Some of London’s top tourist attractions are being bombarded with cyberattacks as hackers look to target visitor information, new research has found.
Much-loved institutions including the National History Museum are being attacked on a daily basis by hackers going after financial data of visitors according to a report from the Parliament Street think tank.
It found that just four of the most popular visitor attractions were attacked over 100 million times last year alone.
The findings came from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to four top attractions – Kew Gardens, National History Museum, Tate Gallery and Imperial War Museum – asking how often they had been targeted.
Overall, the institutions revealed they had been hit 109 million times, with Kew Gardens making up the majority having been hit 86 million times just last year – a year-on-year increase of 438 per cent.
The Imperial War Museum revealed it was attacked ten 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.”
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.
“Tackling this problem means extra investment in encryption technologies, security certificates and necessary safeguards to keep membership details safe from outsider threats,” Dunton said.