ProPublica has a decent story asking whether an often-bandied figure of $1 trillion isn't at least a touch, if not way more than a touch, too high a figure. (Cyberespionage, and even cyberwar is included here, even when, in the case of China, Team Obama refuses to call a spade a spade.)
That said, there's the lead-in for saying why this is only a decent and not a great story.
For it to be that, we'd have to have ProPublica ask:
1. How much does cyberespionage/cybercrime cost globally?
2. How much of that is US caused?
And, by that, I don't mean spammers and hackers who live in the US rather than China, Russia or Nigeria.
mean (ahem, Stuxnet) how much does US government-caused cybercrime (or,
arguably, cyberwar, with Stuxnet) cost elsewhere in the world? I mean
(ahem, BushCo [and probably, Team Obama, too] spying on UN Security
Council members, including ways that could be considered cyberspying?
Other questions abound.
Does the National Security Agency endorse, and regularly
use, McAfee's $1 trillion estimate because it's angling for new budget
dinero? Or, even worse, for even more "black arts" countermeasures, with
a likely further eroding of American civil liberties.
In other words, the NSA is into "marketing" just like McAfee. Only thing, this is a lot scarier, if you really think about it.
Beyond that, this is an issue of American exceptionalism.
story could be seen as implying that only the US has that serious of
worries about cybercrime. Or that the US doesn't really do it that much
itself. Or both.
That's just not true.
Beyond the government-side issues, how much cybercrime on the corporate side is done by American companies?