Is the tide turning in battle against hackers?

Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 12:40 AM EST

It's a quagmire. No, not Iraq. The Internet. The war against hackers has been going on for decades and we are no closer to pulling out than we were when Kevin Mitnick was breaking into Ma Bell's mainframes in the early '80s.

So, how are we really doing in terms of computer security? Scanning the news, it looks like we are under constant attack. But you can't really get a clear picture by reading about one new worm or security patch at a time. You need to get a broader view which shows the problems and successes over a longer period of time. When you do that, you see that, although hackers are continually becoming more sophisticated, the security defenses are building up even faster.

Last year actually showed a slowing down in the exponential damage increases that had taken place the previous few years.

The picture is not completely rosy, however. To get a better understanding of the losses and gains, let's take a look at key points from various security reports published last year and see what they can tell us.

By Drew Robb at Datamation.

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