Friday, January 20, 2006

FBI Computer Crime Survey

The FBI released it's Computer Crime Survey today. Here are the key findings:

"Frequency of attacks. Nearly nine out of 10 organizations experienced computer security incidents in a year's time; 20% of them indicated they had experienced 20 or more attacks.

Types of attacks. Viruses (83.7%) and spyware (79.5%) headed the list. More than one in five organizations said they experienced port scans and network or data sabotage.

Financial impact. Over 64% of the respondents incurred a loss. Viruses and worms cost the most, accounting for $12 million of the $32 million in total losses.

Sources of the attacks. They came from 36 different countries. The U.S. (26.1%) and China (23.9%) were the source of over half of the intrusion attempts, though masking technologies make it difficult to get an accurate reading.

Defenses. Most said they installed new security updates and software following incidents, but advanced security techniques such as biometrics (4%) and smart cards (7%) were used infrequently. In addition, 44% reported intrusions from within their own organizations, suggesting the need for strong internal controls.

Reporting. Just 9% said they reported incidents to law enforcement, believing the infractions were not illegal or that there was little law enforcement could or would do. Of those reporting, however, 91% were satisfied with law enforcement's response. And 81% said they'd report future incidents to the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. Many also said they were unaware of
InfraGard, a joint FBI/private sector initiative that battles computer crimes and other threats through information sharing."

This is a pretty interesting study and illustrates (to me anyway) that stealing information is often the motivation for these attacks.

Here is a relevant story that occurred earlier in the year, where a major industrial espionage ring was discovered in Israel:

Industrial Trojan Fraud (Espionage) Discovered

For the full survey, courtesy of the FBI, click on the title of this post.

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