Cyber crime costs $114 billion a year

The Norton Cyber crime Report 2011 said over 74 million people in the United States were cyber crime victims last year, suffering $32 billion in direct financial losses.

Cyber crime claimed 431 million adult victims last year and cost $114 billion, according to a report published Wednesday.

Cyber crime cost China around $25 billion, Brazil $15 billion and India $4 billion in the past 12 months, said the report from computer security firm Symantec, maker of the Norton anti-virus software.

According to the report, more than two-thirds of online adults — 69 percent — have been victims of cyber crime at some point in their lives, resulting in more than one million cyber crime victims a day.

Cyber crime rates were even higher in China and South Africa. Eighty-five percent of Chinese respondents to the Norton survey and 84 percent of South Africans said they have been victims of cyber crime.

The report found a growing threat from cybercrime on mobile phones.

Ten percent of adults online have experienced cybercrime on their mobile phones and the number of reported new mobile operating system vulnerabilities increased from 115 in 2009 to 163 in 2010.

“There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cyber crime,” said Adam Palmer, Norton lead cyber security advisor. “Cyber crime is much more prevalent than people realize.

“Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cyber crime than physical world crime in the next year,” Palmer said.

For the survey, interviews were conducted with nearly 20,000 people in 24 countries, Symantec said.

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