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87% of electronic spying is conducted by governments, with cyber espionage accounting for 22% of data breaches


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

April 24, 2014 | 2 min read

Governments were responsible for over three quarters (87 per cent) of the 511 spying incidents recorded, the latest Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon Communications has found.

Half (49 per cent) of the attacks originated in China and other East Asian nations, while it is believed that 21 per cent came from Eastern European countries. It was also discovered that 54 per cent of these cyber attacks affect the US

The report stated: “The public, professional, and manufacturing sectors are more targeted by espionage than the rest of the field. Many of these organisations are targeted because of the contracts and relationships they have with other organisations. For some, they can serve as both a valuable aggregation point for victim data and a trusted exfiltration point across several target organisations.”

In total, there were 63,437 security incidents, while there were 1,367 confirmed breaches of data.

The report also discovered that 94 per cent these incidents fell into nine categories.

“But (using our best infomercial voice) that’s not all! When we apply the same method to the last three years of breaches, 95 per cent can be described by those same nine patterns,” the report added.

The nine categories are: POS intrusions, web app attacks, cyber espionage, insider misuse, physical theft, miscellaneous errors, crimeware, DOS attacks and card skimmers.


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