Well over half of US firms have experienced computer system break-ins in the past year, but more than half of those were not prepared to report the incident to the police.
According to one of the most comprehensive surveys of computer crime by War Room Research, 58 per cent of respondents had experienced hacking attacks in the past 12 months.
But victims weren't prepared to report the crimes to the authorities for fear of bad publicity (22 per cent), or loss of client confidence (18 per cent).
Meanwhile, the FBI is lobbying US Congress to make the Internet a national security issue. Kenneth Geide is leading a newly established team of FBI computer agents in Washington - the Computer Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center.
'Networks are vulnerable,' Geide told USA Today. 'It used to be that you needed some detailed understanding of a sophisticated system to crack it. Today, if you have access to the Internet, tools are available by just typing in a search term.
'You don't have to know how to do it. You can start hacking today.'
War Room Research surveyed 236 major US companies and found that nearly 18 per cent of companies had lost more than $1million in attacks, and that more than 66 per cent had suffered losses exceeding $50,000.
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