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Eavesdropping is the act of surreptitiously listening to a private computer “conversation” communication , typically between hosts on a network. Even machines that operate as a closed system i.
Surfacing in , a new class of multi-vector,  polymorphic  cyber threats combined several types of attacks and changed form to avoid cybersecurity controls as they spread. Phishing is the attempt of acquiring sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details directly from users by deceiving the users. The fake website often asks for personal information, such as log-in details and passwords.
This information can then be used to gain access to the individual’s real account on the real website. Preying on a victim’s trust, phishing can be classified as a form of social engineering. Attackers are using creative ways to gain access to real accounts. A common scam is for attackers to send fake electronic invoices  to individuals showing that they recently purchased music, apps, or others, and instructing them to click on a link if the purchases were not authorized.
Privilege escalation describes a situation where an attacker with some level of restricted access is able to, without authorization, elevate their privileges or access level.
For example, a standard computer user may be able to exploit a vulnerability in the system to gain access to restricted data; or even become ” root ” and have full unrestricted access to a system.
Reverse engineering is the process by which a man-made object is deconstructed to reveal its designs, code, architecture, or to extract knowledge from the object; similar to scientific research, the only difference being that scientific research is about a natural phenomenon. Any computational system affects its environment in some form. This effect it has on its environment, includes a wide range of criteria, which can range from electromagnetic radiation, to residual effect on RAM cells which as a consequent make a Cold boot attack possible, to hardware implementation faults which allow for access and or guessing of other values that normally should be inaccessible.
In Side-channel attack scenarios the attacker would gather such information about a system or network to guess its internal state, and as a result access the information which is assumed by the victim to be secure. Social engineering , in the context of computer security, aims to convince a user to disclose secrets such as passwords, card numbers, etc.
A common scam involves emails sent to accounting and finance department personnel, impersonating their CEO and urgently requesting some action. In May , the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team was the victim of this type of cyber scam with a perpetrator impersonating the team’s president Peter Feigin , resulting in the handover of all the team’s employees’ W-2 tax forms.
Spoofing is an act of masquerading as a valid entity through falsification of data such as an IP address or username , in order to gain access to information or resources that one is otherwise unauthorized to obtain.
Tampering describes a malicious modification or alteration of data. So-called Evil Maid attacks and security services planting of surveillance capability into routers are examples. Malicious software malware installed on a computer can leak any information, such as personal information, business information and passwords, can give control of the system to the attacker, and can corrupt or delete data permanently.
Employee behavior can have a big impact on information security in organizations. Cultural concepts can help different segments of the organization work effectively or work against effectiveness towards information security within an organization.
Information security culture is the ” Andersson and Reimers found that employees often do not see themselves as part of their organization’s information security effort and often take actions that impede organizational changes.
The growth in the number of computer systems and the increasing reliance upon them by individuals, businesses, industries, and governments means that there are an increasing number of systems at risk.
The computer systems of financial regulators and financial institutions like the U. Securities and Exchange Commission , SWIFT, investment banks, and commercial banks are prominent hacking targets for cybercriminals interested in manipulating markets and making illicit gains. Computers control functions at many utilities, including coordination of telecommunications , the power grid , nuclear power plants , and valve opening and closing in water and gas networks.
The Internet is a potential attack vector for such machines if connected, but the Stuxnet worm demonstrated that even equipment controlled by computers not connected to the Internet can be vulnerable. In , the Computer Emergency Readiness Team , a division of the Department of Homeland Security , investigated 79 hacking incidents at energy companies. The aviation industry is very reliant on a series of complex systems which could be attacked. The consequences of a successful attack range from loss of confidentiality to loss of system integrity, air traffic control outages, loss of aircraft, and even loss of life.
Desktop computers and laptops are commonly targeted to gather passwords or financial account information, or to construct a botnet to attack another target. Smartphones , tablet computers , smart watches , and other mobile devices such as quantified self devices like activity trackers have sensors such as cameras, microphones, GPS receivers, compasses, and accelerometers which could be exploited, and may collect personal information, including sensitive health information.
WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell phone networks on any of these devices could be used as attack vectors, and sensors might be remotely activated after a successful breach. The increasing number of home automation devices such as the Nest thermostat are also potential targets. Large corporations are common targets. In many cases attacks are aimed at financial gain through identity theft and involve data breaches. Examples include the loss of millions of clients’ credit card details by Home Depot ,  Staples ,  Target Corporation ,  and the most recent breach of Equifax.
Medical records have been targeted in general identify theft, health insurance fraud, and impersonating patients to obtain prescription drugs for recreational purposes or resale. Not all attacks are financially motivated, however: security firm HBGary Federal suffered a serious series of attacks in from hacktivist group Anonymous in retaliation for the firm’s CEO claiming to have infiltrated their group,   and Sony Pictures was hacked in with the apparent dual motive of embarrassing the company through data leaks and crippling the company by wiping workstations and servers.
Vehicles are increasingly computerized, with engine timing, cruise control , anti-lock brakes , seat belt tensioners, door locks, airbags and advanced driver-assistance systems on many models.
Additionally, connected cars may use WiFi and Bluetooth to communicate with onboard consumer devices and the cell phone network. All of these systems carry some security risk, and such issues have gained wide attention. Simple examples of risk include a malicious compact disc being used as an attack vector,  and the car’s onboard microphones being used for eavesdropping.
However, if access is gained to a car’s internal controller area network , the danger is much greater  — and in a widely publicized test, hackers remotely carjacked a vehicle from 10 miles away and drove it into a ditch.
Manufacturers are reacting in numerous ways, with Tesla in pushing out some security fixes “over the air” into its cars’ computer systems. Government and military computer systems are commonly attacked by activists    and foreign powers. The Internet of things IoT is the network of physical objects such as devices, vehicles, and buildings that are embedded with electronics , software , sensors , and network connectivity that enables them to collect and exchange data.
While the IoT creates opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems,   it also provides opportunities for misuse. In particular, as the Internet of Things spreads widely, cyberattacks are likely to become an increasingly physical rather than simply virtual threat. People could stand to lose much more than their credit card numbers in a world controlled by IoT-enabled devices. Thieves have also used electronic means to circumvent non-Internet-connected hotel door locks.
As IoT devices and appliances gain currency, cyber-kinetic attacks can become pervasive and significantly damaging. Medical devices have either been successfully attacked or had potentially deadly vulnerabilities demonstrated, including both in-hospital diagnostic equipment  and implanted devices including pacemakers  and insulin pumps. In distributed generation systems, the risk of a cyber attack is real, according to Daily Energy Insider.
An attack could cause a loss of power in a large area for a long period of time, and such an attack could have just as severe consequences as a natural disaster. The District of Columbia is considering creating a Distributed Energy Resources DER Authority within the city, with the goal being for customers to have more insight into their own energy use and giving the local electric utility, Pepco , the chance to better estimate energy demand.
The D. Serious financial damage has been caused by security breaches , but because there is no standard model for estimating the cost of an incident, the only data available is that which is made public by the organizations involved. The reliability of these estimates is often challenged; the underlying methodology is basically anecdotal.
However, reasonable estimates of the financial cost of security breaches can actually help organizations make rational investment decisions. According to the classic Gordon-Loeb Model analyzing the optimal investment level in information security, one can conclude that the amount a firm spends to protect information should generally be only a small fraction of the expected loss i.
As with physical security , the motivations for breaches of computer security vary between attackers. Some are thrill-seekers or vandals , some are activists, others are criminals looking for financial gain. Additionally, recent attacker motivations can be traced back to extremist organizations seeking to gain political advantage or disrupt social agendas. All critical targeted environments are susceptible to compromise and this has led to a series of proactive studies on how to migrate the risk by taking into consideration motivations by these types of actors.
Several stark differences exist between the hacker motivation and that of nation state actors seeking to attack based on an ideological preference. A standard part of threat modeling for any particular system is to identify what might motivate an attack on that system, and who might be motivated to breach it. The level and detail of precautions will vary depending on the system to be secured.
A home personal computer , bank , and classified military network face very different threats, even when the underlying technologies in use are similar. In computer security, a countermeasure is an action, device, procedure or technique that reduces a threat, a vulnerability, or an attack by eliminating or preventing it, by minimizing the harm it can cause, or by discovering and reporting it so that corrective action can be taken.
Security by design, or alternately secure by design, means that the software has been designed from the ground up to be secure. In this case, security is considered as a main feature. The Open Security Architecture organization defines IT security architecture as “the design artifacts that describe how the security controls security countermeasures are positioned, and how they relate to the overall information technology architecture.
These controls serve the purpose to maintain the system’s quality attributes: confidentiality, integrity, availability, accountability and assurance services “. Techopedia defines security architecture as “a unified security design that addresses the necessities and potential risks involved in a certain scenario or environment. It also specifies when and where to apply security controls.
The design process is generally reproducible. Practicing security architecture provides the right foundation to systematically address business, IT and security concerns in an organization.
A state of computer “security” is the conceptual ideal, attained by the use of the three processes: threat prevention, detection, and response.
These processes are based on various policies and system components, which include the following:. Today, computer security consists mainly of “preventive” measures, like firewalls or an exit procedure.
A firewall can be defined as a way of filtering network data between a host or a network and another network, such as the Internet , and can be implemented as software running on the machine, hooking into the network stack or, in the case of most UNIX -based operating systems such as Linux , built into the operating system kernel to provide real-time filtering and blocking. Another implementation is a so-called “physical firewall”, which consists of a separate machine filtering network traffic.
Firewalls are common amongst machines that are permanently connected to the Internet. Some organizations are turning to big data platforms, such as Apache Hadoop , to extend data accessibility and machine learning to detect advanced persistent threats. However, relatively few organizations maintain computer systems with effective detection systems, and fewer still have organized response mechanisms in place. As a result, as Reuters points out: “Companies for the first time report they are losing more through electronic theft of data than physical stealing of assets”.
Yet it is basic evidence gathering by using packet capture appliances that puts criminals behind bars. In order to ensure adequate security, the confidentiality, integrity and availability of a network, better known as the CIA triad, must be protected and is considered the foundation to information security. The amount of security afforded to an asset can only be determined when its value is known.
Vulnerability management is the cycle of identifying, remediating or mitigating vulnerabilities ,  especially in software and firmware. Vulnerability management is integral to computer security and network security. Vulnerabilities can be discovered with a vulnerability scanner , which analyzes a computer system in search of known vulnerabilities,  such as open ports , insecure software configuration, and susceptibility to malware.
In order for these tools to be effective, they must be kept up to date with every new update the vendor release. Typically, these updates will scan for the new vulnerabilities that were introduced recently.
Beyond vulnerability scanning, many organizations contract outside security auditors to run regular penetration tests against their systems to identify vulnerabilities. In some sectors, this is a contractual requirement.
While formal verification of the correctness of computer systems is possible,   it is not yet common. Two factor authentication is a method for mitigating unauthorized access to a system or sensitive information. It requires “something you know”; a password or PIN, and “something you have”; a card, dongle, cellphone, or another piece of hardware.
This increases security as an unauthorized person needs both of these to gain access. Social engineering and direct computer access physical attacks can only be prevented by non-computer means, which can be difficult to enforce, relative to the sensitivity of the information.
Training is often involved to help mitigate this risk, but even in highly disciplined environments e. Inoculation, derived from inoculation theory , seeks to prevent social engineering and other fraudulent tricks or traps by instilling a resistance to persuasion attempts through exposure to similar or related attempts.
While hardware may be a source of insecurity, such as with microchip vulnerabilities maliciously introduced during the manufacturing process,   hardware-based or assisted computer security also offers an alternative to software-only computer security. Using devices and methods such as dongles , trusted platform modules , intrusion-aware cases, drive locks, disabling USB ports, and mobile-enabled access may be considered more secure due to the physical access or sophisticated backdoor access required in order to be compromised.
Each of these is covered in more detail below. One use of the term “computer security” refers to technology that is used to implement secure operating systems. Many common operating systems meet the EAL4 standard of being “Methodically Designed, Tested and Reviewed”, but the formal verification required for the highest levels means that they are uncommon. In software engineering, secure coding aims to guard against the accidental introduction of security vulnerabilities.
It is also possible to create software designed from the ground up to be secure. Such systems are secure by design. Beyond this, formal verification aims to prove the correctness of the algorithms underlying a system;  important for cryptographic protocols for example. Within computer systems, two of the main security models capable of enforcing privilege separation are access control lists ACLs and role-based access control RBAC. An access-control list ACL , with respect to a computer file system, is a list of permissions associated with an object.
An ACL specifies which users or system processes are granted access to objects, as well as what operations are allowed on given objects. Role-based access control is an approach to restricting system access to authorized users,    used by the majority of enterprises with more than employees,  and can implement mandatory access control MAC or discretionary access control DAC. A further approach, capability-based security has been mostly restricted to research operating systems. Capabilities can, however, also be implemented at the language level, leading to a style of programming that is essentially a refinement of standard object-oriented design.
An open-source project in the area is the E language. This is a gift to attackers who have obtained access to a machine by some means. The risk may be mitigated by the use of two-factor authentication. As the human component of cyber risk is particularly relevant in determining the global cyber risk  an organization is facing, security awareness training, at all levels, not only provides formal compliance with regulatory and industry mandates but is considered essential  in reducing cyber risk and protecting individuals and companies from the great majority of cyber threats.
The focus on the end-user represents a profound cultural change for many security practitioners, who have traditionally approached cybersecurity exclusively from a technical perspective, and moves along the lines suggested by major security centers  to develop a culture of cyber awareness within the organization, recognizing that a security-aware user provides an important line of defense against cyber attacks.
Related to end-user training, digital hygiene or cyber hygiene is a fundamental principle relating to information security and, as the analogy with personal hygiene shows, is the equivalent of establishing simple routine measures to minimize the risks from cyber threats.
The assumption is that good cyber hygiene practices can give networked users another layer of protection, reducing the risk that one vulnerable node will be used to either mount attacks or compromise another node or network, especially from common cyberattacks. As opposed to a purely technology-based defense against threats, cyber hygiene mostly regards routine measures that are technically simple to implement and mostly dependent on discipline  or education. As such, these measures can be performed by laypeople, not just security experts.
Cyber hygiene relates to personal hygiene as computer viruses relate to biological viruses or pathogens. However, while the term computer virus was coined almost simultaneously with the creation of the first working computer viruses,  the term cyber hygiene is a much later invention, perhaps as late as  by Internet pioneer Vint Cerf.
Responding to attempted security breaches is often very difficult for a variety of reasons, including:.
Where an attack succeeds and a breach occurs, many jurisdictions now have in place mandatory security breach notification laws. Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a computer security incident or compromise with the goal of preventing a breach or thwarting a cyberattack. An incident that is not identified and managed at the time of intrusion typically escalates to a more damaging event such as a data breach or system failure.
The intended outcome of a computer security incident response plan is to contain the incident, limit damage and assist recovery to business as usual. Responding to compromises quickly can mitigate exploited vulnerabilities, restore services and processes and minimize losses.
Typical incident response plans contain a set of written instructions that outline the organization’s response to a cyberattack. Without a documented plan in place, an organization may not successfully detect an intrusion or compromise and stakeholders may not understand their roles, processes and procedures during an escalation, slowing the organization’s response and resolution.
In , 60, computers were connected to the Internet, and most were mainframes, minicomputers and professional workstations. On 2 November , many started to slow down, because they were running a malicious code that demanded processor time and that spread itself to other computers — the first internet ” computer worm “.
In , over a hundred intrusions were made by unidentified crackers into the Rome Laboratory , the US Air Force’s main command and research facility. Using trojan horses , hackers were able to obtain unrestricted access to Rome’s networking systems and remove traces of their activities. The intruders were able to obtain classified files, such as air tasking order systems data and furthermore able to penetrate connected networks of National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘s Goddard Space Flight Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, some Defense contractors, and other private sector organizations, by posing as a trusted Rome center user.
In early , American apparel and home goods company TJX announced that it was the victim of an unauthorized computer systems intrusion  and that the hackers had accessed a system that stored data on credit card , debit card , check , and merchandise return transactions. In , the computer worm known as Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. This is generally believed to have been launched by Israel and the United States to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program     — although neither has publicly admitted this.
A Ukrainian hacker known as Rescator broke into Target Corporation computers in , stealing roughly 40 million credit cards,  and then Home Depot computers in , stealing between 53 and 56 million credit card numbers. The size of the thefts has resulted in major attention from state and Federal United States authorities and the investigation is ongoing. In April , the Office of Personnel Management discovered it had been hacked more than a year earlier in a data breach, resulting in the theft of approximately The group claimed that they had taken not only company data but user data as well.
After the breach, The Impact Team dumped emails from the company’s CEO, to prove their point, and threatened to dump customer data unless the website was taken down permanently. In June , the cyber attack took down the largest fuel pipeline in the U. International legal issues of cyber attacks are complicated in nature. There is no global base of common rules to judge, and eventually punish, cybercrimes and cybercriminals – and where security firms or agencies do locate the cybercriminal behind the creation of a particular piece of malware or form of cyber attack , often the local authorities cannot take action due to lack of laws under which to prosecute.
So the Internet is as if someone [had] given free plane tickets to all the online criminals of the world. The role of the government is to make regulations to force companies and organizations to protect their systems, infrastructure and information from any cyberattacks, but also to protect its own national infrastructure such as the national power-grid.
The government’s regulatory role in cyberspace is complicated. For some, cyberspace was seen as a virtual space that was to remain free of government intervention, as can be seen in many of today’s libertarian blockchain and bitcoin discussions. Many government officials and experts think that the government should do more and that there is a crucial need for improved regulation, mainly due to the failure of the private sector to solve efficiently the cybersecurity problem.
Clarke said during a panel discussion at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco , he believes that the “industry only responds when you threaten regulation. If the industry doesn’t respond to the threat , you have to follow through.
Daniel R. McCarthy analyzed this public-private partnership in cybersecurity and reflected on the role of cybersecurity in the broader constitution of political order. On 22 May , the UN Security Council held its second ever informal meeting on cybersecurity to focus on cyber challenges to international peace. GDPR requires that business processes that handle personal data be built with data protection by design and by default.
Since , Canada has had a cybersecurity strategy. Public Safety Canada aims to begin an evaluation of Canada’s cybersecurity strategy in early The LSG was created to overcome the incoherent policies and overlapping responsibilities that characterized China’s former cyberspace decision-making mechanisms.
The LSG oversees policy-making in the economic, political, cultural, social and military fields as they relate to network security and IT strategy.
This LSG also coordinates major policy initiatives in the international arena that promote norms and standards favored by the Chinese government and that emphasizes the principle of national sovereignty in cyberspace. According to the Minister, the primary task of the new organization founded on 23 February , is to detect and prevent attacks against the national infrastructure and mentioned incidents like Stuxnet.
Some provisions for cybersecurity have been incorporated into rules framed under the Information Technology Act The National Cyber Security Policy is a policy framework by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology MeitY which aims to protect the public and private infrastructure from cyberattacks, and safeguard “information, such as personal information of web users , financial and banking information and sovereign data”.
CERT- In is the nodal agency which monitors the cyber threats in the country. The Indian Companies Act has also introduced cyber law and cybersecurity obligations on the part of Indian directors. Some provisions for cybersecurity have been incorporated into rules framed under the Information Technology Act Update in Following cyberattacks in the first half of , when the government, news media, television stations, and bank websites were compromised, the national government committed to the training of 5, new cybersecurity experts by The South Korean government blamed its northern counterpart for these attacks, as well as incidents that occurred in , ,  and , but Pyongyang denies the accusations.
The 18 U. It prohibits unauthorized access or damage of “protected computers” as defined in 18 U. Although various other measures have been proposed   — none has succeeded. In response to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack  President Joe Biden signed Executive Order  on May 12, , to increase software security standards for sales to the government, tighten detection and security on existing systems, improve information sharing and training, establish a Cyber Safety Review Board, and improve incident response.
The Department of Homeland Security has a dedicated division responsible for the response system, risk management program and requirements for cybersecurity in the United States called the National Cyber Security Division. In addition to its own specific duties, the FBI participates alongside non-profit organizations such as InfraGard. The CCIPS is in charge of investigating computer crime and intellectual property crime and is specialized in the search and seizure of digital evidence in computers and networks.
The U. Federal Communications Commission ‘s role in cybersecurity is to strengthen the protection of critical communications infrastructure, to assist in maintaining the reliability of networks during disasters, to aid in swift recovery after, and to ensure that first responders have access to effective communications services. The Food and Drug Administration has issued guidance for medical devices,  and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  is concerned with automotive cybersecurity.
After being criticized by the Government Accountability Office ,  and following successful attacks on airports and claimed attacks on airplanes, the Federal Aviation Administration has devoted funding to securing systems on board the planes of private manufacturers, and the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.
In the US, two distinct organizations exist, although they do work closely together. There is growing concern that cyberspace will become the next theater of warfare. In the future, wars will not just be fought by soldiers with guns or with planes that drop bombs. They will also be fought with the click of a mouse a half a world away that unleashes carefully weaponized computer programs that disrupt or destroy critical industries like utilities, transportation, communications, and energy.
Such attacks could also disable military networks that control the movement of troops, the path of jet fighters, the command and control of warships. This has led to new terms such as cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism. The United States Cyber Command was created in  and many other countries have similar forces.
There are a few critical voices that question whether cybersecurity is as significant a threat as it is made out to be. Cybersecurity is a fast-growing field of IT concerned with reducing organizations’ risk of hack or data breaches. The fastest increases in demand for cybersecurity workers are in industries managing increasing volumes of consumer data such as finance, health care, and retail. Typical cybersecurity job titles and descriptions include: .
Student programs are also available for people interested in beginning a career in cybersecurity. In the United Kingdom, a nationwide set of cybersecurity forums, known as the U. K Cyber Security Forum , were established supported by the Government’s cybersecurity strategy  in order to encourage start-ups and innovation and to address the skills gap  identified by the U. K Government. The framework defines emerging cybersecurity roles in Operational Technology.
It outlines the different OT cybersecurity job positions as well as the technical skills and core competencies necessary. It also depicts the many career paths available, including vertical and lateral advancement opportunities. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Protection of computer systems from information disclosure, theft or damage. Phreaking Cryptovirology Hacking of consumer electronics List of hackers. Hacker culture and ethic. Computer crime. Crimeware List of computer criminals Script kiddie. Hacking tools. Exploit forensics-focused operating systems Payload Social engineering Vulnerability.
Practice sites. HackThisSite Zone-H. Computer security. Application security Cloud computing security Network security. Main article: Vulnerability computing.
Main article: Side-channel attack. Main article: Spoofing attack. See also: Medical device hijack and Medical data breach. Main article: Secure by design. Main article: Vulnerability management. See also: Computer security compromised by hardware failure.
Main article: Security-evaluated operating system. Main article: Secure coding. Main articles: Access control list , Role-based access control , and Capability-based security. Further information: List of cyber-attacks and List of data breaches. Main article: Morris worm. Main article: Global surveillance disclosures —present.
Main article: Ashley Madison Data Breach. Main article: Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. Main article: Computer emergency response team. This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.
January Main article: Cyberwarfare. Ross J. Denning Peter J. Neumann Susan Nycum Paul C. Stolfo Willis Ware Moti Yung. Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law. ISSN Retrieved 12 July The Australian. Politics and Governance. S2CID Neumann, N. Statland and R. Webb Retrieved 19 June Retrieved 16 January Retrieved 31 May April The Washington Post.
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Retrieved 11 May SC Magazine UK. Archived from the original on 13 September Retrieved 4 July Consumer Information. Retrieved 17 February Reversing: secrets of reverseengineering. ISBN Archived PDF from the original on 3 December Retrieved 16 April Financial Times. Archived from the original on 23 June Retrieved 7 May Associated Press. Archived from the original on 20 May Retrieved 20 May Archived from the original on 30 June Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 October Advances in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition.
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CNN Money. Cable News Network. Archived from the original on 18 February Zellan, Aviation Security. Bruce Bartlett stated in that “The original supply-siders suggested that some tax cuts, under very special circumstances, might actually raise federal revenues. But today it is common to hear tax cutters claim, implausibly, that all tax cuts raise revenue. Some contemporary economists do not consider supply-side economics a tenable economic theory, with Alan Blinder calling it an “ill-fated” and perhaps “silly” school on the pages of a textbook.
Bush ‘s Council of Economic Advisers , offered similarly sharp criticism of the school in the early editions of his introductory economics textbook. My reading of the academic literature leads me to believe that about one-third of the cost of a typical tax cut is recouped with faster economic growth.
In a article for the Harvard International Review , James Tobin wrote: “The ‘Laffer curve’ idea that tax cuts would actually increase revenues turned out to deserve the ridicule. Karl Case and Ray Fair wrote in Principles of Economics, “The extreme promises of supply-side economics did not materialize. President Reagan argued that because of the effect depicted in the Laffer curve, the government could maintain expenditures, cut tax rates, and balance the budget.
This was not the case. Government revenues fell sharply from levels that would have been realized without the tax cuts. Supply side proponents Trabandt and Uhlig argue that “static scoring overestimates the revenue loss for labor and capital tax cuts” and that ” dynamic scoring ” is a better predictor for the effects of tax cuts. A study by University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee , which examined major changes in high income tax rates in the United States from the s onwards concluded that there only modest changes in the reported income of high-income individuals, indicating that the tax changes had little effect on how much people work.
A working paper found that in the case of Russia, “tax rate cuts can increase revenues by improving tax compliance. John Quiggin distinguishes between the Laffer curve and Laffer’s analysis of tax rates. The Laffer curve was “correct but unoriginal”, but Laffer’s analysis that the United States was on the wrong side of the Laffer curve “was original but incorrect. Proponents of supply-side economics have sometimes cited tax cuts enacted in the s as evidence that tax cuts can increase tax revenue.
According to a study, the tax reductions implemented in the s reduced tax avoidance. Proponents of supply-side economics sometimes cite tax cuts enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson with the Revenue Act of John F. According to the CBO, “most of this rise [in revenues] was due to economic growth that would have taken place even without the tax cut.
Hereby, the data have provided evidence that the group has been in the prohibitive part of the Laffer curve, because its input to total tax revenues have increased despite the tax rates decreasing significantly. Supply-siders justified Reagan’s tax cuts during the s by claiming they would result in net increases in tax revenue, yet tax revenues declined relative to a baseline without the cuts due to Reagan’s tax cuts, and the deficit ballooned during Reagan’s term in office.
For the self-employed, the FICA tax rate went from 9. Those tax hikes on wage earners, along with inflation, were the source of revenue gains in the early s.
It has been contended by some supply-side critics that the argument to lower taxes to increase revenues was a smokescreen for “starving” the government of revenues in the hope that the tax cuts would lead to a corresponding drop in government spending, but this did not turn out to be the case. Paul Samuelson called this notion “the tape worm theory—the idea that the way to get rid of a tape worm is [to] stab your patient in the stomach”.
There is frequent confusion on the meaning of the term “supply-side economics” between the related ideas of the existence of the Laffer Curve and the belief that decreasing tax rates can increase tax revenues. Many supply-side economists doubt the latter claim while still supporting the general policy of tax cuts. Economist Gregory Mankiw used the term “fad economics” to describe the notion of tax rate cuts increasing revenue in the third edition of his Principles of Macroeconomics textbook in a section entitled “Charlatans and Cranks”:.
An example of fad economics occurred in , when a small group of economists advised Presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan, that an across-the-board cut in income tax rates would raise tax revenue.
They argued that if people could keep a higher fraction of their income, people would work harder to earn more income. Even though tax rates would be lower, income would rise by so much, they claimed, that tax revenues would rise. Almost all professional economists, including most of those who supported Reagan’s proposal to cut taxes, viewed this outcome as far too optimistic.
Lower tax rates might encourage people to work harder and this extra effort would offset the direct effects of lower tax rates to some extent, but there was no credible evidence that work effort would rise by enough to cause tax revenues to rise in the face of lower tax rates. Similarly, when politicians rely on the advice of charlatans and cranks, they rarely get the desirable results they anticipate. After Reagan’s election, Congress passed the cut in tax rates that Reagan advocated, but the tax cut did not cause tax revenues to rise.
In , Martin Feldstein — a self-described “traditional supply sider” who served as Reagan’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors from to — characterized the “new supply siders” who emerged circa What distinguished the new supply siders from the traditional supply siders as the s began was not the policies they advocated but the claims that they made for those policies The “new” supply siders were much more extravagant in their claims.
They projected rapid growth, dramatic increases in tax revenue, a sharp rise in saving, and a relatively painless reduction in inflation. The height of supply side hyperbole was the “Laffer curve” proposition that the tax cut would actually increase tax revenue because it would unleash an enormously depressed supply of effort. Another remarkable proposition was the claim that even if the tax cuts did lead to an increased budget deficit, that would not reduce the funds available for investment in plant and equipment because tax changes would raise the saving rate by enough to finance the increased deficit Nevertheless, I have no doubt that the loose talk of the supply side extremists gave fundamentally good policies a bad name and led to quantitative mistakes that not only contributed to subsequent budget deficits but that also made it more difficult to modify policy when those deficits became apparent.
In , the Congressional Budget Office conducted a dynamic scoring analysis of tax cuts advocated by supply advocates, and found that the Bush tax cuts would not pay for themselves. Two of the nine models used in the study predicted a large improvement in the deficit over the next ten years resulting from tax cuts, but only by making the assumption that people would work harder from to because they believed that tax rates would increase again in , and they wanted to make more money before the tax cuts expired.
This study was criticized by many economists, including Harvard Economics Professor Greg Mankiw, who pointed out that the CBO used a very low value for the earnings-weighted compensated labor supply elasticity of 0.
In other words, deficits would increase by nearly the same amount as the tax cut in the first five years with limited feedback revenue thereafter. Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman agreed the tax cuts would reduce tax revenues and result in intolerable deficits, though he supported them as a means to restrain federal spending.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin was a Bush administration economist who was appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office in Under his leadership, the CBO undertook a study of income tax rates which found that any new revenue from tax cuts paled in comparison to their cost. Writing on his blog in , Samwick urged his former colleagues in the Bush administration to avoid asserting that the Bush tax cuts paid for themselves, because “No thoughtful person believes it Not a single one.
The New York Times reported in November that the Trump tax overhaul “has fattened the paychecks of most American workers, padded the profits of large corporations and sped economic growth. Results for included:. Analysis conducted by the Congressional Research Service on the first-year effect of the tax cut found that little if any economic growth in could be attributed to it.
Income inequality can be measured both pre- and after-tax. There is no consensus on the effects of income tax cuts on pre-tax income inequality, although one study indicated a strong correlation between how much top marginal tax rates were cut and greater pre-tax inequality across many countries.
For example, the Tax Policy Center evaluated a detailed supply-side tax cut proposal from presidential candidate Jeb Bush in Their conclusion was that the proposal would both increase deficits dramatically and worsen after-tax income inequality.
Critics of supply-side policies emphasize the growing federal deficits, increased income inequality and lack of growth. Writing in , John Quiggin said, “To the extent that there was an economic response to the Reagan tax cuts, and to those of George W. Bush twenty years later, it seems largely to have been a Keynesian demand-side response, to be expected when governments provide households with additional net income in the context of a depressed economy. Cutting marginal tax rates can also be perceived as primarily beneficial to the wealthy, which some see as politically rather than economically motivated: .
Back in George H. Bush famously described supply-side economics — the claim that cutting taxes on rich people will conjure up an economic miracle, so much so that revenues will actually rise — as “voodoo economic policy.
That shows an impressive level of commitment. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.
Studies, which have analysed the tax cuts in EGTRRA , provided controversial conclusions: the decrease in taxes have provided a generally positive impact on the future output from the effect of the lower tax rates on human capital accumulation, private saving and investment, labor supply; however, the tax cuts have produced adverse effects such as higher deficits and reduced national savings.
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Harris; Julie A. Principles of Economics in Context. ISBN Macroeconomics, 3E. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. The supply-side economics is the most recent macroeconomic thought. New York: Basic Books. Theory and Society.
ISSN JSTOR S2CID The Laffer curve became a powerful pedagogical symbol that many supply siders used when presenting their position. The Journal of Economic Education. March 27, SAGE Publications. Gregory January 1, Principles of Economics. Cengage Learning. Economics Department Faculty Publications. Gregory Foreign Affairs. But that is a long way from the one- to four-percentage-point boost that the president and his associates have bragged of, and that Moore and Laffer quote without explanation, caveat, or apology.
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