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IBM Report: Surge in Viruses and Worms Targeting Mobile Devices, Satellite Communications Anticipated in 2005

IBM Global Business Security Index Report Summarizes Security Threats in 2004 and Provides Trends for 2005

Armonk, N.Y. - 09 Feb 2005: Today IBM announced the results from its 2004 Global Business Security Index Report and provided an early look at potential security threats in 2005. Based on early indicators, a new and troubling trend this year may be the aggressive spread of viruses and worms to handheld devices, cell phones, wireless networks, and embedded computers, which include car and satellite communication systems.

According to the report, written by IBM's Global Security Intelligence Services team, email-based worms and viruses wreaked havoc on corporate networks in 2004.  Email worms such as Bagle, Netsky and Mydoom led the pack in the number of variants and overall impact.  During the latter part of 2004, a growing number of viruses aimed at PDAs and other mobile devices, such as the Cabir worm, were released.  It is likely that such worms will be used by copycats and may spur an epidemic of viruses aimed at mobile devices.

"After a year like 2004, many IT departments feel beaten down from combating viruses like Mydoom and Netsky," said Stuart McIrvine, director of IBM's security strategy. "However, through sophisticated intelligence gathering and analysis, IBM can now identify and understand many of these risks.  In addition, businesses and consumers can use this information to help them to not only anticipate these security risks, but more importantly, to prepare themselves to avoid a new breed of attacks in 2005."

IBM's Global Business Security Index report includes an early view of potential trends in 2005:

The report summarizes the following assessment regarding 2004:

The IBM Global Business Security Index Report is a monthly report that assesses, measures and analyzes potential network security threats based on the data and information collected by IBM's 2,700 worldwide information security professionals and half a million monitored devices. For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/security.

Contact(s) information

Kelli Gail
IBM Media Relations
(646) 598-6165
kelliga@us.ibm.com

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