Experts believe that a Salt Lake City-based NSA data center may have drawn the ire of hacktivists – which may explain a significant spike in attacks against Utah state computers in the past two years.
According to a Friday AP report, Utah officials began to observe the uptick in early 2013, as the public increasingly speculated about activities – such as mass surveillance of private communications – that would occur in the data center.
Using an automated system which detects attacks on state systems, officials noticed a jump in malicious activity in January 2013, from an average of 50,000 attacks a day to 20 million. By February 2013, they saw an average of 75 million attacks a day, AP reported.
Security experts said that hackers may have targeted state-run utilities powering the data center in an attempt to disrupt NSA operations and gain notoriety.