SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- A study sponsored by software security company McAfee found cybercrimes cost the United States $100 billion in annual losses.
As a result of the losses, the firm said as many as 508,000 U.S. jobs were lost due to the "malicious cyber activity."
McAfee said it hired the Center for Strategic and International Studies to develop the first-ever economic model for computing losses from cybercrimes.
In its first report, "Estimating the Cost of Cybercrime and Cyber-Espionage," the research team said it used "real-world analogies like figures for car crashes, piracy, pilferage, and crime and drugs to build out the model," to estimate the damages of cybercrimes.
The research team then divided cybercrimes into six categories, including the loss of intellectual property, cybercrime, loss of sensitive business information (including possible stock market manipulation), service disruptions and reduced trust in online activities, additional costs for security and damage to reputation of businesses that have been victims of cybercrimes.
"This report is also the first to connect malicious cyber activity with job loss," James Lewis, co-author of the report, said in a statement.
The stark number of 508,000 job losses, however, "might tell just part of the story," Lewis said.
"If a good portion of these jobs were high-end manufacturing jobs that moved overseas because of intellectual property losses, the effects could be more wide ranging."