DC ranks number one on Symantec’s Norton Internet Security and Sperling’s BestPlaces Annual list of American cities with the highest cybercrime rate.
Most cities welcome being listed in the top spot of annual surveys like Forbes Magazine’, “Most Livable Cities,” but Symantec’s and Sperling’s list of cities with the highest cybercrime rate surely can’t be coveted.
After coming in as the third riskiest city in 2010, Washington, DC has been newly crowned as the Cybeycrime 2012 riskiest city in America in this year’s report.[i] A press release summarizing the report observes, D.C. “placed exceptionally high in almost all the categories measuring potential risk, and had the second-highest reported usage of smartphones.”[ii] Additionally, “the nation’s capital also ranked high among cybercrime data factors, including attempted malware infections and attempted Web attacks.”
All hope is not lost for those smartphone and tablet users living in the DC-area, though! Norton suggests one can mitigate and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of cybercrime by being cautious “when using Wi-Fi hotspots,” ensuring to “use complex and unique passwords,” and by staying up to date on vulnerabilities by being “educated.”
The survey raises several interesting questions, due to the constraints of open-source reporting, and therefore prevents a greater exploration and in-depth analysis. Specifically, given that numerous political interests and the most senior policy representatives within the U.S. government operate and work within the DC-area, how much of this “cybercrime” should be considered “cyberespionage?” To what degree and to what extent are the incidents cited in this report, directly or indirectly, related to the acquisition of political intelligence? Do such incidents indicate an increase in a particular arena of interest such as Research and Development efforts by U.S. defense contractors? Of course, actionable, legal, and policy challenges for the defense of critical areas of interest to the US government are difficult to implement, as “there is no silver bullet in cybersecurity.” [iii]
To see where your city ranks up, check out the full listing.
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.
About the Authors:
Tim Coleman received his BA from Georgetown, MBA from Barry University, and Master of Public and International Affairs, Security and Intelligence Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and serves as the Center’s Director of Communications.
Brittany Minder received her BA in International Relations from Stanford University and she serves as the Lint Center’s Public & External Affairs Associate.
1. McCaney, Kevin, “The Riskiest Cities for Cyber Crime: Where Does Yours Rank?” Government Computer News, February 17, 2012, Retrieved on February 21, 2012, http://gcn.com/Articles/2012/02/17/Riskiest-US-cities-for-cyber-crime.aspx?Page=2
2. Sperling’s BestPlaces, “10 Riskiest Cities for Cybercrime: The Norton Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities Report Reveals Who’s Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime,” March 22, 2010, Retrieved on February 21, 2012, http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/riskiest_online_cities.aspx
3. Official Symantec Press Release, “Top 10 ‘Riskiest’ Online Cities of 2012 Presented by Norton,” February 15, 2012, Retrieved on February 21, 2012, http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20120215_01
4. Nakashima, Ellen, “Cyber defense is mixed, study finds,” January 12, 2012, Retrieved on February 22, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cyber-defense-effort-is-mixed-study-finds/2012/01/11/gIQAAu0YtP_story.html
5. Photo Credit, Wikicommons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WashMonument_WhiteHouse.jpg
[i] Sperling’s BestPlaces, “10 Riskiest Cities for Cybercrime: The Norton Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities Report Reveals Who’s Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime,” March 22, 2010, Retrieved on February 21, 2012, http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/riskiest_online_cities.aspx
[ii] Official Symantec Press Release, “Top 10 ‘Riskiest’ Online Cities of 2012 Presented by Norton,” February 15, 2012, Retrieved on February 21, 2012, http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20120215_01
[iii] Nakashima, Ellen, “Cyber defense is mixed, study finds,” January 12, 2012, Retrieved on February 22, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cyber-defense-effort-is-mixed-study-finds/2012/01/11/gIQAAu0YtP_story.html