jm + spam + via:mark-russinovitch   1

The Cybercrime Wave That Wasn’t - NYTimes.com
MSFT researchers discover fundamental scientific failures in almost all data on cybercrime/spam/malware damages. 'In numeric surveys, errors are almost always upward: since the amounts of estimated losses must be positive, there’s no limit on the upside, but zero is a hard limit on the downside. As a consequence, respondent errors -- or outright lies -- cannot be canceled out. Even worse, errors get amplified when researchers scale between the survey group and the overall population. [...] The cybercrime surveys we have examined exhibit exactly this pattern of enormous, unverified outliers dominating the data. In some, 90 percent of the estimate appears to come from the answers of one or two individuals. In a 2006 survey of identity theft by the FTC, two respondents gave answers that would have added $37 billion to the estimate, dwarfing that of all other respondents combined.' my opinion: this is what happens when PR drives the surveys -- numbers tend to inflate to make headlines
fail  science  pr  press  cybercrime  ms  via:mark-russinovitch  data  surveys  spam  malware  viruses  phishing 
april 2012 by jm

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