Cyber Warfare to Cost the World $15.9bn in 2012

A new report from research firm Visiongain has prophesied that by the end of 2012 the "cyber warfare market" will be worth $15.9 billion (£10.2 billion).

Visiongain's study suggested that as governments around the world invest further resources creating new systems and protective measures to combat cyber criminals and hostile state's hackers, the cyber defence industry will be worth around $15.9 billion (£10.2 billion).

The estimate was reportedly made using data taken from over 30 "leading companies" and interviews with cyber security firms CUBIC Cyber Solutions and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

On top of the high figure for 2012 the company went on to predict, despite a cut in most defence budgets, governments would continue to invest in cyber security.

"Spending on cyber warfare has been ring-fenced from the massive cuts being initiated in the defence sectors of a number of major markets. Despite this, sales may suffer a little, but are likely to remain relatively high, especially whilst the threat to national security posed by a successful cyber attack remains an important point of interest for both the public and private sector," read the company's report.

Later adding: "The cyber warfare market is likely to be driven by increasingly networked systems requiring increasing levels of protection from a continuing, persistent threat."

Since being issued the report has received backing by several industry commentators. All of whom cite the recent slew of cyber attacks commonly attributed to China and the Anonymous collective's ongoing AntiSec campaign as evidence of the increasing cyber threat facing the world.

China and State Sponsored Hacking

Despite its consistent claims of innocence, China has found itself faced by numerous accusations of cyber espionage.

Most recently the Chinese government was suspected of involvement in numerous high-profile hacks and cyber attacks including the infamous Operation Shady RAT.

McAfee uncovered the alleged network intrusions after researchers stumbled upon logs of the attacks while reviewing a command and control server found during its 2009 investigation into defense company data breaches.

In its subsequent report McAfee highlighted its belief that the intrusions were part of an ongoing campaign going back at least five-years, perpetrated by a "state actor."

The laundry list of victims included the United States, Taiwanese, Indian, South Korean, Vietnamese and Canadian governments. Although McAfee declined to name which foreign power was responsible for the campaign, the word 'China' was quickly on the tip of most security firms and news outlet's tongues.

As was the case with the recent U.S. paper, following the discovery of Operation Shady RAT China issued a statement denying the world's suspicions claiming the accusations were systematic of the west's ongoing prejudice against it.

Anonymous and AntiSec

Since appearing the Anonymous Collective has mounted an ongoing cyber-campaign against any and all organisations and institutions it views as working against the common good.

With most of the recent attacks being credited as a part of its Operation Anti-Security (AntiSec) the Anonymous collective already boasts a laundry list of "victims" including the Turkish government, the Italian Police, the FBI, the Church of Scientology, the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency and even NATO -- which still lists Anonymous as a terrorist organisation.