Report gives threat info

Report gives threat info

THE trends highlighted in its latest threat report should give Symantec resellers extra ammunition to take to customers, the company says.

Symantec released the eighth edition of its bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report last month, which tracks global malicious activity for the first half of the year.

Natasha Hook (formerly McLean), Symantec channel manager, says the report is filled with a wealth of information for resellers.

“The report is a must-read for resellers,” she says. “It is a really good resource of information. It shows them what we are seeing out there and gives them the tools to talk knowledgably to customers.”

One threat highlighted by the report is phishing.

It found volumes of phishing attacks have increased from 2.99 million messages a day in the last half of 2004 to 5.7 million in the first six months of 2005. One in every 125 email messages scanned by Symantec’s Brightmail antispam service was a phishing attempt.

Phishing is a big concern for customers, says Hook, adding the report shows the risk of confidential information being exposed — such as credit card and banking details — is rising, which can result in significant financial losses.

This is particularly worrying as online shopping and banking become more popular, she says.

Although awareness of phishing is high in the channel, many resellers may not be aware how lucrative adopting services to help customers fight the issue can be, Hook says.

“Resellers need to be aware that phishing has increased in volume and is more targeted,” she says.

Another major finding in the report was the discovery of new methods of using malicious code for financial gain.

Attackers are also moving away from large, multipurpose attacks on network perimeters and are increasingly targeting web and desktop applications, the report states. Although less malicious code now has severe payloads, targeted attacks can still cause significant damage, says Hook.

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