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39% Surge in Federal Cyber Attacks in 2010

Although overall incidents of cyber condemnation decreased during 2010 against the previous year, still cyber attacks pertained towards the federal government showed an upsurge, as per a new report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reported by InformationWeek on March 23, 2011.

39% of the overall incidents were directed from the Federal government. However, spiteful code via multiple means including phishing and logic bomb persists to be the most commonly used attack approach as mentioned in the annual report from the OMB.

Even, the report to the Congress unveiled phishing to be one of the major causes for over half of the 107,439 cyber incidents determined by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team in the US for FY2010 from various teams including commercial enterprises, state, and local governments, American citizens, federal, and foreign CERT teams.

Phishing remained one of the topmost endemics inflicting the federal networks, even though the year over year numbers were somewhat less. The federal reported 52.7% of the total number of incidents accounting to 56,579 phishing attacks in 2010, against 64.5% in 2009 accounting for a 70,132 phishing attacks.

Through two initiatives, namely Trusted Internet Connection and Einstein, the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been proclaimed to be working in cooperation, as reported by the OMB.

However, DHS foresees spiteful cyber activity to take a toll over all other incidents and turn out to be more prevalent, sophisticated, and targeted intruder ranging widely from unsophisticated hackers to technically efficient intruders utilizing high-tech techniques, as reported by DHS spokesman Chris Ortman, reported by Federal Times on March 23, 2011.

The report even unveiled the fact that, among the federal agencies, occurrence of 31% cyber incidents in 2010 comprised malicious code. 14% reported incidents that were due to unauthorized access; 17% due to improper usage; 27% due to scans, probes, and attempted access; and 0.1% due to denial of service. Over 27% of federal incidents were claimed to be categorized under investigation or other.

Nonetheless, agencies are ongoing with their reports detailing on security metrics via Cyberscpe, which is a federal system with an aim of attaining precise knowledge of security practices undertaken by the agencies. The subsequent phase of this work will be towards introducing CyberStat management model throughout the federal government in 2011, according to the report.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

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