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2004 E-Crime Watch Survey Findings

White Paper
In this report, the authors summarize the results of the 2004 E-Crime Watch Survey, conducted to unearth e-crime fighting trends and techniques.

Software Engineering Institute


The 2004 E-Crime Watch survey was conducted by CSO magazine in cooperation with the United States Secret Service & Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's CERT Coordination Center. The research was conducted to unearth e-crime fighting trends and techniques, including best practices and emerging trends. For the purpose of this survey, the following definitions are used:

  • Electronic crime: any criminal violation in which electronic media is used in the commission of that crime
  • Intrusion: a specific incident or event perpetrated via computer that targeted or affected an organization's data, systems, or reputation, or involved other criminal behavior
  • Insider: current or former employee or contractor
  • Outsider: non-employee or non-contractor

The online survey of CSO Magazine subscribers and members of the U.S. Secret Service's Electronic Crimes Task Force was conducted from April 15 to April 26, 2004. Results are based on 500 completed surveys. A sample size of 500 at a 95% confidence level has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

In addition to the 2004 E-Crime Watch survey team, the following security practitioners served as advisors to the project:

  • Michael Assante, Vice President and Chief Security Officer, American Electric Power
  • Bill Boni, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Motorola
  • Don Masters, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Field Office, United States Secret Service
  • Bob Rose, Senior Managing Director, Bear Sterns
  • Dennis Treece, Director of Corporate Security, Massachusetts Port Authority
  • James Wellington, Director of Federal Systems, Questerra

Survey results were announced on May 25, 2004. Within the first 30 days of its release, the survey has attracted significant news media coverage from more than 35 outlets, such as CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, and United Press International (UPI). According to a report from PR Newswire (the service with which the news release was distributed to media), the survey was accessed by 517 individuals during the month it was released. In addition to its U.S. appeal, the survey was accessed by nine other countries including Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Philippines, Spain and United Kingdom. As of July 21, 2004, the survey reached more than six million potential readers worldwide via print publications alone. Additional news media coverage is expected. A listing of news coverage to date is included in the addendum on page 39.