London’s tourist attractions may be some of the most popular in the world with visitors but it seems they are also top targets for data thieves, with Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum, the Tate Gallery and the Imperial War Museum hit by nearly 110 million cyberattacks in the past year alone.
The findings came from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made to the four top attractions by think-tank Parliament Street, which shows they are being bombarded on a daily basis by hackers hunting financial data of visitors.
Overall, the institutions revealed they had been hit 109 million times, with Kew Gardens making up the majority, having been targeted 86 million times just last year – a year-on-year increase of 438%.
The Imperial War Museum revealed it was attacked 10 million times, the Natural History Museum reported 875,414 incidents and Tate Modern and Tate Britain reported 494,709 attacks together.
“Hackers are increasingly targeting organisations which appear to hold large amounts of personal financial data,” said Tim Dunton, managing director of Nimbus Hosting. “The high volume of attacks in this case is reflective of the threat posed by cyber criminals going to extreme lengths to obtain confidential information.”
Over 82 million of the total attacks used some form of spyware, making it the most popular attack technique, with information leak attempts found in 1.6 million cases.
Dunton added: “Tackling this problem means extra investment in encryption technologies, security certificates and necessary safeguards to keep membership details safe from outsider threats.”
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