Cybercrime statistics in Ireland

The Irish Reporting and Information Security Service (IRISSCERT) released statistics on cybercrime incidents it has dealt with so far in 2011.

The statistics are based on all issues reported to IRISSCERT from January 1st 2011 until the 31st of October 2011.

Incidents in 2011:

  • From 1st January 2011 until 31st October 2011 IRISSCERT had 441 security incidents reported to them
  • Of those 441 security incidents, just over 92% of incidents related to Irish websites being broken into by criminals to host phishing sites to target unsuspecting users.
  • The overall majority of issues, 96%, reported to IRISSCERT were suspected of being sponsored by organised crime gangs with the primary motivation being financial, the aim to defraud people of their money.
  • There were three major issues which targeted three specific and separate Irish organisations, in which IRISSCERT coordinated the response and alerted the potential victims so they could take the most appropriate action to manage the threat.
  • They saw an increase in Denial of Service attacks in 2011 but, overall, they accounted only for 1.5% of all issues reported to them.
  • In the 10 months reviewed, IRISSCERT issued 34 critical alerts to those subscribing to its free service. There are currently over 450 people signed up to IRISSCERT’s services, which are provided free of charge.

Commenting on the statistics, Brian Honan of IRISSCERT, said “The volume and type of incidents we deal with on a daily basis are a clear indication to Irish businesses that cybercrime is a real threat to our systems, our businesses and the economy. We can no longer afford to treat information security as an afterthought and need to ensure we take the appropriate steps to secure our systems.”

These steps include:

  • Ensuring all systems are patched with the latest versions of software,
  • Anti-virus software is running and up to date,
  • Firewalls are employed and configured securely to protect networks from the Internet
  • Users are aware of the security threats posed to them
  • Systems, in particular web facing systems such as websites, are tested for security weaknesses and appropriate steps taken to address any weaknesses.
  • Share information so that as a community we can all learn from each other and better protect all our businesses.

Honan went on to say “criminals are sharing information and working together so they can exploit our systems and steal our money. Businesses need to better share information with the community so we all can learn, IRISSCERT provides this facility.”

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