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Cyber Criminals Targeting Corporate Data, McAfee Says

A new report has claimed that cyber criminals are now targeting sensitive corporate data instead of stealing credit card and other financial and personal information.

A new joint study conducted by security software provider McAfee and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) revealed that cyber criminals were focusing their efforts towards stealing corporate intellectual property from medium and large organisations.

The data targeted by corporate cyber espionage includes trade secrets, product development and roadmap plans, a company's legal documents and technology roadmaps.

The study was based on interviews with more 1,000 IT decision makers in companies located in the US, UK, Russia, Germany, India, China, Brazil and the Middle East.

The report revealed that the UK, US and Germany were the safest places where companies can host their sensitive data while China, Russia and Pakistan were the least safe. McAfee said that more than one third of the companies were looking at increasing the amount of data they have stored abroad.

Simon Hunt, VP and CTO of Endpoint Security at McAfee, said in the report, “Now, these criminals understand that there is much greater value in selling a company’s proprietary information to competitors and foreign governments. For example, a company’s legal documents can fetch far more money than a list of customer credit cards.”