Verizon Report: 2011 – the year of the Hacktivist


Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals the dramatic rise of “hacktivism” – cyberhacking to advance political and social objectives. Also, the report shows that majority of breaches with sound security measures.

In 2011, 58% of stolen data was attributed to hacktivism.  The new trend contrasts sharply with the data-breach pattern of past several years, during which the majority of attacks were carried out by cybercriminals, whose primary motivation was financial gain.

According to the report, 79% of attacks were opportunistic.  Of all attacks, 96% were not highly difficult and didn’t require advanced skills or extensive resources.  Additionally, 97% of them were avoidable, without the need for organizations to resort to difficult or expensive countermeasures.

Now at its 5th edition, the report spans 855 data breaches across 174 million stolen records – the second-highest data loss that the Verizon RISK (Research Investigations Solutions Knowledge) team has seen since it began collecting data in 2004.  Verizon’s report was made with the contribution and data provided by United States Secret Service, Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Australian Federal Police,  Irish Reporting & Information Security Service and Police Central e-Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police.

The report findings reinforced the international nature of cybercrime.  Breaches originated from 36 countries around the globe, an increase from 22 countries the year prior.  Nearly 70 percent of breaches originated in Eastern Europe, with less than 25 percent originating in North America.

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Report shows that attacks were mainly from outside organizations and used as methods hacking (81% of data breaches and 99% of data lost) and malware (69% of breaches and 95% of compromised records).

Verizon Communications is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 108 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  Company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000.