Tuesday, May 31, 2005

#55 IM in the firing line

I have been watching the level of press on IM and P2P exploits notching up over the last two weeks and found an article that summed it all up nicely. I think that IM exploits are about to move from the "nuisance level" to the "business continuity" level very shortly and as with all previous new mediums used to launch exploits (such as Blaster etc) that make it into the big time, when it hits, it hits hard and takes everyone by surprise.

The quantity of attacks are increasing rapidly because hackers have discovered three things about IM. Firstly your defenses are down in IM - unlike e-mail, you're not yet trained to be suspicious of IM. Second is that IM uses a model where messages come from IDs that you implicitly trust. You might have just had a IM conversation with someone down the hall when you receive a worm from that same person. Thirdly IM is more susceptible to social engineering bait that leans on current events or private non-work related downloads, since users have moved from email to IM to excersise chats, casual banter and private file swapping/jokes.

Expect the noise on this topic to get louder in the ensuing months...
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