Data security systems must protect against ‘increasing hacktivism’

The evolution of cyber-crime from “mischievous virus-writing” to financially or politically motivated attacks is a trend likely to continue, a new report has revealed.

Data security firm Sophos’ Security Threat Report 2011 has analysed the threats and trends of 2009 and 2010 to predict what will happen in the year ahead.

The company suggested that the WikiLeaks scandal and the following Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks on organisations that had withdrawn their support illustrated a fundamental change in the motivation behind cyber crime.

A virus unleashed in 2010, called the Stuxnet worm, compounded this change by targeting the systems used in industrial applications and nuclear facilities globally, the report suggested.

“These exemplify the development of cybercrime from the initial stages of proof-of-concept and mischievous virus-writing, through financially motivated, organised criminal activity … and finally a third, political motivation,” the company said.

McAfee Labs has also warned organisations to improve data security as politically motivated attacks, commonly known as ‘hacktivism’, will increase throughout 2011 and beyond.

Kroll Ontrack is the world’s leader in data recovery and data management services, working to keep your data safe and always available.

Posted by Edward Clark