Organized Crime Is Behind Most Data Breaches

Logging onto a computer is risky business. You just don’t know what — or who — is lurking out there, waiting to rob you. It’s not always easy to tell if your network has been compromised.

However, we do know who is causing the majority of data breaches — or at least we have a pretty good idea. According to a Verizon Business report, 85 percent of breaches are caused by organized crime when the attacks come from outside the company. In an article at, it was reported that Verizon used information from its Verizon Incident Sharing Framework with information provided to the Secret Service.

These organized crime rings aren’t the Sopranos. This is a global problem. In the book, McMafia, by Misha Glenny, Brazil, Russia, China, and India are listed as the primary sources of spam. Eastern European countries appear to have an increasing number of incidents of cybercrime activity.

While the stereotypical bored and lonely hacker is still out there, and while many breaches and other incidents of crime happen within the enterprise itself, organized cybercrime is obviously growing. Perhaps the only good news to come out of this is that the government and some within enterprise are taking the threat more seriously. Hopefully McAfee was correct in its assessment that this is the year when we begin making good progress in the fight against cybercrime:

McAfee Labs has seen significant progress in the universal effort to identify, track, and combat cybercrime by governments worldwide. McAfee believes that in 2010 we’ll see many more successes in the pursuit of cybercriminals.


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