More targeted cyber attacks likely in 2006

January 23, 2006

The latest security report from IBM foresees cybercrime evolving from pervasive global outbreaks to smaller, stealthier attacks targeted at specific organizations for extortion purposes. IBM Global Business Security Index Report summarizes trends in security for last year and maps out what’s on the way in 2006.

"The decrease in pervasive attacks in 2005 is counter-intuitive to what society at large believes is a major threat to their personal data," said Cal Slemp, vice president of IBM's security and privacy services. "IBM believes that the environment has shifted – with increased security protection on most systems and stiffer penalties, we are seeing organized, committed, and tenacious profiteers enter this space. This means that attacks will be more targeted and potentially damaging. Organizations around the world – from the public and private sectors – must move quickly and work together to address this growing challenge."

The report identified several potential security trends for 2006, including:

-- Insider Attacks – As software becomes more secure, computer users will continue to be the weak link for companies and organizations. Criminals will focus their efforts on convincing end users to execute the attack instead of trying to find vulnerabilities in software.

-- Emerging Markets – Because cyber criminals take advantage of poor international cooperation against cybercrime and launch cross border attacks with little personal risk, threat to and from emerging and developing countries is increasing.

-- Blogging – The increased use of collaboration tools, such as blogging, also increases the possibility of leaking confidential business data.

-- Instant Messaging – Botnets, a collection of software robots that allow a system to be controlled without the owner’s knowledge, will continue to represent one of the biggest threats to the Internet.

-- Mobile Devices – Malware affecting mobile phones, PDAs and other wireless devices increased substantially in the last year, but has not yet materialized into pervasive outbreaks since they cannot spread on their own – yet. Therefore, this trend continues to be on the radar for 2006.

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