Cybercrime costs global economy $400 billion: Report

True cost of cybercrime

Cybercrime is costing the global economy more than $400 billion a year, and that number is only going to rise, according to a new report.

Countries with higher income levels have the most to lose, according to the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report was sponsored by Intel-owned McAfee.

North America, Europe and Asia lost the most, while Africa lost the least.

"Cyberattackers are like any attackers, they go where the money is," said Thomas Gann, vice president of public policy for McAfee, the cybersecurity company.

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The G-20 suffers the bulk of losses from cybercrime and cyberespionage, with the U.S., China and Germany losing more than $200 billion to cybercrime

However, as more unconnected countries come online, they will become more of a target, according to the report.

"As developing countries become more connected, the expectation is [attacks] will continue to grow in other parts of the world," Gann said.

Theft of intellectual property is the most costly form of cybercrime, although the total cost caused by IP theft is difficult to determine.

A U.S. Commerce Department report found that all IP theft (not just cybercrime) totaled $200 billion to $250 billion annually for U.S. businesses. The Organization for Economic Development predicted that counterfeiting and piracy costs businesses as much as $638 billion per year.