Over half of critical systems in the Americas targeted: survey

Cyber-attacks that attempt to hijack key infrastructure becoming everyday events

Tags: Cyber crimeTrend Micro IncorporatedUSA
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Over half of critical systems in the Americas targeted: survey
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 7, 2015

Cyber campaigns that seek to compromise critical infrastructure are more common in the Americas than the general public realises, according to a survey cited by Reuters, in which over half of the organisations polled said they had encountered attempts to hijack their command-and-control systems.

The survey, conducted by the Organisation of American States (OAS) throughout North and South America and compiled on its behalf by Trend Micro, is due to be released today. The poll found that 54% of critical infrastructure organisations had seen "attempts to manipulate" real-world machinery through cyber-attacks. Some 40% reported attempts to shut down their networks and 44% had encountered campaigns to delete data.

Only 60% of the 575 respondents reported attempts by attackers to steal data, marking a significant shift in the goals of cyber-attackers.

Following last year's apparent hacktivism campaign against US-based Sony Pictures Entertainment, in which the film studio experienced widespread network outages and data theft, the perception was enforced that hackers are mainly interested in stealing data and that damage on the scale that Sony experienced was a rarity.

"Everyone got outraged over Sony, but far more vulnerable are these services we depend on day to day," said Adam Blackwell, secretary of multidimensional security at OAS.

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