A recent study by Symantic found Boston is the second-riskiest metropolitan area when it comes to malware. (Seattle had the distinction of being first. ) Could this mean more opportunities for cybercrime specialists in the Bay State? Joseph Vee Mullin, a Massachusetts-based engineer and security/anti-terrorism expert, believes so. “I would say yes, especially in the Boston area, because we’re a big financial and medical hub.”
What makes a city susceptible to cybercrime? The makeup of the population and the types of businesses play a major role. According to MXlogic:
The frequency with which residents of these cities use online banking and other ecommerce services where sensitive personal information is used are the primary reasons for their susceptibility to cybercrime. Both cities are home to a substantial amount of young professionals who are most likely to use online banking and purchase goods online. San Francisco also ranked high on the list due to the volume of wireless hotspots in the city. Boston and Seattle are also at risk for this reason, as all three cities have coffee shops and restaurants where people use a common wireless network to browse the web.
Symantec partnered with Sperling’s BestPlaces for the research, which measured incidents of malicious attacks, infected machines and spam-spewing zombies per capita. The firm also factored in the prevalence of computer ownership, Internet use and the amount of activities such as online banking, online shopping and the number of WiFi hotspots per capita.
Other cities in the top 10 were Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Raleigh, Minneapolis, Denver, and Austin. The least dangerous cities were Detroit, El Paso, and Memphis.
The full report’s here.
—Sonia R. Lelii