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Cybercrime: 'We've only seen the beginning,' expert warns

Reuters). If you think 2017 was a bad year for cyberattacks, just wait to see what happens in the coming years, one cybersecurity expert warns.

"We've only seen the beginning," Dr. Eric Cole, told FOX Business. "Cybercrime is big business … and it's a very high-payoff, low-risk crime … we've seen nothing yet.". In 2016, U.S. financial losses stemming from cyberattacks totaled $1.

33 billion, a 24% increase over the year prior, according to an FBI report. An Accenture study concluded that the number of hacks likely increased by more than 27% between 2016 and 2017.

Throughout 2017, U.S. institutions and businesses suffered some high-profile data breaches, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and credit reporting giant Equifax (EFX). The Equifax hack resulted in thieves gaining access to the personal information of more than 145 million Americans, which will have financial implications for consumers for years to come.

Uber also revealed in November that it suffered a hack in 2016, which it attempted to cover by paying the hackers $100,000 to keep the breach secret. Cole, who was a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for President Bill Clinton and a security advisor for Bill Gates, said criminals tend to get away with cybercrime because they are often international actors from countries with no cybercrime laws or extradition treaties.

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