Sunday, May 4 was a record breaker. This past Sunday suffered more digital attacks than any other day on record, according to security firm, mi2g.

May 4 saw a total of 2,576 verified and successful digital attacks, which reportedly included the penetration of private, corporate and government computers online, Web site vandalism, denial-of-service incidents, and even interference with digital broadcasts. Mi2g, a London-based digital risk management company, also reports that attack motivations range from syndicated criminal activity to surveillance, financial fraud and identity theft.

The former record holder was Jan. 3, 2003. On that day, there were 2,395 successful and verified overt attacks worldwide that were recorded by the mi2g database.

Analysts for the company note that they have been receiving reports from UK companies that are being targeted by trans-national hackers focused on identity theft and financial fraud. The attacks have picked up pace since the mid to end of April. The hackers are reportedly installing Trojan software, monitoring voice and data communications, trying to access bank accounts and tampering with private system settings.

''Decision makers are looking for a monumental incident in cyber attack terms and not recognizing that the sum of the parts is growing by the day and reaching epidemic proportions,'' says D.K. Matai, executive chairman of mi2g. ''In 2003, we are seeing nearly the same number of overt attacks in a single day that we used to observe in a whole month in early 2002, or for that matter in the whole of 1999.''

Matai also notes that the number of covert attacks is estimated to be between three and five times greater. ''Millions of daily incidents of malware attacks from viruses and worms are not included in the overt and covert attack intelligence data,'' he adds.