A recent study from Verizon Business has revealed that there were more database breaches recorded in 2008 than in the last four years put together, with businesses suffering a significant rise in hacking attacks during the period.
The second annual Data Breach Investigation Report also notified that financial services sector was the most targeted one, accounting for as much as 93 percent of all such data compromises in 2008.
The study from Verizon included analysis of as many as 285 million compromised data records from 90 confirmed corporate network breaches.
A major proportion of the investigated breaches, around 74 percent, were inflicted by external sources, whereas 32 percent of data breaches were attributed to business partners. However, surprisingly only 20 percent of the total investigated breaches were attributed to insiders.
The study further notified that most of the security breaches were ensued from a combination of various events rather than a single security error.
Hackers used more sophisticated tools, such as unique packet sniffers and memory-scrapping malware, to infringe electronic security, and the PIN-based attacks hit the consumers really hard during 2008, the study added.
Commenting upon the soaring electronic database breaches, Bryan Sartin, director for investigative response at Verizon Business, said in a statement, “We're seeing entirely new attacks that a year ago were thought to be only academically possible. What we see now is people going right to the source... and stealing the encrypted PIN blocks and using complex ways to un-encrypt the PIN blocks”.
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Interesting report by Verizon which to some extent says that many breaches are not due to one single event but by a combination of them. Furthermore, criminals have become significantly more ingenious in their quest to get their mitts on sensitive data. The current credit crunch will surely increase the percentage of breaches attributed to insiders.