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CERT: Cyber Attacks Set To Double In 2001
Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes 2001-10-15

Viruses and worms take their toll.

Attacks on Internet computers are on pace to easily double the number reported last year, according to a government-funded security information clearinghouse, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

With three months still remaining in 2001, the number of security incidents reported to the coordination center of the Computer Emergency Response Team in 2001 has already soared past the totals for 2000, according to statistics released by CERT today.

So far this year, 34,754 attacks have been reported to CERT, a 60 percent increase over the 21,756 incidents logged by the organization in all of 2000.

If the incident reports continue at the current pace, this year could see over 46,000 reported security attacks, more than twice the number of such breaches reported in 2000.

CERT defines an incident as "attempts, either failed or successful, to gain unauthorized access to a system or its data."

The security center's report did not include analysis of the possible causes of the rise in reported incidents. Besides an increase in the number of attacks, the totals could also be affected by an increase in the number of sites participating in CERT's incident reporting system.

CERT officials were not immediately available for comment.

Internet security this year has been threatened by several self-propagating worms that targeted Internet servers and spread widely, including Sadmind, multiple versions of Code Red, and Nimda.

In its annual report last year, CERT listed denial of service attacks, BIND domain name system software vulnerabilities, and the LoveLetter worm among the "most serious intruder activities" reported to CERT in 2000.

CERT's latest statistics also reveal a sharp rise in the number of software vulnerabilities reported to the Internet security center.

So far this year, 1,820 security vulnerabilities were logged by CERT, a 66 percent rise over the total for 2000 of 1,090. Both years show a marked increase over previous annual vulnerability report totals. From 1995 through 1999, an average of 300 security bugs were reported each year.

The latest CERT statistics are online at http://www.cert.org/stats/cert_stats.html .

Reported by Newsbytes, http://www.newsbytes.com .

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