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Cyber Spys Threaten National Security

McAfee: Cybercrime economy grows as more sophisticated threats target personal data, online services, and social networking applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE) today announced findings from its annual cyber security study in which experts warned that the rise in international cyber spying will pose the single biggest security threat in 2008. Other major trends include an increasing threat to online services such as banking, and the emergence of a complex and sophisticated market for malware.

The annual McAfeeR Virtual Criminology Report examines emerging global cyber security trends, with input from NATO, the FBI, SOCA and experts from leading groups and universities. The report finds the following conclusions:

  • Governments and allied groups are using the Internet for cyber spying and cyber attacks
  • Targets include critical national infrastructure network systems such as electricity, air traffic control, financial markets and government computer networks
  • 120 countries are now using the Internet for Web espionage operations
  • Many cyber attacks originate from China, and the Chinese government has publicly stated that it is pursuing activities in cyber espionage
  • Cyber assaults have become more sophisticated in their nature, designed to specifically slip under the radar of government cyber defenses
  • Attacks have progressed from initial curiosity probes to well-funded and well-organized operations for political, military, economic and technical espionage

"Cybercrime is now a global issue," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs and product development. "It has evolved significantly and is no longer just a threat to industry and individuals but increasingly to national security. We're seeing emerging threats from increasingly sophisticated groups attacking organizations around the world. Technology is only part of the solution, and over the next five years we will start to see international governments take action."

McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE)