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IMlogic Threat Center Reports Steady Rise in Targeted Attack

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IMlogic Threat Center Reports Steady Rise in Targeted Attack

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:05 pm

IMlogic Threat Center Reports Steady Rise in Targeted Attacks on Instant Messaging Networks in Q1 2005

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 5, 2005--
First IM Security Threat Report Reveals More Than 250 percent Increase in Viruses, Worms, Phishing and Malicious Attacks Targeting IM Networks Over Previous Year

The IMlogic Threat Center, the industry's first global consortium to provide threat detection and protection for instant messaging (IM) and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, today issued its first quarterly report on the rise of IM security threats in 2005 at the InfoSec World Conference & Expo 2005 in Orlando, Fla. The report demonstrates a sharp increase of over 250 percent in new IM threats including viruses, worms, spam over IM (SPIM)/malware and phishing attacks. During the first quarter of 2005, IMlogic issued more than 15 priority alerts to enterprises and IMlogic Threat Center subscribers in response to the increasing frequency of reported IM threats.

The report released today by the IMlogic Threat Center provides complete data, analysis and discussion of key trends for the first three months of 2005. Key data points released include:

-- A 271 percent increase in reported incidents of new IM/P2P viruses, worms, and malicious code including SPIM/malware;

-- More than 75 unique IM/P2P threats including IM-specific attacks and "blended-threats" which target IM/P2P applications;

-- Eighty-two percent of reported incidents include IM virus or worm propagation; 14 percent are known to hijack IM file transfer capability; 11 percent of reported incidents utilize known client vulnerabilities;

-- Kelvir, Bropia, and Sumom worms reported as the top three most frequently detected IM infections in corporate environments;

-- Multiple reported incidents of IM "phishing" and identity theft reported on consumer IM networks.

More than 50 percent of externally reported incidents to the IMlogic Threat Center in Q1 2005 were attributed to enterprises and small businesses utilizing popular IM applications such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. The report highlights the increase in targeted IM attacks on corporate environments and the need for both enterprises and small businesses to prepare and defend against emerging IM threats.

"The steady rise in attacks has put companies like us on the defensive," said Ben Palacio, IT manager at Priority Computer Parts, a distributor of computer parts to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies that relies on IM to communicate with customers. "Knowing in advance what steps to take allows us to continue to use instant messaging safely and productively."

IMlogic Threat Center Forecasts Continued Growth in IM-Borne Attacks and Releases Key Trends for 2005

Trend analysis provided in the IMlogic Threat Center Q1 2005 report suggests that IM-borne attacks will continue to increase as hackers capitalize on the growing popularity of IM in both consumer and corporate environments. The IMlogic Threat Center encourages consumers to protect themselves by keeping operating system patches and anti-virus software up to date, and to exercise caution when using embedded links or file transfer capabilities over the IM channel. Corporate IT departments can additionally leverage IM management technology and end-user policy enforcement to protect their networks from the risks associated with unmonitored and uncontrolled IM usage. Best practices are available for both enterprises and consumers online at

The IMlogic Threat Center Q1 2005 report additionally discusses the following attack and vulnerability trends for IM/P2P:

1. Targeted attacks on IM and P2P are increasing: The volume of reported incidents of IM and P2P threats has increased exponentially due to more targeted attacks by hackers and virus writers, and the inclusion of IM and P2P in blended Internet threats.

2. IM worms utilize social engineering: IM threats utilize dangerous social engineering techniques to capitalize on successful infection vectors, using "buddy lists" and end user vulnerabilities as targets.

3. IM worms spread rapidly and are difficult to quarantine: IM uses a real-time protocol which enables the rapid proliferation of IM malware, making detection, quarantine, and response a challenge for corporate environments.

"The trends identified in our report will continue as IM becomes the new target for more sophisticated attacks aimed at disrupting Internet security," said IMlogic Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Products Jon Sakoda. "The IMlogic Threat Center will continue to identify trends and key threats as they evolve to ensure that the millions of consumer and enterprise IM users are protected from these emerging real-time attacks."

Launched with the support of Internet security leaders Symantec, Sybari, and McAfee, and global instant messaging leaders America Online, Microsoft and Yahoo!, the IMlogic Threat Center is the comprehensive knowledge base for known IM and P2P vulnerabilities and provides rapid response and guidance for protection against newly detected threats.

The Q1 2005 IM Security Threat Report is available free of charge by visiting the company's Web site at

About IMlogic, Inc.

IMlogic, Inc., headquartered in Waltham, Mass., is the market leader in enterprise software for Instant Messaging (IM), the world's fastest growing communications medium of all time. The largest Fortune 1000 companies across the financial services, energy, healthcare, government, media, telecommunications, technology, and manufacturing industries depend on IMlogic solutions to secure, deploy, and leverage IM and presence technology for real-time business communications. The company's flagship product, IMlogic IM Manager(TM), enables enterprises to manage, control and secure corporate IM usage, while satisfying compliance requirements associated with real-time electronic communications. IMlogic is backed by leading venture capital firms Venrock Associates, General Catalyst Partners, Kodiak Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital, and Goldman Sachs. For more information on IMlogic visit
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