Monday, August 2, 2010

Sophos Tracks Attitudes Toward Cyberwarfare

Many people seem to think that using the Internet as a tool for spying, or even as a weapon, is acceptable state-sponsored practice, according to Sophos' mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report.

Sophos said its worldwide survey of 1077 computer users uncovered some alarming attitudes toward international cyber-espionage. Respondents were asked questions including whether they thought spying via hacking or malware attacks is an acceptable practice and if the computer networks of private companies in other countries are legitimate targets.

Here are some of Sophos' key findings on state-sponsored cybercrime:

  • 63% of those polled believe that it is acceptable for their country to spy on other nations by hacking or installing malware (23% said yes at any time, 40% said only during wartime, 37% said no)

  • A staggering 1 in 14 respondents believe that crippling denial of service attacks against another country's communication or financial websites are acceptable during peacetime (49% said only in wartime, 44% said never)

  • 32% believe that countries should be allowed to plant malware and hack into private foreign companies in order to spy for economic advantage (23% said this was only acceptable in wartime, 9% said in peacetime, 68% said no)

The full Mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report contains much more information on the latest social networking, malware, and spam threats, as well as predictions for emerging trends, and can be downloaded free of charge from the Sophos website.

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