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Thin line between hacktivism and criminality: PandaLabs

LulzSec considers brainless members of Anonymous as the most refined gentlemen, says security services provider

By CBR Staff Writer

Cloud-based security services provider PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, has said in its quarterly report for Q2 that this quarter has been one of the worst on record, with hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security (LulzSec) causing widespread mayhem

The report analyses the IT security events and incidents from April through June 2011. It said that organisations such as RSA Security, the US Defence Department, the IMF, the European Space Agency, Sony, Citigroup and SEGA all were targeted by hackers in the quarter.

PandaLabs also said that it observed 42 new malware strains created every minute in the quarter.

Trojans accounted for most of the new threats once again. They comprised nearly 70% of all new malware created, followed by viruses (16%) and worms (11.6%), said the report.

"This quarter has been one of the worst on record," PandaLabs said in a quarterly security report.

"The number of attacks suffered by businesses and large organisations has set alarm bells ringing as systems and companies that until now were considered ‘hack-proof’ have fallen victim to cyber-crime," the report continued.

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Asian countries led infection rankings in the quarter. In the ranking of the top 20 countries with the most infections, China, Thailand and Taiwan once again took the top three spots.

Sweden, Switzerland and Norway were the least infected countries.

The US and most of Europe was ranked close to the global average of 39.79%.

PandaLabs also said that the attacks in the quarter made online activism, or "hacktivism," seem like criminal cyberattacks.

"It seems that the only way the Anonymous group has to protest is by committing illegal acts," the report stated.

"If you took the most irresponsible and brainless members of Anonymous and put them all together, they would be considered the most refined gentlemen compared to LulzSec," the report concluded.

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