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The Almighty Buck Crime Security

McAfee Regrets "Flawed" Trillion Dollar Cyber Crime Claims 39

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-of-things dept.
Techy77 writes "McAfee's chief technology officer Mike Fey has admitted that he regrets his own company's estimates, which once pinned global losses from cyber crime at more than $1 trillion. From the article: 'A more recent report commissioned by the security company, and released last month, reduced those estimates to as low as $US300 billion globally, but specifically noted the difficulty of determining exactly how much companies, governments and individuals could lose if subject to an attack. “It’s very difficult to put a dollar figure on it,” Mr Fey said. “When you meet an engineer that has spent a good chunk of his life working on some innovation and it’s stolen overnight, you get a good feeling for what [intellectual property] loss means. It is the shift in a moment’s instance from an innovative company set strategically, to loss. It becomes difficult for that company to invest in innovation."'"
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McAfee Regrets "Flawed" Trillion Dollar Cyber Crime Claims

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wow, an article about McAffee Inc and not McAfee the loon. Well done Slashdot!

    • by lxs (131946) on Monday August 19, 2013 @12:33PM (#44608437)

      Yeah. I was disappointed as well. Turns out this guy is equally delusional.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well mcafee isn't so loon to claim 1 trillion and then downgrade it to mere 300 billion(which in these units I suppose is 3/10th of trillion.

      as if that number was based on any reality any more! I mean, as a number it's right up there with the one trillion claim.

      • He has a Masters degree in mathematics from RIAA University.
        • Given that the RIAA and MPAA invented a bogus organization called the Federation Against Copyright Theft just so they could put "Source: FACT" in the fine print on their propaganda, I'm guessing their university would be called something like Teaching Ruthlessly that Understanding Theft Hurts.
          • ...wait, wait, wait, don't stop reading; I've got like a hundred of these. "Trying Responsibly to Understand Technology is Hard," "Tarnished Relics Uselessly Transmitting Hubris," "Transportation Replication = Ugly Truth of Humanity," "Treacherous Republicans Unwisely Thwarted Heaven..."
  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday August 19, 2013 @12:15PM (#44608223)
    Let me paraphrase: "Sorry, we were all sniffing really freaky McAfee-brand bath salts while we came up with that number"
    • I particularly lied the part about intellectual property theft being so toxic. It's like saying: "When you meet a girl who has spent her whole life living to Christian values, and she in college when she's 23 gives an old school friend she's known for 15 years who has had an STD test in the past month and came up clean a blow job and immediately contracts HIV and her life is ruined overnight, you get a good feeling for what the dangers of STDs mean."

      These kinds of theft-to-ruination stories are so extrem

    • "I kill for cybercriminals for fun, but for bath salts and hooch, I gonna carve him up real nice."

  • So, numbers reported about a threat were inflated by an entity who profits off the perception of that threat.

    Gee, I'm totally shocked at this. Nobody would ever put out alarmist numbers.

    Part of me suspects that someone knew at the time these numbers were crap, but decided they made for a good story and went with them.

    Assholes.

    • by khasim (1285)

      I'm sure that they knew the numbers were crap. Just like they're still going with the crap.

      From TFA:

      âoeWhen you meet an engineer that has spent a good chunk of his life working on some innovation and itâ(TM)s stolen overnight, you get a good feeling for what [intellectual property] loss means.

      And does Mr Fey have the name of that engineer so that others can "meet" him/her? And interview him/her?

      Or is that ANOTHER fiction created to help move product?

      ... but specifically noted the difficulty of det

      • And does Mr Fey have the name of that engineer so that others can "meet" him/her? And interview him/her?

        Gabe? [slashdot.org]

        Yes yes yes that's an outlier, doesn't fit the term "stolen", blah blah blah. Continue on...

  • Personal Loss??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SeNtM (965176) on Monday August 19, 2013 @12:21PM (#44608295) Homepage
    I have yet to meet an independent engineer who has had work stolen by someone who commits the type of cyber crime that McAfee claims to protect from.

    I have met individuals who claim to have had their life's work stolen by corporations, who subsequently patent it and then troll on the patent.

    Small companies and corporations seem like more likely targets of that claim, and the perpetrators are likely larger companies....imho.
  • Since McAfee is an Intel subsidiary claims like this should have a law, the Moore or Less law.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Since McAfee is an Intel subsidiary claims like this should have a law, the Moore or Less law.

      I'm going to go with plain old common sense -- never trust the numbers about the scope of a problem from an entity which sells you a product to combat the problem. Because, predictably, those numbers are going to be bullshit.

      Similarly, TSA and the spying agencies ... also full of shit when the tell you how good of a job they're doing and all they've achieved.

  • When you meet an engineer that has spent a good chunk of his life working on some innovation and itâ(TM)s stolen overnight, you get a good feeling for what [intellectual property] loss means.

    If you are worried about people stealing your intellectual property, don't have any intellectual property.
    There already is a solution for that AND it gives you the advantage of using the code of all those others that were working on innovations.

    Dear management: Next time you send us on some forced team building whe

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you are worried about people stealing your intellectual property, don't have any intellectual property.
      There already is a solution for that AND it gives you the advantage of using the code of all those others that were working on innovations.

      Dear management: Next time you send us on some forced team building where we learn how a team is better then an individual: come with us and listen.
      Now apply this to other things as well, like multiple companies. Suddenly we are a team working on a solution.

      Can I mod this +1 Incomprehensible?

  • chex (Score:4, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Monday August 19, 2013 @01:11PM (#44608867) Journal

    admitted that he regrets his own company's estimates, which once pinned global losses from cyber crime at more than $1 trillion

    "The real problem was due to the exchange rate," he said. "We actually estimated losses at over 25 Bitcoins."

  • When you meet an engineer that has spent a good chunk of his life working on some innovation and it’s stolen overnight...

    ...then someone else wins, reducing the global losses. Also, it's horrible to try to calculate "losses" from this reasoning. So Xerox executives getting outwitted by the Apple folks regarding GUI also counts as "a global loss"?

    • So by your reasoning, if someone steals your car, phone, computer, money...it isn't a loss...because it was someone else's gain??? Even by your calculations, there are real global losses when individuals and companies figure out that their property rights are not protected and thus fail to produce something of value in the first place because the chance of it being stolen are so high.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        that's actually only true if people were saving money because they had nothing else to buy.

        that is not true. so the global losses can't be that high, since there is not that big amount of money going to savings. of course you could try to argue that due to the cybeeeeerthreats resources aren't being utilized, but that claim seems a bit far fetched as well.

        what mcafee actually meant with the 1 trillion and now with the 300 billion number was quite simply the amount of money they estimate should (in their eye

  • but specifically noted the difficulty of determining exactly how much companies, governments and individuals could lose if subject to an attack. “It’s very difficult to put a dollar figure on it,” Mr Fey said.

    So... why put a dollar figure on it? If the number is 4 trillion or 90 billion, what would be the difference in strategies that consumers and organizations should pursue in each case? Fey's language is so obviously just more marketdroid conjuration babble -- "Look! look over here at my right hand! Nothing in it at all! ."

    The fact is, Mr. Fey, that the danger of security flaws isn't in the direct dollar amount of damage done by any single incursion, nor in the aggregate sum total of attacks to date. The dang

    • by tepples (727027)

      Don't constantly test and patch flaws because of some dollar amount reported by some "expert study" you read about. Constantly test and patch flaws because a good administrator takes care of business.

      There's some disagreement about what is a "flaw". For at least five companies that I can name, it's a "flaw" if the owner of a computing device that the company manufactured can execute a program that he wrote on the device that he owns.

  • As far as I'm concerned it is the bloated piled of McAfee that costs piles of money in lost productivity not to mention the number of embedded systems where the "Your subscription is running out" crap pops up on some jumbotron.

    Trialware installs of McAfee and Norton AV are the number one reason I long ago told people to stop buying PCs with Windows on them. I don't really mind windows but I got sick of every relative begging for my help to remove all the bloatware for AV, music services, game services, et

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

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