by Mike Masnick

Net Attacks Up Or Down? Depends On Who Writes The Headline

from the lies,-damn-lies,-and-statistics dept

By now, you should already be quite skeptical of just about any official "study" reporting just about anything. So many of them are biased and misleading. However, to make things even worse, you have the media who will spin any story the way they think will generate more interest. The San Jose Mercury news is trumpeting that computer attacks are rising ("Computer attacks rising, security firm reports"), according to a new report from Symantec. That's funny, because the report on the very same study claims that internet attacks are trending downwards ("Report: Net attacks on businesses down"). How is this possible? Let's call both headlines hype, and toss the whole study out. According to the study, attacks were down for the second half of 2002 compared to the first half of 2002. However, they were up when compared to the second half of 2001. In other words, it's not about the study. It's all in how you spin the statistics.

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