Hacktivism had a massive effect on the overall data breach scene last year.
More than half (58 per cent) of data stolen last year can be attributed to hacktivism – hacking to advance political and social objectives – according to the latest edition of theData Breach Investigations report from Verizon. The figures contrast sharply with findings from previous years, when the majority of attacks were carried out by cybercriminals, whose primary motivation was financial gain.
Seventy-nine per cent of attacks covered by Verizon's report were opportunistic. Only 4 per cent of the overall total were rated as particularly challenging for hackers to carry out. In addition, an estimated 97 per cent of breaches might have been avoidable without recourse to difficult or expensive countermeasures.Wade Baker, director of risk intelligence at Verizon, told El Reg that 44 per cent of the attacks exploited default or easily guessable credentials. However he qualified this remark by saying that default passwords were a far greater problem in hacks involving smaller organisations.
Breaches originated from 36 countries around the globe, an increase from 22 countries during 2010. Nearly 70 per cent of breaches originated in Eastern Europe and less than 25 per cent originated in North America.