Cyber incidents have decreased in Ireland over the past year, despite a concern about the rise of ransomware.

According to the finalised statistics for issues that the Irish reporting and information security service (IRISS) and computer emergency readiness team (CERT) was made aware of so far in 2012, there have been 429 reported incidents, a drop from 441 for the same period in 2011.

Speaking at the Irisscon event in Dublin, chair and Irisscert founder Brian Honan, said that there is "no doubt there is a lot more happening that [they are] not aware of".

Honan said: “The biggest issue we have found is Irish websites are hijacked to host phishing sites to dupe people into giving up their information. We have not seen too many denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, these have become more of a nuisance.”

The Irisscert statistics said that there have been 315 reported attacks (73 per cent of all incidents) of phishing takeover, and often these target customers of various financial institutions, most of which are in countries outside Ireland. However this type of attack has dropped by 23 per cent in comparison to last year. There has also been 12 DoS attacks reported to Irisscert.

Honan also said that there has been an issue of networks being hacked, and unencrypted data being encrypted by the cyber criminals who demand a ransom

“We are aware of a number of victims here. We are working with other certs in other countries to try and deal with this,” Honan said. Irisscert statistics show that there has been six such separate incidents targeting Irish businesses.

Honan said: “Note that we are basing our statistics on issues and incidents reported to us or that we have been made aware of. If people do not make us aware of the issues then obviously we cannot record it to identify trends and common issues.”