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So Just How Well Does Cybercrime Pay?

That question is apparently, and very unsurprisingly, up for debate. At a banking and security conference in Saudi Arabia in late November, U.S. Treasury Advisor Valerie McNevin claimed that cybercriminals made more than $105 billion from their exploits but there are plenty of experts who think that number is over the top.Peter Andrews, site editor of Compliance and Privacy questioned the veracity of those numbers, saying on the site those numbers are headline makers. According to Andrews, research shows spammers who earn $10 per response are likely to earn about $10,000 dollars for every 100 million emails they send. McNevin was including much more than just phishing and fraud profits in her figure, adding in proceeds from a number of other cybercrimes such as extortion, piracy and child pornography.

Experts still dispute the dramatic number, saying that though cybercrime is underreported the $105 billion figure is far to steep. What no one does dispute is the terrible price businesses and individuals pay at the hands of these criminals.