IBM Says Gangs Now Behind Most Spam
In the early days of the Internet, geeky hackers competed to see who
could create the most diabolical computer viruses. The motivation was
a twisted kind of bragging rights. But a study released by IBM says
hackers today have a different motivation -- profit.
In its Global Business Security Index, the computer giant says email
continues to grow as a security menace, with messages often disguised
as communications from legitimate entities that seek to pry personal
and financial information from the unsuspecting. Believed to be
largely driven by criminal gangs, "phishing" was tied to 35.7 million
emails in the first half of 2005.
The experts also noted an increase in "spear phishing," highly
targeted and coordinated attacks at a specific organization or
individual designed to extract critical data. Also, more and more
electronic messages contain viruses that can harm computer or network
The overall volume of viruses has exploded. In January of 2004, one in
every 129 emails contained a virus; by June of this year, infections
had spread to one in every 28 emails.
The first half of 2005 saw more than 237 million security attacks
overall, more than 20 percent of which were aimed at government
computers. The United States was overwhelmingly the target location for
attacks (12 million), followed distantly by New Zealand (1.2 million)
and China (1 million).
Surprisingly, spam, unsolicited and unwanted email, provided a bright
spot in the study. The ratio of spam to legitimate email continuously
decreased over the course of the last six months, from 83 percent in
January to 67 percent in June 2005. Although some of this decrease is
due to spammers getting fewer reponses from net users, and simply
getting tired from fewer positive results and giving up their efforts,
much of the decease is also attributed to netters taking a more
agressive seek/search out/destroy posture as well.
"IBM advises its clients to rapidly adopt a holistic, enterprise-wide
approach to security and risk management," said John Lutz, general
manager of IBM's Financial Services Sector.
Copyright 2003-2005 ConsumerAffairs.Com Inc.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at
http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new
*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance, ConsumerAffairs.com
For more information go to: