Should a greater effort be made to hunt down cyber criminals?

Fighting cyber crime might be much more effective if less money was spent on cybersecurity software and more spent on old-fashioned law enforcement effort to catch and punish the perpetrators, according to a study commissioned by the United Kingdon's Ministry of Defence, reports Government Computer News.

Spending on IT security out paces what is spent on policing by a factor of 10 to 1 in the United Kingdom, but the potential return on investment from law enforcement could be much greater, says an international team of scientists led by Cambridge University that authored the "Measuring the Cost of Cybercrime" report.

A British government report in 2011 estimated the cost of cyber crime in the United Kingdom at 27 billion pounds, or 1.8 percent of GDP. Corporate theft of intellectual property and espionage alone was valued at 21 billion pounds.

Cambridge scientists worked with colleagues in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States to gather information on various categories of cyber crime, using best estimates and extrapolations where necessary to come up with global figures for the costs of these crimes.

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