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Cyberattacks on Governments Rise at an Alarming Rate

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • Over 700 cyber attacks on government agencies are on record since 2006.
  • The first quarter of 2023 saw more such attacks than all of 2022.
  • Cyber espionage campaigns account for a disproportionate number of the incidents.
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There have been over 700 cyber attacks on government agencies since 2006, according to data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The figures are part of a disturbing global trend that shows no signs of relenting.

More cyber attacks hit government agencies in the first quarter of this year than in all of 2022. That’s according to an analysis conducted by cybersecurity firm Surfshark, citing data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Cyberattacks Are Increasing

Cyber attacks on governments are on the rise. Nearly half of the examined incidents occurred within the last three years. Prior to 2020, government agencies reported an average of 29 cyberattacks per year. This figure rose to an annual average of 96 after 2020.

Although, of the 722 attacks, only 15% were cyber-espionage or from state-sponsored actors. Meaning 85% of all attacks were from black hat hackers and criminal organizations.

Source: Surfshark

Surfshark analyzed 924 significant cyber incidents that took place between 2006 and 2023’s first quarter. On April 11, the firm compiled the data and categorized each incident based on the type of entity targeted by the attack, focusing solely on attacks on government agencies.

In the first quarter of 2023, attackers targeted government agencies 32 times, and nine of these incidents were classified as cyber espionage. This number is almost equivalent to the total number of cyber espionage attacks – ten – known to have occurred in 2022. 

Cyber espionage campaigns accounted for 28% of the attacks on government agencies during 2023’s first quarter, compared to an average of only 16% for the entire decade.

You can find the full research data for this study here.

White House Announces New Cybersecurity Policy

By multiple metrics, cybercrime is growing rapidly around the globe. As every company has become a viable target, black hat hackers are taking advantage of vulnerabilities and gaps in cyber defenses. 

Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts that cybercrime costs will reach $8 trillion in 2023 and will increase to $10.5 trillion by 2025.

In March of this year, the Biden Administration announced a new national cybersecurity strategy. The strategy aims to shift responsibility for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments to the organizations ”best positioned to reduce risk.”

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.
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