Cyberattacks expected to increase in 2012

After the hackings by Anonymous and LulzSec in 2011, security experts and technologists say cyberattacks are likely to escalate this year.

"We have seen exponential increases in attacks and that trend will increase," U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry said. "Attacks are growing faster than the defense and we have got to start to catch up."

What began as pilfering data and disruption soon turned into hacking banking and government websites. Visa, Mastercard and PayPal were crippled by Anonymous when the companies refused to process payments from WikiLeaks. The hacktivists also publicly posted subscriber information, including addresses, phone numbers and passwords. This, in turn, made things easy for identity thieves.

"This will be a major focus for the House," Thornberry stated, "hopefully also for the Senate- no to solve all the problems in the world, but to at least take some steps to make the country more secure in cyberspace."

According to Thornberry, this is an issue that will not be ignored by the government.

"The defense strategy last week- that's one area the administration said they would not cut is cyber because it's so important."

Hacking is becoming more and more popular among computer whizzes. So popular, in fact, that hackers are teaching these whizzes how to do the job. And experts are saying the more these hacking jobs are covered by the media, the more hacking these hacktivists will do.