Riptech: Spike In Security Threats

79 percent increase in past six months

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The number of security threats on the Web has grown dramatically in the past six months, according to a report by Riptech, a managed security services firm.

Riptech, based here, plans to release its Internet Security Threat Report this week. The report is based on data collected and analyzed in the past six months from more than 300 customers that subscribe to its security monitoring service.

The company said it validated 128,678 cyberattacks, which were detected by analyzing more than 5.5 billion firewall logs and intrusion-detection alerts.

>> Riptech validated 128,678 cyberattacks.
>> Attacks included attempted denial-of-service, efforts to access corporate networks.
>> Nearly 40 percent of attacks appeared to diberately target a specific company.


Last year's Nimda and Code Red worms accounted for a majority of the malicious activity tracked by the company. But even excluding those threats, average attacks per company increased 79 percent between July and December, said Riptech CTO Tim Belcher. "The threat is getting worse," he said.

Attacks included attempted denial-of-service assaults and coordinated efforts to access corporate networks, he said.

While less than 1 percent of all attacks posed a severe threat, more than 43 percent of the companies in the study experienced at least one attack that would have resulted in a successful security breach had Riptech not intervened, according to the study, which can be accessed at

Nearly 40 percent of the attacks appeared to deliberately target a specific company, and the rate of assaults was higher for larger, high-profile companies, Belcher said.

Attack rates varied by industry, with power and energy companies suffering the most. The study, however, did not show a significant fluctuation of activity around Sept. 11, he said.

George Milliken, CEO of Farm9, a managed security firm based in Oakland, Calif., said his company saw a jump in traffic in the last half of 2001, primarily due to automated scanning and worms such as Nimda.

Mark Greisiger, vice president at NetDiligence, a new Philadelphia-based division of the Privacy Council, said he hadn't seen evidence of the trends indicated by the Riptech study. But he added that the annual survey conducted by the FBI and the Computer Security Institute has shown an increase in cybercrime every year.

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