Reportedly over a trillion dollars in damage this year
Computer economics loves the gloomy predictions. Just a few days ago, in addition to serious trade disruptions caused by y2k, an explosive growth in piracy was announced for the next few years. With the emergence of new markets and wireless access to the internet, the number of internet users continues to grow. The number of people using cell phones is three times greater than the number of internet users, he said: "when these two markets merge, piracy will flourish.
This year, piracy of software, music, video and text has already caused 14.5 billion losses worldwide, and in 2005 it caused 112 billion dollars in damages. The press release does not say how this figure was calculated, but the point seems clear: companies do not yet know what they are facing – and computer economics can help them and provide the necessary protection. Piracy focuses on software and music. Even if piracy will increase everywhere, it seems to become more and more popular in asia, according to computer economics. 61 billion dollars or 55 percent of the losses due to piracy are said to have occurred in the asia-pacific region in 2005 alone.
The company also claims to have discovered that hacking and computer crime will increase sharply in the next few years, as websites that provide interested parties with the necessary tools and knowledge also flourish. Such websites could cause over a trillion dollars in damage to companies and customers worldwide already this year: "the internet has always been a haven for computer criminals", warns adam harriss, research analyst at computer economic. "The tech-savvy hackers have been online for decades passing on tips and programs, but now the information is being posted and sold for little money in a form that even the non-tech-savvy can understand. Damaging computers and hacking into systems has become as easy as assembling a christmas toy for the kids."
Some sites may say that they are selling their products for informational purposes only, but others may say that they are selling their products for informational purposes only "target malicious users and raise a future generation of hackers by targeting children." thus, hacking tools were sometimes advertised as helping the users, "to find company secrets", or that they are "are a must for anyone who does not want to pay full price for software." many of the most popular tools, such as l0phtcrack, antisniff or nmap, have been offered for free. Instructions and software for viruses, piracy or scams were usually priced between $8 and $60.
Again, the hacking and cracking with wireless access and especially with the "rapid expansion of the internet into new, less developed regions of the world" increase. There is also little prosecution of computer crime. People, according to the milquetoast calculations about losses due to piracy, especially in developing countries, certainly have the money to spend on software or other content if they did not have the opportunity to pirate.
Even more than the figures for alleged losses due to piracy, those resulting from cracks are doubtful and probably far exaggerated. However, such figures, no matter how speculative, are always used to play politics and spread fear. In an article worth reading, brian martin takes a look at the figures for computer crime loss reporting. Strangely enough, there seem to be standard values for losses that keep recurring.