime exceed those of AT&T itself
($119bn in 2008) by a factor of around eight.
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