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UK-based hacking doubled in first quarter of 2012

17 May 2012
NCC Group origin of hacks Q1 2012

The number of cyber attacks stemming from the UK doubled during the first three months of the year, making it the seventh biggest source of online attacks in the world.

The UK is now responsible for 2.4 per cent of global cyber attacks, according to a new report from security firm NCC Group.

The sharp rise came as a shock to NCC technical director Paul Vlissidis. 

"We we surprised by the variation in numbers. It's not easy to know why, I don't think the UK has been invaded by a horde of cyber criminal gangs over the last three months," Vlissidis told V3.

"Still, it's not too surprising that cybercrime is common in the UK. It's one of the most online, connected and educated societies in the world, so it makes sense that it would house a lot of cyber criminals."

NCC's quarterly Origin of Hacks report also revealed a marked increase in the number of attacks stemming from Russia. There, the number of attacks increased by 12 per cent over the quarter, making it the third biggest hacker hotbed in the world.

Russians are now responsible for 12.5 per cent of all cyber attacks.

The US and China retained first and second place, with the US accounting for 17 per cent of all cyber attacks and China being responsible for 13 per cent.

Vlissidis warned that cyber threat levels are growing and urged companies and governments to step up their response.

"Cybercrime is increasing globally, there's definitely been more incident activity over the last five years," Vlissidis told V3.

"The worst part is the attacks are mainly still simple rather than complex. This means people are still being lax with their cyber security."

The news follows on from a similar report from F-Secure warning that hackers are changing tactics to focus on targeting mobile operating systems.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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