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The ‘January Effect’ of Cyber Attacks

Online security companies spend millions of dollars on analyzing trends, habits and signs of cyber attacks and hackers. This is one of the best and effective ways of determining when, where and how cybercriminals might strike. It gives both online security companies and users to prepare better and when the attack comes, it will not be so much as a surprise. True, sometimes the predictions are accurate and sometimes they are not. But the bottom line is that the damage can be limited and sometimes, totally prevented. One such trend is what online security experts and researchers popularly call as the ‘January Effect’.

KET Dec 24

What is the ‘January Effect’?

You might be rejoicing that the world has not ended on December 21st, 2012 but if you are not careful, you will feel like the end of the world because January is supposedly the month of cyber attacks. Jeffery Carr is a cyber warfare author and also the chief executive officer of a reputed company, said that every year, he has noticed a major security breach or a cyber warfare activity. He said that although the attack itself might not occur in the month of January, January is the month when it is detected or is revealed to the general public. This has started some warning bells in the cyber security world and even the major companies have noticed the trend that they had failed to do so till not.

Occurrences that Back the ‘January Effect’

Jeffery Carr listed four major cyber attacks in the past four years, all that occurred in the month of January or that came to light in January, as proof for the January Effect.

  • 2008 December to 2009 January: This occurrence was a part of an ongoing war between the Hamas and Israel. The operation was called as Operation Cast Lead and this war had a number of simultaneous online security breaches as a part of the attack.
  • 2009 December to 2010 January: Many leading internet based and technology companies including Google reported security breaches of their servers and networks. The reports on the severity of the breaches were not accurate but the breaches were confirmed by official statements from all the affected companies.
  • 2011 January to 2011 March: The RSA announced in the month of March that its network was breached in the early part of 2011. The details of the breach and the extent of damage remained sketchy.
  • 2012 January: Symantec was the victim this time. An anonymous hacker announced that he had obtained the source code for Norton online security system and some of the other products. This created a huge stir and many other hackers took advantage of this by selling cracked and fake antivirus systems for a relatively low price.

A Part of Online Security Experts’ Community Say They Are Coincidences

While most of the online security experts’ community agree that timing of the events are too many to be a coincidence, a small part of the community beg to differ. They still maintain that these events were just coincidences. Their reason is that hackers thrive on being unpredictable and this trend will only contribute to reducing the severity of their attack. The damage is severe only when you least expect the attack and that is what hackers depend on.

You cannot afford to leave it to Chance

 Although the attacks suggest that the damage to the common man is mild to say the least, you never know what might happen. It is always better to stay on your guard. Don’t click on posts, photos or links from anonymous social media accounts. Delete all the spam mails without opening them. Don’t click on links that say claim free bonus or discounts while shopping online. But the bottom line is that the onus is on online security service providers to ensure that we remain safe. Let us hope for a safe new year!

Categories: Our Products
  1. March 15, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please also visit my site =).

    We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

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