STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Governments and businesses spend $1 trillion a year for global cybersecurity, but unlike wartime casualties or oil spills, there's no clear idea what the total losses are because few will admit they've been compromised. Cybersecurity leaders from more than 40 countries are gathering at Stanford University this week to consider tackling that information gap by creating a single, trusted entity that would keep track of how much hackers steal.
Chinese Minister Cai Mingzhao acknowledged there are issues of trust to overcome — with some U.S. cybersecurity firms pointing to attacks coming from the Chinese military. But he said countries must work together.
"In cyberspace, all countries face the same problems and ultimately share the same fate," he said.
Mingzhao also urged counterparts to establish new international rules for behavior in cyberspace.
Stanford University economics professor John Shoven, who directs the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, warned of the "tremendous disruption the lack of trust in the security of the Web would do to the economy."
"We can't let that happen," said Shoven.
Sergio Benedetto, president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Communications Society, noted that the Internet can be mysteries for non-experts.
"For many diplomats and politicians, the world of cyberspace is still like a roomful of scattered puzzles," he said.
Thus, he said, scientists need to be a part of important global discussions.