Hackers cost businesses worldwide an estimated $800 million in 1995 through
break-ins to computer systems at banks, hospitals, and other large
businesses, according to investigators of the Senate's Permanent
Despite the staggering losses, few businesses report the security breaches for
fear of negative publicity that could scare off customers, officials say. Also, most losses incurred by banks do not appear in required
federal reports, according to a story in today's Wall Street Journal.
The subcommittee's eight-month investigation showed that security problems
seem to be worse in the private sector than in government. More than $400
million of the calculated losses were attributed to U.S. businesses.
Fear of hacker attacks has prompted many corporate users to boost budgets
for security spending. A study conducted by The Yankee Group, a Boston-based
consulting firm, and Infosecurity News showed that corporate security
budgets have already increased by 25 percent, with more increases expected
The study also concluded that nearly half of all break-ins are committed by
Banks appease online
Few are prepared to fight