The world record for overt digital attacks in one month was broken Tuesday -- just four months after the last record was set and less than a month since the record was set for most attacks in a single day.

The first 20 days of May recorded a total of 20,182 overt attacks, breaking the previous record of 19,658 attacks set this past January, according to analysts from mi2g, a digital risk tracking firm based in London. May 4 has gone down as a record breaking day with 2,576 verified overt attacks recorded in one day.

''We have noticed a pattern of politically motivated digital attacks preceding physical terrorism in the cases of both Morocco and Saudi Arabia,'' says D.K. Matai, executive chairman with mi2g. ''The U.S., U.K., Turkey and India are also looking turbulent. Individuals disenchanted with domestic government and U.S. foreign policy are expressing their views through cyberspace first.''

Mi2g analysts report that a large chunk of the attacks recorded so far in May have targeted the U.S., Germany, Argentina and the U.k. They also note that one quarter of all the attacks recorded so far throughout May were the work of politically motivated hacking groups protesting the U.S./U.K. intervention in the Middle East and the War on Terror.

The tracking company also reported that 78 percent of the recorded digital attacks targeted Linux systems, followed by 13 percent targeting Microsoft Windows.

''With 86,008 overt attacks already recorded in 2003, the previous yearly record of 87,525 from 2002 is likely to be breached in May,'' notes mi2g analysts in the report. ''The economic damage caused by all forms of digital attacks, including viruses and worms such as Slammer, in 2003 now stands at between $34.7 billion and $42.4 billion worldwide.''

Overt attacks are verifiable and recorded.