Cyberattacks on America's critical infrastructure skyrocketing

The number of cybersecurity incidents involving potential attacks on critical infrastructure increased by more than 2,000 percent between 2009 and 2011, according to a new report from the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), reports Defense Systems sister publication FCW.

In 2009, ICS-CERT, which is part of the Homeland Security Department, received nine incident reports; that number jumped to 41 in 2010 and 198 in 2011.

In 2009 and 2010, the energy sector was the target of the most incidents, accounting for a third of all reports in 2009 and for 44 percent in 2010. In 2011, water utilities saw 41 percent of the incidents reported to ICS-CERT, and attacks on multiple sectors made up 25 percent.

A large number of incidents involved "sophisticated and targeted spear-phishing campaigns" that opened the door to theft and further network infiltration, according to the report.

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