Security analysts said banks and credit card companies are often very good at keeping sensitive data encrypted; even if hackers get access to your card number they won't be able to do anything with it. But other firms have been more lax: Sony's PlayStation gaming network was disabled for weeks after an April attack, and the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to recover both data and its customers' trust.
"The fact that Sony was not securing their customer information adequately was known before the first major breach," said California-based consultant Rob Enderle. "But Sony wasn't taking the problem seriously."
Cluley said one likely increase was in the number of organizations admitting they'd been hacked. The number of attacks is tremendous, he said, though most are unsuccessful or, in many cases, merely annoying.
LulzSec did trumpet its success in knocking out the CIA's public website -- though security consultants said that's not the place to hit if you genuinely mean to compromise national security. But the group did follow with this Twitter post: "This is the Internet, where we screw each other over for a jolt of satisfaction."