Cyberattacks cost $45 billion, email scams cause $1.3 bn loss

Washington: An estimated two million cyberattacks in 2018 resulted in more than $45 billion in losses worldwide as local governments struggled to cope with ransomware and other malicious incidents, a study showed on Tuesday.
The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance, compiling data from the United States and some international sources, said other important losses came from fraudulently taking over business email credentials as well as “cyptojacking” or hijacking a computer or network to generate bitcoin or other virtual currency.
The report suggested cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated in targeting their victims, but also noted many attacks could have been prevented with improved computer security.
Jeff Wilbur, technical director of the alliance, said the report’s estimates are conservative because many attacks are not reported.
Some $8 billion in losses came as the result of ransomware attacks including high-profile incidents targeting the cities of Atlanta, Georgia, and Baltimore, Maryland that forced the municipalities to rebuild their networks.
Attackers also continued to profit from a variety of email scams that impersonate employees or vendors, a technique also known as “phishing.” This so-called “business email compromise” resulted in some $1.3 billion in losses last year, according to the report.— AFP