Ofcom hit by over 1,600 cyber-attacks in just two months

Media regulator under attack from cyber terrorists

by the commentator on 16 December 2014 14:02

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Media and communications regulator Ofcom has been inundated with was cyber-attacks, official figures show. The organisation was subject to 1,658 attempted attacks on its IT systems in October and November.

The data, obtained by web and mobile application security specialists Veracode, was released under Freedom of Information legislation (FOI) examining the volume and types of attack launched on the organisation.

The attacks were defined as ‘detected attempts at gaining unauthorised access to the Ofcom system’, and comprised 382 SQL injection attacks, 188 malware and/or viruses, and 1,088 phishing emails.

Ofcom was keen to highlight the fact that its ICT systems did not detect that any of the attacks were successful. But cyber security experts warned that attacks on public sector organisations were likely to continue in the future.

Chris Eng, vice president of research at Veracode, said that the findings demonstrated the determination of cyber-attackers such as nation-states and organised gangs of cybercriminals:

“The sheer volume and variety of these attempts are a perfect illustration of just how tenacious these attackers are - and how they’re constantly searching every nook and cranny of our infrastructures to breach sensitive customer data and steal our intellectual property.

“Attacks such as SQL injection, which target an organisation’s web and mobile applications, have become the number one attack vector for cyber-attackers now that organisations have effectively locked down their networks and end-points with next-generation devices.  As a result, it’s now more important than ever that organisations continuously assess all of their applications for vulnerabilities, including both those developed internally and by third-parties.”

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