Feeds

Spear phishers launch targeted attacks

Criminals oust mischief makers as malware goes mafia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Customised malware attacks are becoming more commonplace with virus-laden emails up 50 per cent in the first half of 2005 despite a decrease in volumes of spam and simple computer viruses, according to an IBM security report. The industry giant said that targeted attacks against specific organisations and industries - apparently geared towards stealing critical data, identities or extorting money - are on the rise. Government, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare industries are all in the firing line.

IBM has also seen a resurgence of targeted phishing attacks for money laundering and identity fraud purposes. These attacks (35m in Q1 2005, according to IBM) are becoming more focused with so-called ‘spear phishing’ - highly targeted and co-ordinated attacks at a specific organisation or individual designed to extract critical data - increasing more than ten-fold over the first half of 2005.

Although fraudulent phishing mails rose, volumes of spam decreased from 83 per cent in January to 67 per cent in June 2005. Meanwhile incidents of virus-ladened emails increased from one in every 51 emails in December 2004 to one in every 35 in January 2005 and one in every 28 by June 2005, IBM's Global Business Security Index Report concludes.

IBM's conclusions are in tune with findings from the wider information security industry on the increasing use of hacking and computer virus attacks for criminals purposes. Separately email security firm MessageLabs said that phishers are moving away from large high-profile banks globally to target smaller, local banks, with many instances occurring in countries in South America. On a daily basis, MessageLabs discovers approximately 20 websites harbouring malware aimed at compromising predominantly South American banks. ®

Related stories

Malware authors up the ante
Anti-spam success drives malware authors downmarket
My car has a virus (and other security threats)

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.