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Survey Finds Increase In Cyberattacks

Some industries are more attack prone than others, according to a report. Power and energy companies suffered severe attacks at almost twice the rate of the mean number of all other industries.

Cyberattack activity increased 79% among 300 companies surveyed between July and December last year by security-services vendor Riptech Inc.

The study of companies in more than 25 countries also monitored attacks based on severity, intensity, and geographic sources. The data is based on statistical analysis of more than 5.5 million discreet data points, in which more than 128,000 unique cyberattacks were analyzed, according to Riptech. Because the Nimda and Code Red worms were responsible for 63% of all attack activity, these two viruses were eliminated from any analysis to keep those numbers from skewing the data, the company says.

Most of the cyberattacks analyzed in the study originated in a small number of countries. For example, 30% of all attacks originated in the United States while South Korea and China accounted for 9% and 8%, respectively. However, the number of intense attacks originating in Israel was almost double the attack intensity rate of any other country, a figure that is calculated in relation to the number of Internet users in each country.

Some industries are more attack prone than others, says the report. Power and energy companies suffered severe attacks at almost twice the rate of the mean number of all other industries. High-tech, financial-services, and media companies were also frequent targets, with more than 700 attacks each.

While less than 1% of all attacks detected by Riptech posed a severe and immediate threat to clients, the raw number of severe attacks (i.e., nearly 1,000 critical and emergency attacks) was still substantial due to the sheer volume of total attacks.

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