Cyberattacks decline but US remains top target

Despite a recent global decline in cyberattacks, four machines around the world are still compromised every second. And the US remains the go-to destination for digital assaults.

The latest study by cybersecurity company Surfshark placed the US in the top spot for global attacks between July and September this year, followed by Russia and France.

Just over a quarter (8.1 million) of the registered 31.5 million recorded breaches took place on American virtual soil. Russia came in a close second with 7.1 million, while France trailed in third place at 1.6 million.

However, Surfshark’s latest research also suggests that the overall rate of successful cyberattacks is waning.

Why this is, it did not specify – but the cybersecurity analyst claims that, globally, the number of breaches has dropped fourfold, from 17 compromised machines per second between April and June to just four over the following three months.

This is further evidenced by the predicament of the UK, which maintained ninth place in the world rankings quarter over quarter, despite attacks against it more than halving from nearly a million to around 419,000, placing it third in Europe for the quarter, after Russia and France.

“The third quarter of 2023 shows a general decrease in data breach count. Yet every minute, over 240 online accounts were compromised globally, exposing sensitive information to malicious actors,” said Surfshark. “We recommend a vigilant approach by maintaining accounts only on actively used platforms and implementing two-factor authentication for enhanced security.”

Despite the US taking the lion’s share of overall attacks, Europe remains the most targeted continent – although its data breaches have also declined substantially over the past half year, from 48.1 million to 10.9 million quarter over quarter.

In terms of breach density – the number of compromised accounts per thousand residents – the same countries featured in the top three, with Russia (49), France (25), and the US (24) suffering the most attacks per head of population.

Surfshark compiled its findings from 29,000 publicly accessible databases, tracking domain names, IP addresses, and phone numbers. The data was anonymized so as to protect the digital identities of the research subjects.

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