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A Freedom of Information request to the UK’s Office of Communications has revealed exactly how persistent hackers are at attacking government departments in the country.
Computer World reports that in two months, the department was targeted by 1,658 cyberattacks, none of which were successful. Ofcom, which is the UK regulatory body for media and communications, defined the hits as “detected attempts at gaining unauthorized access to the Ofcom system.”
What was particularly interesting was the break-down of how the attacks were made. According to the statistics released by Ofcom, there were 382 SQL injection attacks and 188 malware and/or viruses. The bulk of the attacks though were phishing emails – which made up over nearly two thirds, with 1,088 attempted attacks, according to Computer Business Review. The Freedom of Information request was made by Veracode.
In the United Kingdom, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the public the right to see published information by public authorities. This works in two ways – the public authorities are obliged to publish certain information, and members of the public are entitled to request information from them. These public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the National Health Service, schools and the police. Certain publicly funded charities are exempt, as are some private organizations that perform public functions.
According to Cloud Pro, an Ofcom spokesmen declined the opportunity to comment on the story, but noted that they take issues of cybersecurity “extremely seriously.”
Author Alan Martin, ESET