Cyberattacks Rising? Quite the Contrary

computer hacker mask keyboardOver the past several months, it had appeared as though high-profile hack attacks were happening everyday.  Sony, the C.I.A., BBVA bank, Nintendo, Sega, the list went on.  There was this growing general consensus that cyberattacks must be on the rise.  As it turns out, this train of thought is actually false.

computer hacker mask evilGraham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, described what has been an illusion of rising cyberattacks.  He said that due to the popularity of social websites, hackers were able to propagate their attacks–drawing attention and elevating themselves as effective cyber criminals.  According to Mr. Cluley, these hacks have actually been pretty normal in relation to the amount of cyberattacks that occur per year.

Lulzsec and Anonymous, two hacktivist organizations that have been in tech news nearly everyday, have used this technique of propaganda.  They would flaunt their attacks on Twitter using press releases detailing the scale and targets of their attacks.  This gave them much media coverage, making them notorious and hence, more socially relevant.  Their influence grew and directed more attention to hackers in general.  Ultimately, this is what fed the illusion that hack attacks were rising.

Propagandizing has actually proven to hurt some hacktivist group members–alternately assisting authorities in tracking them down.  The more popular you are, the more connections are made between you and other individuals.  These connections could turn out to be your undoing.  If one was to make the mistake of boasting about their accomplishments, it could easily lead to word of mouth, resulting in an arrest.  So it is a very slippery slope.

However, according to authorities on the matter, it is about 50/50 that a cyber criminal  could be caught despite their outward media presence.  It remains to be a difficult task.  In the past, hackers used to be underground groups or individuals–lurking behind the curtains.  This may have been safer, but the influence and the attention they would attract to certain issues were noticeable less affective.

The more attention hackers draw to themselves, the more likely they are to get into more serious trouble.  It is a risky dynamic.  It however does not change the number of attacks that occur every year, that merely is a side affect of a living 24/7 news cycle.       



There are no comments yet, be the first!