Is Cyber Crime Worth It?

June 19, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

After figuring out that robbing a bank wasn’t the way to finance our Death Star, Centives considered turning to cyber-crime. After all, that’s said to be worth billions isn’t it? Dinei Florêncio, a principal researcher at Microsoft, took to the New York Times to dash our hopes:

  • In principle cyber-crime looks to be the perfect heist. You can be thousands of miles from the scene of the crime and all you need is a fairly cheap laptop. Anybody could do it.
  • That, then, is the problem. Anybody could do it. And a lot of people do. This makes the returns from cyber-crime vanishingly small. There are only so many gullible users out there who will fall to Nigerian princes.
  • Yet press-coverage would have you believe that cyber-crime is growing exponentially. This is because these estimates are based upon absurd statistical models that are biased upwards in significant ways.
  • This is why cyber-crime billionaires don’t actually exist.
  • This is not to suggest that cyber-crime is not harmful. For those that it affects it can be destructive.

To read more about how exactly these estimates are biased upwards, the survey where two people accounted for more of the alleged cyber theft than the entire sample, how we should actually measure the effects of cyber-crime, how media outlets are perpetuating myths that ultimately harm users, and how this relates to the tragedy of the commons, click here.

Source: The New York Times

Via: Newmark’s Door