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Researchers Feels Cyber Attacks Are Outpacing Physical Terror Attacks

Holt's research also examined physical and cyber terror attacks committed by these far-left groups between 2000 and 2015 in the US, UK and Canada

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Cloudhopper, cyberattacks, internet
The picture shows a warning sign for "cyber threats ahead".

With increasing cases of data breaches and information loss happening on the Internet, cyber attacks are outpacing physical attacks among far-left groups and can cause greater destruction, researchers say.

According to lead author Thomas Holt, Professor at the Michigan State University (MSU), the high-profile nature of the internet — on which the ideological groups can manipulate traffic — is the ideal platform to attack.

The ideologically motivated attacks are devised to have an emotional and economic impact on groups that go against their beliefs.

“Little work has been done around the use of the internet as an attack space,” Holt said.

“The bottom line is that these attacks are happening and they’re overlooked. If we don’t get a handle understanding them now, we won’t fully understand the scope of the threats today and how to prevent larger mobilization efforts in the future.”

Cyber Attacks (Representational image). Pixabay

To understand these attacks, Holt analysed the scope, growth and impact of ideological cyber terrorist incidents from far-left groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front and the hacker conglomerate group, Anonymous.

These groups, do not necessarily want to physically harm humans; rather, they are motivated by animal and environmental activism and feel passionate about attacking companies, organisations and government entities that go against their beliefs, Holt explained, in the paper published in the Terrorism and Political Violence journal.

Also Read- A Bad Phase Must Not Be Considered as an Unsuccessful Period: Manisha Koirala

Holt’s research also examined physical and cyber terror attacks committed by these far-left groups between 2000 and 2015 in the US, UK and Canada.

“These groups might strike domestically, but their damage on the web can be widespread and a concurrent risk for companies and consumers alike. It could be even greater,” Holt said. (IANS)

Next Story

Email Attacks: IT Professionals Struggle in Spotting Suspicious Emails

Spear phishing is widespread with 43 per cent of organizations being the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months

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Cyber crime, U.S. programming
A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

Email attacks like phishing and ransomware are having a major impact on businesses globally, with over three-quarters of organizations saying their employees aren’t good at spotting suspicious emails, a new report has stressed.

Nearly 74 per cent of respondents say email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses while 78 per cent of organizations said the cost of email breaches is increasing, according to the report titled “2019 Email Security Trends” by the US-based cyber security firm Barracuda Networks. Spear phishing is widespread with 43 per cent of organizations being the victim of a spear-phishing attack in the past 12 months.

“While most IT professionals are more confident about their email security systems than they were a year ago, email attacks continue to have a significant impact on businesses,” said the report. The most common effects cited were loss of employee productivity, downtime and business disruption, and damage to the reputation of the IT team.

email attacks
Nearly 74 per cent of respondents say email attacks are having a major impact on their businesses. Pixabay

“Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported experiencing higher stress levels, worrying about potential email security even when they’re not at work, and being forced to work nights and weekends to address email security issues,” the findings showed.

ALSO READ: Instead of Sharing Personal Number, Use Temporary Virtual Number to Increase Safety

“Nearly a quarter of respondents advised that attacks have cost their organization $100,000 or more. Ninety-two per cent of Office 365 users have security concerns,” said the report. The report included responses from 660 executives, individual contributors and team managers serving in IT-security roles.

Companies surveyed include small, mid-sized, and enterprise businesses in technology, financial services, education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, telecommunication, retail and other industries. (IANS)