The state of global cyber warfare

Cyber attacks cost global economy $817b a year: Think-tank

Toll does not include unreported and undetected breaches. But, even as number and risks of such strikes rise, a counter-offensive against hackers is under way.

Last week, Finland's national broadcaster indulged in a bit of investigative journalism. It tested how secure major government and commercial buildings in the capital of Helsinki were, by simply sending to each of them a man disguised as a construction worker, wearing a safety vest and carrying a folding ladder, to see whether he could gain easy entrance.

No fewer than 10 out of the 11 key buildings tested - including those belonging to sensitive government bodies such as Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority - happily waved the supposed construction worker through their doors without checking any of his credentials, just because he looked the part, and acted plausibly.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 29, 2018, with the headline 'Cyber attacks cost global economy $817b a year: Think-tank'. Print Edition | Subscribe