February 16, 2018 / 5:17 PM / 10 months ago

Malicious cyber activity cost U.S. up to $109 billion in 2016: White House report

FILE PHOTO - A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated in a report on Friday.

The report quoted the U.S. intelligence community as saying the main foreign culprits responsible for much cyber activity against U.S. targets are Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

But it also said malicious cyber activity is not limited to foreign actors. Corporate competitors, activists seeking to advance a political agenda and organized crime are also responsible, it said.

The report said effective public and private-sector efforts to combat the illicit activity would contribute to gross domestic product growth.

The White House on Thursday blamed Russia for the devastating ‘NotPetya’ cyber attack last year, joining the British government in condemning Moscow for unleashing a virus that crippled parts of Ukraine’s infrastructure and damaged computers in countries across the globe.

Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

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