A growing volume of attempted hacks and probes has propelled the UK into the global top ten for this type of traffic, the NCC group has reported.
For the first three months of 2012, the UK was at number seven on the list with 2.4 percent of hacking traffic according to intrusion detection log data sourced from respected US-based security network, DSHield.
“This is double the proportion of the findings from the previous report, and sees the country move eight places up the table,” said the NCC Group.
The biggest source of such probes remains the US and China with 17.3 and 13.7 percent respectively, on a list that also contains Russia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Germany, South Korea, Denmark and Brazil.
Intrusions are only attempted attacks – how many were successful is unknown but the vast majority won’t have been. The list is also only a snapshot of detected probes.
Reading deeper national significance into such figures is tricky. Many of the intrusions will appear to come from a particular country while simply being a proxy ‘front’ for attacks originating elsewhere.
“Cybercrime is perpetually evolving - the dramatic increase of hacks from certain countries over a three month period just goes to show the fluidity and quick-changing nature of the issue,” said NCC Group CEO, Rob Cotton.
Another more anecdotal measure of the UK’s real place in global cybercrime might simply be the number of accused and convicted cyber-criminal originating or operating in the UK.
On that score the UK is very much mid-table for a country of 62 million people except in one category, that of hacktivism - several individuals accused of being members of the small but active LulzSec hacking group turned out to be British for example, a marked over-representation.