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Almost two thirds of IT security professionals feel their organizations will be the target of a cyber attack within the next six months — and 61 percent say they feel Anonymous or other hacktivists will lead those attacks, a new survey said.

“Respondents choosing hacktivists as a more likely source of cyber attacks than cybercriminals is similar to how most people fear flying more than driving, even though, statistically speaking, it’s far more likely for someone to be involved in a car accident than in a plane crash,” said Bit9 chief technology officer Harry Sverdlove. “The truth is that you are less likely to be attacked by Anonymous or hacktivists — depending on what public statements you make — than to be attacked by a cybercriminal enterprise or a nation state,” he said.

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On the other hand, the attack methods that dominate security pros’ concerns do not tie into Anonymous, according to the 2012 Bit9 Cyber Security Research Report. Forty-five percent of respondents worry most about malware attacks, and 17 percent fear spear phishing (both common attack methods for cybercriminals and nation states) — while Anonymous’ favored method, the DDoS attack, leads the concerns of only 11 percent of respondents.

“The survey results put a spotlight on an interesting contradiction: On the surface, people are most afraid of embarrassing, highly publicized attacks from hacktivist organizations like Anonymous, but they recognize that the more serious threats come from criminal organizations and nation states,” Sverdlove said.

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It would seems like IT professionals have little faith in the employees in their company, with 26 percent saying security on laptops and desktops is effective. An overwhelming 95 percent said the public should know about any cyber security breaches, with 48 percent adding companies should provide details on what, if anything, the criminals stole, and 29 percent felt the details of how the attack occurred should be included as well.

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