Monday, September 19, 2005

Hackers target private information

Computer hackers seeking financial gain rather than thrills or notoriety are increasingly flooding the Internet with malicious software code, according to a semi-annual report issued on Sunday. Symantec Corp.'s Internet Security Threat Report said during the first half of 2005 the number of new viruses targeting Microsoft Windows users jumped 48 percent to nearly 11,000 compared to the previous six months as hackers used new tools and a growing sophistication to create malicious code.

The latest report by the world's biggest security software maker also found that viruses exposing confidential information made up three-quarters of the top 50 viruses, worms and Trojans, up from 54 percent in the last six months of 2004.It also said an increasing amount of menacing software allowed spam to be relayed automatically from computer to computer. These so-called "Trojan" programs can download and install adware to display pop-up ads in a user's Web browser.

More so-called robot, or "bot" networks, which are created when a hacker illegally gains control of a large number of computers, are now available for sale or rent in the underworld of the Internet, Symantec said."As financial rewards increase, attackers will likely develop more sophisticated and stealthier malicious code that will attempt to disable antivirus, firewalls, and other security.

CATEGORIES: 1report, 1crime, 1botnets, 1threats, 1stats
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