By Neon Kelly
26 June 2008
The growing trend of organised gangs turning to e-crime has been
confirmed by Lloyd's of London, whose networks have been bombarded by
structured and competent attacks.
Over the past 12 months the world's largest insurance market has found
that attacks on its systems have become more professional.
"We have noticed a drop off in what I would term 'the enthusiastic
hacker', the academics who simply want to break through your firewall,"
said Peter Hambling, chief information officer (CIO) at Lloyd's of
"Criminal behaviour has shifted to take advantage of electronic
channels, and the people doing this are maturing and getting better at
"What this means in terms of aligning my IT effort with my business need
is that I have to set aside a chunk of resources to deal with that
particular threat, and I have to put more against an organised criminal
gang than I do against a hobby-hacker."
Hambling said that 87 per cent of the external email coming into Lloyd's
systems is either spam or infected with malware. Last month, roughly
1,700 viruses were defeated by the insurer's defences.
The organisation must also deal with an increasing volume of attacks on
its core systems. "We are now defending 60 high-severity penetration
attempts on our corporate infrastructure every day," said Hambling.
"On average, something happens every six minutes that requires manual or
automatic intervention to defend against. We are seeing a real
escalation in the threat at the door."
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