Thursday, October 13, 2005

Expect bigger IM attacks

IM attacks are already exploding, up a whopping 2,000% since last year. The bigger, combined Microsoft-Yahoo network will let attacks spread even further and faster.

The deal struck Wednesday by Yahoo and Microsoft to make their instant messaging (IM) networks work together in 2006 may sound great at first glance, but security experts say that the merger will make IM an even bigger target for hackers and hucksters. "98% of the stories about Yahoo and Microsoft will be about the benefits of interoperability and how the deal will eliminate the traditional hurdles in IM," said Jon Sakoda, the chief technology officer for IMlogic, an Internet security firm that specializes in defending against IM and file-sharing threats.

Instead of those silver linings, Sakoda sees some possible gray clouds on the horizon. "IM worms have generally targeted individual networks, say, only Yahoo or MSN. That's why you haven't seen a global worm that propagates to millions," he said. "There hasn't any interoperability, but this deal changes that." Christopher Dean, the senior vice president of business development at rival FaceTime, agreed. "As you increase the size of network, there's a greater chance that [malicious] things can spread. It's a bigger network effect."

CATEGORIES : 1IM, 1instant messaging,1vendors,1deal
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