It’s not surprising to learn that various governments (not just the United States) account for the bulk of online mischief, but it’s a bit sobering to see the numbers laid out by a new Verizon investigative report, summarized by the UK Telegraph: there has been a 300 percent increase in cyber espionage since last year’s report, and government agents are responsible for 87 percent of it. (11 percent came from organized criminals, which I suppose leaves two percent traceable to random jackasses.)
Almost half of the cyber espionage came from China and East Asia, while another 21 percent was sourced to Eastern Europe. Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s surrender American oversight of web domains to some international group that doesn’t exist yet, to soothe hurt feelings about American online surveillance!
If Verizon’s analysis holds up, it would mean quite a few of those annoying “phishing” emails, which try to trick you into giving up personal information or logging on to malware-infested websites, are coming from government espionage agencies. …
The Telegraph quotes security experts who think the Verizon report actually underestimates the extent of hacking, because the problem is growing so fast that each study is already obsolete on the day it’s released. It’s also growing more difficult to detect subtle hacker attacks that steal data or conduct electronic surveillance, rather than obnoxiously wrecking computer systems.