On Sunday, May 25, while Americans celebrated a long Memorial Day weekend, the world record for overt digital attacks in one year was broken, according to mi2g, a digital risk tracking company based in London. That means in this month alone, the world records for most attacks in a single day, and the most attacks in one month, and now the record for most attacks in a single year all were broken.
The new yearly record stands at 87,903. Of course, the year isn't even half-way over. The number of attacks for 2002 -- all of 2002 -- stood at 87,525.
''The first five months of 2003 have seen an equivalent number of overt digital attacks to those recorded in the whole of 2002,'' says D.K. Matai, executive chairman of mi2g. ''At the present rate, 2003 is likely to cross 220,000 overt attacks for the whole year.''
Matai also notes that the United States and its ally, the United Kingdom, have come under a heavy digital barrage in the past eight months.
''Online commercial interests of the U.S. and U.K. are coming under escalating waves of attacks worldwide, especially since October last year,'' adds Matai. ''Some of this is linked to the war with Iraq and the war on terrorism, some to criminal syndicate activity and the rest is down to attacks-for-fun.''
The record for most overt attacks in one day was set May 4 with 2,576. The highest number of over attacks in one month was set this month with 22,077 with several more days for attacks to be added on.
The tracking company also reported that 78 percent of the recorded digital attacks targeted Linux systems, followed by 13 percent targeting Microsoft Windows.
Overt attacks are defined as verifiable and recorded.