An annual survey on cyber-crime tendencies found that computer hackers dedicated to accessing computers, stealing information and causing problems are more technologically advanced than those in charge of stopping them. The survey was sponsored by the consultancy firm PwC of San Jose California, the Secret Service, Carnegie Mellon University’s Program Engineering Institute and the specialized magazine CSO.
The survey of 500 business executives, police forces and US government agencies revealed that 75% of respondents had detected a security breach during the previous year, and each organization suffered an average of 135 intrusions. “Despite significant investments in cyber-safety technologies, cyber-criminals keep finding ways to bypass these technologies to obtain profit-generating susceptible information,” said Ed Lowery, chief of the Secret Services’ criminal investigation division.
Lowery said companies and the government should adopt “a radically different approach on cyber-safety,” one that transcends antivirus programs, employee training, close collaboration with contractors and the installation of more strict processes.
The five most frequent attack methods, according to the survey, are “phishing,” or mass email with fake senders to steal information and passwords, malware, network interruption, espionage software and service denial attacks. 28% of respondents said hackers were members of the organization, whether contractors, providers, employees or former employees.