US firms report cybercrime

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US firms report cybercrime

Bill Goodwin
US businesses are seeking help from the police and the FBI following a sharp rise in the cost of computer crime.

Most large businesses and government organisations in the US have been struck by computer crime in the past year, a survey by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI reveals.

Security breaches cost the 186 organisations which were willing to put a price on the damage a total of nearly $4bn (£2.66m), compared with $2.6bn lost by 250 organisations a year ago.

Nearly 40% of those questioned reported computer crimes to law enforcement agencies, a rise from 36% last year, and up sharply on 17% five years ago.

This reflects both a growing faith in the ability of police to deal with computer-related crime and the difficulty of keeping Web defacements and denial of service attacks secret.

In the UK the National High-Tech Crime Unit is concerned that cybercrime is under-reported.

The survey report coincides with the launch of our online petition calling on the Government to tighten up the UK's computer crime laws. The petition, part of Computer Weekly's Lock Down the Law campaign, highlights weaknesses in the Computer Misuse Act, which was designed before the Internet took off.

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