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Reported raids on federal computer data soar

Reported raids on federal computer data soar
Reported raids on federal computer data soar

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By Peter Eisler

WASHINGTON - Reported cyberattacks on U.S. government computer networks 
climbed 40% last year, federal records show, and more infiltrators are 
trying to plant malicious software they could use to control or steal 
sensitive data.

Federally tracked accounts of unauthorized access to government 
computers and installations of hostile programs rose from a combined 
3,928 incidents in 2007 to 5,488 in 2008, based on data provided to USA 
TODAY by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

"Government systems are under constant attack," says Joel Brenner, 
counterintelligence chief in the Office of the Director of National 
Intelligence. "We're seeing =E2=80=A6 a dramatic, consistent increase in cyber 
crime (and) intelligence activities."

The government does not publicly detail the number or types of attacks 
that succeed. A commission of government officials and private experts 
reported in December that the departments of Defense, State, Homeland 
Security and Commerce all have suffered "major intrusions" in which 
sensitive data were stolen or compromised.


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