US the Primary Target of “Significant” Cyber-Attacks

The US experienced far more significant cyber-attacks than any other country in the period of May 2006 to June 2020, according to a new analysis by Specops Software, which used data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The study outlined the degree to which countries around the world are targeted by significant attacks; this is defined as those targeting a country’s government agencies, defense and high-tech companies, or economic crimes resulting in losses in excess of $1m.  

It found the US faced 156 such attacks – equivalent to 11 per year – over this timeframe, while in second place was the UK at 47. This included the large-scale cyber-attack deployed across the Labour Party’s digital platforms during the 2019 general election. The country experiencing the third highest amount of significant attacks was India, at 23.

Next on the list was Germany (21), followed by South Korea (18), Australia and Ukraine (both 16). Interestingly, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia each experienced 15 of these kinds of attacks during the period studied.

The countries which have faced the lowest amount of significant attacks were North Korea (5), Turkey (6) and Vietnam (6).

Darren James, cybersecurity expert from Specops Software, commented: “No one can rest on their laurels when it comes to cybersecurity. This research highlights the frequency of cyber-attacks which have devastatingly affected key political, social and economic institutions within different countries.

“Whilst some countries have had to deal with more cyber-attacks classified as significant than others, it’s an important reminder for those in notable positions of power the role they can play in providing the public sufficient and continual governance on what best practices they can implement to prevent their IT estate from being exploited by opportunistic cyber-criminals.”

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