North American businesses are being heavily targeted by hackers and cyber protestors according to new research released this morning from mi2g, the world leader in digital risk.
American business suffered the majority of global digital attacks in March 2003 showing a sharp increase from the same survey carried out twelve months ago.
Almost 64% of digital attacks worldwide focused on US and Canadian targets while only 21% have been against European victims.
A year ago, Europe and America were suffering almost equal volumes of attack - about 30% each. Since then Iraq has taken centre stage and hackers across the globe have shifted their focus onto North American targets.
Most of the digital attackers - involving credit card or data piracy, identity theft, denial of service and/or safety hazards - are leaving protest messages behind focusing on the War with Iraq. Even those hackers who were previously apolitical now appear to put forward anti-war messages. Each of the attacks has a unique story.
The protests are sharply critical of US policy and emphasise the reluctance of most parts of the globe to support the war with Iraq. The abandoning of the UN route is also sharply criticised.
At present, the protest hackers are originating from Brazil, France, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UK. A year ago, the anti-US protestors were primarily from Islamic countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan.
"In comparison to the NATO-Serbia war in 1999, this time around the protest targets have shifted away from government and military organisations towards businesses and economic entitities" said DK Matai, Chairman of mi2g.
"There is a realisation that the soft underbelly of Western economies is represented by the relatively unprotected small to medium size business entities."
The worldwide economic damage caused by digital attacks in March is estimated to be between $1.75 and $2.14 Billion Dollars so far. The overall economic damage from digital attacks and malware like the Slammer worm is estimated to be between $16.1 and $19.8 Billion Dollars in 2003.
Give your story premium visibility!