After elite hacker Albert Gonzalez was arrested in 2009 and later convicted of stealing data of some 170 million credit cards, the number of cyberattacks on retail stores fell noticeably. The impact of a single arrest on overall online lawlessness was one key point in a new Verizon report on cybercrime, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Unlike survey-based studies, Verizon’s annual cyberattack report analyzes more than 900 actual cases and 900 million stolen records over the past six years. The richness of the data makes the Verizon report particularly closely watched within the industry.
Among the report’s other findings: Financial services was the most-attacked industry, tallying 33 percent of the data breaches in the study. Hospitality – restaurants and hotels – came in second with 23 percent. Meanwhile, the retail industry, which led in cyberdata breaches in 2007 and 2008, fell to 14 percent in 2009. Hacking and malware use for data attacks were up sharply in 2009. About half of that malware was installed by a remote attacker, 19 percent was automatically installed by malicious websites, 9 percent was unwittingly installed by users clicking on fake software come-ons like “click to clean your system.”