- major hacker groups active in 2002 shows the top ten hot beds originating hacker attack to be Brazil, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Italy, UK, Indonesia, Turkey, Libya and USA.
Attacks on the West show a spurt of growth mainly coming from radical groups and individuals based in predominantly Islamic countries. Retaliatory attacks targeting Islamic countries are proportionately very low in most instances or negligible.
The threat from pro-Islamic, anti-capitalist and other radical hacker groups to the US, UK, Israel, Russia and India has increased significantly in protest at the ‘War with Iraq’, ‘War on terrorism’, the ‘Chechnya conflict’, the ‘Israel-Palestine issue’ and the ‘India-Pakistan tension over Kashmir.’ The five issues appeared to be linked in the minds of the ideologically motivated hackers.
Discounting Brazilian attacks, which are primarily motivated by intellectual challenge and criminal syndicates, the detailed analyses of hacker origins for attacks on the US, UK, Israel and India show:
32,434 attacks on USA – The US suffered major ideologically motivated attacks originating from Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, UK, Turkey, Libya and Morocco. Reduced scale hacker attacks also originated from France, Italy and from within the US.
5,589 attacks on UK – Surprisingly, the UK suffered most of its major attacks from within the UK and from the US. The ideologically motivated external attacks originated from Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco and Turkey.
811 attacks on India: India was attacked primarily by Pakistani hackers as well as by groups originating from Morocco, Indonesia, Libya, Turkey and Egypt.
380 attacks on Israel: Israel suffered most of its major attacks originating from Libya, Morocco, Egypt, France, Pakistan, Indonesia and Italy. The overall number of attacks on Israeli computers declined in 2002 because security was tightened progressively.
“Disgruntled or disaffected individuals – employees and sub-contractors – have the greatest potential to cause serious damage in colluding with third parties. Current events are polarizing communities along ideological lines. Hacking is a remote crime but it does require local presence for serious damage to be caused.
Organizations need to be extra vigilant and screen their workforce and computers appropriately,” said DK Matai, Chairman and CEO of mi2g. “As the events in the UK show, digital risk management needs to address the threat from within and without simultaneously. Policies not designed for the 21st century are failing. Wireless networks, private mobile telephones, instant messaging and remote access eMail accounts are helping to bypass elaborate security procedures every day. Executives need to rethink their strategy.”
The top ten victim countries for 2002 were USA, Brazil, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Denmark, Australia and South Korea. Overt digital attacks worldwide have risen from 4,197 in 1999 to 7,821 (2000), 31,322 (2001) and 87,525 in 2002. January 2003 is set to be a record-breaking month for overt digital attacks.