Feeds

Spear phishers launch targeted attacks

Criminals oust mischief makers as malware goes mafia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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)

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.