If you just thought about countries that regularly seem to be in the news about hacking, then you might name China or Russia, and those wouldn’t be bad answers. After all, a lot of hacking activity does originate in those countries, and depending on which statistics you look at, either one of them could be the correct answer. But before we’re quick to jump to conclusions about the regions where hacking activity takes place, it’s important to realize that it’s not always so obvious.
An article published by Bloomberg detailed the author’s experiment with setting up a honeypot to try to entice hackers to make their moves on a fake industrial-control computer. Which country was the source of most of the attacks? Russia was in third place, China was in second place, and believe it or not, the United States was in first place. In fact, the United States housed almost twice as many attacks as China.
This may seem surprising, and it is in certain respects, but as many of you know, by using bots and proxies, hackers can make it look like the activity is coming from a certain place even though it’s not. Even when you account for the impact that might have on the numbers, this experiment still shows that hacking is becoming more of a global problem all the time.
In the case of the United States, whether the hacking attempts came from there or the hackers just wanted it to look like they were coming from there, the numbers give us a clue that the United States could potentially be making more headlines as a hub for hacking. But it’s not just the United States. China and Russia have become synonymous with global hacking, but in the future, who knows which countries we’ll think of first when we think of places where hacking activity comes from.