While online scams and cybercrime are growing, the claim made recently that cybercrime is a trillion-dollar business simply isn't true, says The Register. As Gary Stiennon points out, if it were, it would be bigger than global IT business itself, as well as the GDP of several industrialized nations. AT&T's chief security officer threw out the figure in front of a Senate committee; he also said that cybercrime was a bigger business than the global drug trade, another claim Stiennon disputes. He dug into where the myth was started, and how it's evolved, and traced it back to a single comment made by a consultant to the US Treasury Department in 2005. It's then been so commonly cited -- often by security companies looking to advance their own agendas -- and repeated that it's become widely accepted. Certainly cybercrime is a problem, and a growing one, but overstating its true impact won't make fighting it any easier.
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