RSA 2008: 71% of consumers lack knowledge on botnets

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) announced study findings that 71 percent of consumers lack the knowledge on cyber criminals’ weapon of choice and the Internet’s fastest growing threat – botnets.

This is quite alarming considering botnets are comprised mostly of consumers’ computers and are increasingly being used to perpetrate identity theft and spread viruses.

The study also reveals that Americans are largely unaware their computer’s security plays a role in our nation’s security and preventing online crime. A majority of respondents think it is not likely their computer could affect homeland security while only 51 percent think it is possible for a hacker to use their computer to launch cyber attacks.

Compelling findings from the study include:

  • 71 percent have never heard the phrase “botnet” — the weapon of choice for cyber criminals.
  • 59 percent think it is not likely their computer could affect homeland security.
  • 47 percent believe it is not possible for a hacker to use your computer to launch cyber attacks or crimes against other people, businesses and our nation.
  • 51 percent have not changed their password in the past year.
  • 48 percent do not know how to protect themselves from cyber criminals.
  • 46 percent of consumers are not sure of what to do if they became a victim of a cyber crime.

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