A Clark School study at the University of Maryland is one of the first to quantify the near-constant rate of hacker attacks of computers with Internet access.
The study, conducted by Michel Cukier, Clark School assistant professor of mechanical engineering and affiliate of the Clark School’s Center for Risk and Reliability and Institute for Systems Research, profiled the behavior of “brute force” hackers, who use simple software-aided techniques to randomly attack large numbers of computers. The researchers discovered which usernames and passwords are tried most often, and what hackers do when they gain access to a computer.
“Our data provide quantifiable evidence that attacks are happening all the time to computers with Internet connections,” Cukier notes. “The computers in our study were attacked, on average, 2,244 times a day.”