IBM Report: Surge in CRIMINAL-DRIVEN CYBER ATTACKS Anticipated in 2006

IBM Global Business Security Index Report Summarizes Security Trends in 2005 and Provides Outlook for 2006

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Armonk, N.Y. - 23 Jan 2006: Today IBM announced the contents of its 2005 Global Business Security Index Report and provided an early look at potential security threats in 2006. Based on early indicators, IBM anticipates a fundamental shift, or evolution, in cybercrime from pervasive global outbreaks to smaller, stealthier attacks targeted at specific organizations for extortion purposes.

According to the report, written by IBM's Global Security Intelligence team, the global IT threat landscape spent the majority of 2005 at the medium level. While the Zotob worm gained international attention, impacting well known media organizations, there were decidedly fewer global malware outbreaks than the previous year.

But that does not tell the whole story. The criminal element motivating many spam, malware and other IT attacks became apparent last year. High profile arrests of cybercriminals in the US and around the world pointed to individuals linked to organized crime and motivated to make money. With software and networks becoming increasingly more secure, it is anticipated that many of these criminals may target the most vulnerable access point within a company or organization - its personnel - to execute an attack.

"The decrease in pervasive attacks in 2005 is counter-intuitive to what society at large believes is a major threat to their personal data," said Cal Slemp, vice president of IBM's security and privacy services. "IBM believes that the environment has shifted - with increased security protection on most systems and stiffer penalties, we are seeing organized, committed, and tenacious profiteers enter this space. This means that attacks will be more targeted and potentially damaging. Organizations around the world - from the public and private sectors - must move quickly and work together to address this growing challenge."

IBM's Global Business Security Index report includes an early view of other potential trends in 2006, such as the following:

The following assessments regarding 2005 are discussed in the report:

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 3,000 worldwide information security professionals, thousands of monitored devices and strategic security business partners. For more information, please visit

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