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Chapter: Security in Computing - Is There a Security Problem in Computing?

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Top Methods of Attack

In 2006, the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released results of its latest annual survey of businesses regarding security incidents.

Sidebar 1-4: Top Methods of Attack

 

In 2006, the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released results of its latest annual survey of businesses regarding security incidents . Of companies surveyed, 62 percent reported one or more security breaches during the year (down from 74 percent two years earlier). The median number of incidents was 8.

 

In 2006, 29 percent of respondents (compared to 27 percent in 2004) reported an accidental security incident, and 57 percent (compared to 68 percent) reported a malicious incident. The percentage reporting a serious incident fell to 23 percent from 39 percent.

 

The top type of attack was virus or other malicious code at 35 percent (down significantly from 50 percent two years earlier). Staff misuse of data or resources was stable at 21 percent (versus 22 percent). Intrusion from outside (including hacker attacks) was constant at 17 percent in both periods, incidents involving fraud or theft were down to 8 percent form 11 percent, and failure of equipment was up slightly to 29 percent from 27 percent.

 

Attempts to break into a system from outside get much publicity. Of the respondents, 5 percent reported they experienced hundreds of such attacks a day, and 17 percent reported "several a day.



Sidebar 1-5: Hollywood at Risk

 

Do you think only banks, government sites, and universities are targets? Consider Hollywood. In 2001, Hollywoodspecifically the motion picture industrywas hit with a series of attacks. Crackers entered computers and were able to obtain access to scripts for new projects, and digital versions of films in production, including Ocean's 11 at Warner Brothers and The One at Columbia Pictures. The attackers also retrieved and made public executives' e-mail messages.

But, as is true of many computer security incidents, at least one attacker was an insider. Global Network Security Services, a security consulting firm hired by several Hollywood companies to test the security of their networks, found that an employee was copying the day's (digital) film, taking it home, and allowing his roommate to post it to an Internet site.



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