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RSA breach tops list of 2011's most significant cybercrimes

The breach of RSA’s SecurID seed record database launched a “firestorm of introspection” among large and mid-sized companies about the nature of advanced persistent threats and approaches to prevent them, Vigilant explained.

“The SecurID two-factor authentication product establishes a significant hurdle for cybercriminals attempting to access a company’s critical systems. By ‘breaking the code’ of the technology, cybercriminals aim to shorten the time required to infiltrate a system, and extend the time before their illicit activities are detected, thus enabling deeper and broader enterprise penetration”, Vigilant said in a release.

Hactivism also topped the list of most significant cybercrime for 2011. While the significance of individual breaches was minimal, the volume and political motivation of the attacks were noteworthy.

“Although we’ve seen the usual ticker-tape of large data theft events in the headlines, key developments this year perfectly illustrate the new reality: it’s not a question of if you’ll be breached, but how much damage will be done. You could call this the year that a cyber Cold War became a declared war – meaning that we’re now acknowledging the depth, breadth and seriousness of the situation. Law enforcement have stepped up their efforts, and large organizations in the private sector are facing more directly what’s at stake”, commented Lance James, Vigilant’s director of intelligence.