Monday, April 4, 2011
Over the weekend hackers gained access to email address information that a Dallas Based company called Epsilon had access to. They provide an email service for such companies as: Chase, Citi, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kroger and many others.
The email addresses will most likely be used to try and solicit personal information from the receiver. Information like login passwords so that the sender can gain access to the real account.
The economic ramifications from this could be tremendous. First the cost of internal investigations within each company, the investigations that will be done by law enforcement, then if people really give out their information and people gain access to bank accounts and social security numbers, the identity theft percentage will skyrocket.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the estimated losses for domestic companies affected by cyber crime is $67.2 billion annually. The targeted firms also suffer in the stock market days after an attack with shareholder losses of 1 percent to 5 percent. Percentages like these might seem small, but for the average company on the New York Stock Exchange, it can translate to $50 to $200 million in shareholder losses. This is where company losses begin to affect the consumer, causing a bleed-through effect to all levels of the economy.