How much a cybercrime blackout would cost the U.S.?

While the simultaneous technical breakdowns of the New York  Stock Exchange, United Airlines and Wall Street Journal weren’t connected, it sparked concerns of the damage an all-out cybercrime blackout could cause if such a glitch reached our power systems.

The extent of the economic damage can be estimated in one massive sum: $1 trillion. That’s according to a recent study by specialist insurance company Lloyd’s and University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies.

The report looked at two scenarios. One where a group of terrorists or “disgruntled insider” hackers break into the power system and bring 50 of the almost 700 generators in the northeastern U.S. offline, resulting in a blackout that lasts about 4 days. The damage: $243 billion in immediate and tangential economic loss.

The second scenario is where things get even worse. A group of hackers target the U.S. power grid and take out twice as many generators for the same amount of time. The economic damage more than quadruples to $1 trillion, or about 6% of U.S. GDP.

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Source: MSN

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