RealTime IT News

DoJ Wants Cyber Crime Stats

The Department of Justice (DoJ) is launching its first national survey to measure the prevalence and impact of cyber crime on U.S. businesses. The survey starts this month and will be completed by the end of the year.

Conducted by the DoJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division, the survey will estimate the number of cyber attacks, frauds and thefts of information and the resulting losses during 2005.

According to the DoJ, the survey will measure the extent of security incidents, details of the incidents, the monetary costs and other consequences of the incidents, as well as the computer security measures various companies use to combat cyber crime.

Currently no national baseline measure exists on the extent of cyber crime. The DoJ hopes the survey data will assess what needs to be done to reduce computer security vulnerabilities.

The survey will also provide the first official national statistics on the extent and consequences of cyber crime on the country's 5.3 million firms with salaried employees.

In 2001, the BJS conducted a pilot study that found three-fourths of the businesses contacted had been victims of cyber crime. Virus infections topped the list at 64 percent, followed by denial-of-service attacks (25 percent) and vandalism or sabotage (19 percent).

The pilot study also revealed only 6 percent of the companies that detected a computer virus reported the incident to law enforcement officials. This year's survey will specifically seek information on how often businesses report incidents of cyber crime.

The survey is expected to complement President Bush's National Strategy for Securing Cyberspace, which calls for the DoJ to develop better data about victims of cyber crime and to track future changes.