Computer Crime Research Center


Symantec warns of cybercrime rise

Date: March 18, 2006

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today released its ninth volume of the Internet Security Threat Report, one of the most comprehensive sources of Internet threat data in the world. The semiannual report, covering the six-month period from July 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2005, marks an increase in threats designed to facilitate cybercrime.

While past attacks were designed to destroy data, today’s attacks are increasingly designed to silently steal data for profit without doing noticeable damage that would alert a user to its presence. In the previous Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec cautioned that malicious code for profit was on the rise, and this trend continued during the second half of 2005. Malicious code threats that could reveal confidential information rose from 74 percent of the top 50 malicious code samples last period to 80 percent this period.

“Cybercrime represents today’s greatest threat to consumers’ digital lifestyle and to online businesses in general,” said Arthur Wong, vice president, Symantec Security Response and Managed Security Services. “The unparalleled insight this report provides into how cybercrime is happening and how it can be prevented enables Symantec to help protect the widest variety of customers in the world.”

The report also details the growing trend of attackers using bot networks, targeted attacks on Web applications and Web browsers, and modular malicious code. Based on this and data from previous reporting periods, Symantec expects to see more diverse and sophisticated threats used for cybercrime as well as an increase in the theft of confidential, financial, and personal information for financial gain.
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