Sydney: Cyber criminals stole confidential information and financially defrauded one in five major Australian businesses in 2012, a new has revealed.
The 2012 Cyber Crime and Security Survey Report showed that over 20 percent of 255 organisations in Australia's energy, defence, communications, banking and water sectors reported a ‘cyber incident’ last year, despite the majority using security software and firewalls.
The most serious attacks involved the use of 'ransomware' and 'scareware,’ which is malicious software that either locks a computer system until a ransom is paid, or launches a hoax virus and demands payment to ''remove'' it.
According to the Daily Telegraph, one scareware attack mentioned in the report displayed fake warning screens claiming to be from the non-existent ''Anti Cyber Crime Department of the Federal Internet Security Agency''.
It said the organisation's computers had been ''associated with criminal activity'' to discourage them from reporting the scam to police.
According to the report, over half the organisations who reported an attack said they had been deliberately targeted.
Seventeen per cent said criminals had stolen ''confidential or proprietary information'' and 10 percent reported financial fraud, the report said.
In one case, an organisation reported the theft of 15 years'' worth of critical business data.
According to the paper, the attacks come despite more than 90 per cent of all respondents saying they employed digital security measures such as anti-virus software, anti-spam filters and firewalls.