Warning of a global loss due to a “malicious email”

A co-ordinated global cyber attack, spread through malicious email, could cause economic damages anywhere between $85 billion and $193bn, a British report aid on Tuesday.

The report, prepared by the Lloyds of London Insurance Market and Aon, said insurance claims after such an attack would range from business disruption to electronic extortion to incident response costs.

Total claims paid by the insurance sector in this scenario is estimated to be between $10bn and $27bn, based on policy limits ranging from $500,000 to $200 million.

Warning of a global loss due to "malicious e-mail"
Lloyds and Aon study finds co-ordinated global attack would cause huge losses. EPA

Regional economies that are more service dominated, especially the United States and Europe, would suffer more and are vulnerable to higher direct losses, the report said.

Electronic attacks have been highlighted since the outbreak of a virus from Ukraine that has caused chaos around the world in 2017, crippling thousands of computers and disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles.

Governments are increasingly alerting to the risks that private companies face from such attacks, whether carried out by foreign governments or financially motivated criminals.