What Are the Effects of Computer Hacking?

Computer hacking has cost the U.S. thousands of jobs and has cost some companies their very survival. But not just the U.S. has been affected; the FBI estimates that hacking has affected the world economy to the tune of billions of dollars a year.

Nortel, previously the world's second-largest telecommunications equipment maker, was hacked and ended up having to lay off most of its 90,000 employees worldwide and file for bankruptcy. Likewise, Massachusetts-based American Superconductor Corp. lost about $700 million and had to let go of more than 500 workers because an employee stole and sold its proprietary software.

"Mafiaboy" notoriously hacked Amazon and eBay, among other e-commerce sites, resulting in about $1.7 billion in damages to these companies.