Hackers could steal a whopping $4.7 billion from America’s economy, according to a study released Tuesday by researchers at the University of Illinois.
The report, which was based on a study of transactions between 10 different cybercrime organizations, found that a hacker could have made more than $2 billion in losses on a single day in 2017 alone.
The researchers also estimated that a cybercrime group could have compromised more than 500 million consumer credit and debit cards from more than 50 states, which would have taken them out of circulation for up to two years.
The cybersecurity experts who conducted the research are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would provide protections for credit and consumer data from cyberattacks.
The authors of the report noted that the cybercrime industry is thriving in part because of government inaction.
Cybercrime is estimated to cost the U,S.
about $11.5 billion a year.
“The federal government should do more to support states, localities and other jurisdictions that are struggling with cybersecurity,” the report said.
“There is much more to do to make sure that Americans have confidence in their personal and financial information.
That confidence is essential for businesses to thrive and consumers to purchase goods and services.”
The report’s authors, Kevin Poulsen, assistant professor of business administration and economics at the UI, and Daniel Tarrant, associate professor of computer science and engineering, also called for greater federal regulation of cybersecurity and increased efforts to educate the public about cybercrime.
The federal government has responded to cybersecurity threats with several cybersecurity initiatives, including establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Week, a National Cybersecurity Week, and a Cybersecurity Education Week.
“It’s critical that the federal government do more in order to keep cybercriminals at bay,” Poulson said.
In addition, the authors recommended the Federal Trade Commission strengthen the enforcement of federal cyberbullying laws and the Securities and Exchange Commission increase its enforcement efforts to prevent and deter cyberbullies.
In 2017, there were more than 13,000 reported cyberattacks on individuals, businesses, and governments, according the U of I. The average time between a cyberattack and being reported was 15 to 30 days, with some reports taking up to seven days to be reported.
According to the researchers, a cybercriminal who successfully infiltrated an organization could make more than a million dollars in losses from just one day.
A cybercriminal’s motive for committing a cyber attack depends on the level of sophistication of the hackers’ activity.
In most cases, the criminals are motivated by greed and/or a desire to harm a targeted individual, the report stated.
A malicious actor can steal the identity of a person who is vulnerable to theft by selling their credentials to an organization or by making an offer to sell that person’s personal information to an adversary.
A hacker could use those credentials to gain access to an enterprise system, such as an online banking system, or a bank account or credit card account.
The attackers could also take advantage of the compromised credentials to steal money, information, or data from a person.
Some cybercrimics also use the credentials of those who have already been compromised to access other systems.
A computer user who is targeted by a malicious actor could gain access through a phishing campaign or by the use of malware, the researchers wrote.
A phishing attack, for example, may include an email containing malicious links to legitimate websites or files that the person would need to pay a fee for.
In the worst case scenario, a hacker may use a compromised credit card or debit card to make a payment or attempt to withdraw funds from a bank.
“Cyberbullying is a growing issue in our society,” Poulssen said.
A cybersecurity expert who spoke on the study said the number of attacks has increased significantly since the beginning of the year.
The U.K.-based cybersecurity firm Securacom said the cyberattacks have risen by about 60% in the past year.
In 2016, cyberbullaging was reported on average once every 18 seconds.
The cyberattacks in 2017 included at least five different groups, which ranged in sophistication from a low level to an extremely sophisticated group.
In one instance, a group that was identified by a U.N. report as the North Korean hacking group Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Center (CISPEC) attempted to gain control of the personal email accounts of two U.C.L.A. cybersecurity experts.
The email accounts were then used to send malicious emails to several U.M.L., U.H.S., and the National Institutes of Health computers, the hackers wrote.
The group was eventually forced to cease operations after an investigation by the FBI and U.I. cybercrime task force, according U.L.-AS.
In June, the U-M.B.C.’s chief technology officer told ABC News that the cybersecurity firm did not have enough evidence to link the attacks to a specific group.
The university, however, said the breach was