ahess247 brings us a lengthy BusinessWeek story on the increasing amount of attacks against the US government's online presence as well as its contacts in the private sector. Hackers are gaining a greater awareness of where valuable data might reside, and that awareness is leading to more precise, more sophisticated attacks. Quoting: "The U.S. government, and its sprawl of defense contractors, have been the victims of an unprecedented rash of similar cyber attacks over the last two years, say current and former U.S. government officials. 'It's espionage on a massive scale,' says Paul B. Kurtz, a former high-ranking national security official. Government agencies reported 12,986 cyber security incidents to the U.S. Homeland Security Dept. last fiscal year, triple the number from two years earlier. Incursions on the military's networks were up 55% last year, says Lieutenant General Charles E. Croom, head of the Pentagon's Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations. Private targets like Booz Allen are just as vulnerable and pose just as much potential security risk. 'They have our information on their networks. They're building our weapon systems. You wouldn't want that in enemy hands,' Croom says. Cyber attackers 'are not denying, disrupting, or destroying operations--yet. But that doesn't mean they don't have the capability.'"