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US crackers top Internet attack league

Britain fails to chart

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Internet attacks are on the rise and more crackers come from the United States than any other country.

That's the main findings of a study by real-time security services outfit RipTech of attack trends obtained from a sample of more than 300 companies in more than 25 countries during the last six months of last year.

In the first such analysis by the firm, RipTech discovered that 30 per cent of attacks originated from the USA. South Korea (9 per cent) and China (8 per cent) also figured high in the League of security villains.

The rate of attack activity has increased substantially, with cracker assaults per company increasing by 79 per cent between July and December 2001, RipTech reckons. This flies in the face of findings from some US monitoring agencies, but then again RipTech is looking at a different set of data which it argues is superior because it is carried out automatically and doesn't rely on firms reporting problems.

We'll inject a note of caution here by saying the basis of the report is to promote the need for RipTech's managed security offerings. That said the firm correctly identifies that its attack trend data gives decision makers access to factual information they need to assess and mitigate the risk of cyber attack.

RipTech figures show different industries suffer significantly different rates of attack intensity and severity.

High tech, financial services, media/entertainment, and power and energy showed the highest number of attacks per company, each averaging more than 700 attacks per company over the past six months, RipTech reports. Power and energy companies were assaulted with twice the mean number of attacks recorded by organisations in other sectors.

Crackers were also more inclined to target publicly quoted companies and larger firms, the study also found.

Adjusting for the number of Internet users in each country, the intensity of attacks from Israel is nearly double the attack intensity rate of any other individual country. ®

External links

RipTech's Internet security threat report

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