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Hackers are winning the cyber crime war, says new study

28 May 2014, 1:31 pm EDT By Joseph Mayton Tech Times
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The cyber war is going well, at least if you are one of the hackers, states a new study published by the business consulting firm PwC, the United States Secret Service, the CERT Division of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute and CSO security news magazine.

The report is not good news for users who have long expected companies to safeguard their private and personal information from third-party access.

It is a continuation of a number of reports on cyber security that have been published in recent months after a series of mass attacks hit a number of websites, including most recently eBay and Spotify, where millions of users accounts were hacked by outside sources.

The study surveyed some 500 officials from American businesses, law enforcement agencies as well as government agencies and claims if a hacker wants to get into a website and garner personal and private data, little can be done to stop them as the hackers boast more advanced technology and background.

It is the 12th annual study on cybercrime published by the consortium and urges businesses and government agencies to maintain vigilance and boost their capacity to protect users.

According to the report, a disturbing 75 percent of those questioned revealed their company or agency had experience some sort of security attack, and breach, over the past 12 months, with the industry average being around 135 such attacks per organization.

"Despite substantial investments in cybersecurity technologies, cyber criminals continue to find ways to circumvent these technologies in order to obtain sensitive information that they can monetize," Ed Lowery, who heads the U.S. Secret Service's criminal investigative division, said in a written statement.

He argued more action needs to be taken by companies as well as the government effort needs to have "a radically different approach to cybersecurity," which goes beyond antivirus software, training employees, working closely with contractors and setting up tighter processes.

The study also listed phishing, network interruption, spyware, denial-of-service and malware attacks as the top five choices being used by cyber criminals.

Nearly one-third of the attacks reported came from those who were familiar with the company and website they were hitting, from insiders, consultants and former employees.

On the back of recent massive cyberattacks, the report shows that more effort is needed in order to stave off a major attack in the near future, as millions of online users continue to fear for their private information.

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