$45 million in cash stolen? That's chump change

Last week's ATM theft of $45 million in cash made the headlines -- but the real security problem is so much bigger

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A single hacked password resulted in the U.S. stock market losing over 1 percent of its value in a few seconds. Again, we're talking billions of dollars --$136 billion to be exact in seconds. Most of the dropped value was restored, but it doesn't take an expert to realize the same thing can happen again, when it may not be as easy to recognize and untangle.

Industry experts estimate that nearly one-fourth of all adults in the United States have their digital identity stolen each year. APTs (advanced persistent threats) have compromised most large companies in the world. They've gotten away with patent information, corporate secrets, military plans, encryption keys, access to the nation's critical infrastructure, and whatever you want to imagine. It's only slightly hyperbolic to say they have the world's intellectual property.

I still come across friends and acquaintances who were robbed of tens of thousands of dollars through fake Internet sales transactions. People I know have had their life savings wiped out forever. There is no entity that can untangle the transaction. It's gone. Poof! In fading electronic bits and bytes.

When I tell people the real numbers and problems related to Internet crime, they are always shocked. Then I tell them it's been this way for almost a decade -- and the problem appears to be getting worse.

So when you hear about the latest big hack attack that snatches tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, just remind people that the real figures of Internet crime are much worse. And nothing we are doing now is going to stop the next big one.

This story, "$45 million in cash stolen? That's chump change," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in network security and read more of Roger Grimes' Security Adviser blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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