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[] Ha’aretz 11.07.02: (Riptech): Israeli hackers lead the world,

Ha'aretz, Thursday, July 11, 2002 Av 2, 5762

Israeli hackers lead the world

By Yuval Dror

During the first half of 2002, Israel ranked first in the world in the 
number of hacker attacks relative to its number of Web users, according to 
a study published by the American security firm Riptech. The study found 
that for every 10,000 Israeli Web surfers, there are an average of 33.1 
hacker attacks generated against Internet sites throughout the world.

Hong Kong came in second in the study, with 22.1 attacks per 10,000 Web 
users, followed by France (19.9), Belgium (17.6) and Thailand (15.9).

Riptech, founded in 1998, provides real-time information protection. Its 
largest customer is the U.S. Department of Defense. The company publishes a 
special report twice a year in which it analyzes prominent online attacks 
during the previous six months. Riptech published its Internet Security 
Threat Report covering January-June 2002 on Monday. The report draws on 
information collected from a sample of 400 companies throughout the world. 
This data enabled Riptech to identify about 180,000 attacks on Internet 

The new report documents a 28 percent rise in the number of hacker attacks 
compared to the same six-month period last year. An average company faced 
about 32 such attacks per week during the first half of 2002, compared to 
25 attacks during the first six months of 2001. About 99 percent of these 
attacks did not endanger the organization's server.

According to the authors of the report, attacks are mounted against Web 
servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but the hackers are less active (by 
19 percent) on the weekends. The favorite day for hackers turns out to be 
Wednesday, when 16.4 percent of all attacks are launched.

Private firms are the main targets of attack (68 percent), with public 
organizations (21 percent) and government companies (4 percent) less prone 
to attack. Electric companies were an especially popular target - 70 
percent were hit during the past six months, up from 57 percent during the 
first half of 2001.

Financial firms were also among the leading targets (46 percent were hit), 
followed by non-profit organizations (32 percent) and high-tech firms (27 
percent). Lowest on the hit list were hospitals and health organizations (9 

During the last two years, Eastern Europe has been seen as the leading 
source of hacker attacks, but the report does not substantiate this 
reputation. According to Riptech, 40 percent of online attacks originate in 
the United States, followed by Germany (7.6 percent), South Korea (7.4 
percent), China (6.9 percent) and France (5.2 percent).

The study also notes that only 1 percent of the hacker attacks during the 
first half of 2002 were generated in the seven countries identified by the 
Pentagon as those which support terror (Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Sudan, North 
Korea, Syria and Libya).

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