search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

2005 E-Crime Watch Survey Findings

White Paper
In this 2005 report, the authors summarize the results of the 2005 E-Crime Watch Survey, conducted to unearth electronic crime fighting trends and techniques.

Software Engineering Institute


The 2005 E-Crime Watch survey was conducted by CSO magazine in cooperation with the U.S. Secret Service and Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's CERT® Coordination Center. The research was conducted to unearth electronic crime fighting trends and techniques, including best practices and emerging trends. Respondents' answers are based on the 2004 calendar year. A similar version of this survey was also conducted in 2004 with corresponding answers from the 2003 calendar year. Trending data is provided where relevant.

For the purpose of this survey, the following definitions are used:

  • Electronic crime: any criminal violation in which (new in 2005: a computer) or 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, 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 Forces was conducted from March 3 to March 14, 2005. Results are based on 819 completed surveys, up from the 500 for the 2004 survey. A sample size of 819 at a 95% confidence level has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

In addition to the 2005 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, U.S. Secret Service

Survey results were announced on May 3, 2005. Within the first 30 days of its release, this year’s survey once again attracted significant news media coverage from more than 20 outlets, including Investor’s Business Daily, United Press International (UPI), USA Today, and Washington According to a report from PR Newswire (the service with which the news release was distributed to media), the survey was accessed by 758 individuals since its release (i.e., 700 public viewers and 58 journalists). In addition to its U.S. appeal, the survey was accessed by media from twelve other countries including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. As of July 1, 2005, the survey reached more than three million potential readers worldwide via print publications alone. Additional news media coverage is expected throughout the 2005 calendar year. A listing of news coverage to date is included in the addendum on page 56.