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Boston ranks 2nd in U.S. cyber-crime study

A new study has Boston ranked No. 2 among U.S. cities as a "hotspot" of cybercrime.

In a study published yesterday by California data security firm Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), Boston registered as the second-riskiest city in the U.S., after Seattle, due to its high concentration of cyber crimes and WiFi availability. Out of 50 cities spotlighted in the report, Boston narrowly missed the top spot, with a risk score of 176.6 to Seattle’s 188.2. In third place was Washington, D.C., and in fourth was San Francisco.

According to Symantec’s report, Boston’s problems come from an especially high concentration of “spam zombies” — computers taken over by outside hackers to send out spam.
Another factor is the Hub’s many unsecured WiFi hotspots — 53.6 per 100,000 residents — where cyber criminals may lurk, trolling for unwitting users. While high-profile or widespread computer attacks are relatively rare, small-scale attacks like these threaten even savvy computer users, the report noted.

The complete list of cities and further description of the Symantec report can be found in a ComputerWorld report linked here: Symantec names riskiest U.S. cities for cybercrime

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Cynthia J. Larose

Member / Chair, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice

Cynthia J. Larose is Chair of the firm's Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice, a Certified Information Privacy Professional-US (CIPP-US), and a Certified Information Privacy Professional-Europe (CIPP-E). She works with clients in various industries to develop comprehensive information security programs on the front end, and provides timely counsel when it becomes necessary to respond to a data breach.