IBM Report: Phishing Attacks in May Jumped More Than 200 Percent

Email Viruses up 33 Percent

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ARMONK, NY - 30 Jun 2005: Today IBM reported that phishing attacks increased 226 percent, while viruses and worms, such as Sober and Mytob, also continued to spread rapidly through email and web applications, according to its May Global Business Security Index.

IBM security experts attribute the increase in phishing attacks to the rise of zombie botnets being used to pump out massive volumes of the scam emails used in phishing attacks, as cyber-criminals look to increase their profits.

IBM's report also indicates that in May more than 30 percent of emails contained some form of virus -- a 33 percent increase from the previous month. In many instances, the virus traveling via email infiltrated a computer's hard drive and then forwarded itself to the user's entire address book.

In addition, IBM reports that application hacking is how 90 percent of target systems are exploited. Two critical points in web application security are the creation and management of sessions and filtering all data input. These types of compromises from a web application can lead to exposure of banking information, private sensitive data like credit card information, and competitive intelligence information.

Key findings from IBM's May Global Business Security Index include:

"IT systems have become so crucial to today's business operations, work productivity, and customer service, that even a small disruption can have serious impact on business operations, and loss of data integrity or confidentiality can lose a customer base that took years to build," said Cal Slemp, vice president, security and privacy services, IBM Global Services. "Security is now something that companies can no longer afford to be without. IBM's approach offers companies a way to reduce overall business risk while helping them comply with legislations, regulations and build better business intelligence."

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

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