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Cybercrime activity on rise

While past attacks destroyed data, today's attacks are increasingly designed to silently steal data for profit.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 15:59 IST

A new internet security threat report says there is a notable rise in cybercrime activity and as much as 80 per cent of the top 50 malicious code samples could reveal confidential information.

While past attacks were designed to destroy data, today's attacks are increasingly designed to silently steal data for profit without doing noticeable damage that would alert a user to its presence, says the ninth volume of the report released by NASDAQ-listed Symantec Corp at a press conference on Thursday.

The semi-annual report, covering the six month period from July 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005, marks an increase in threats designed to facilitate cybercrime.

It said malicious code threats that could reveal confidential information rose from 74 per cent of the top 50 malicious code samples last period to 80 per cent this period.

"Cybercrime represents today's greatest threat to consumers' digital lifestyle and to online businesses in general," Managing Director of Symantec India Vishal Dhupar.

The report also details the growing trend of attackers using bot networks, targeted attacks on Web applications and Web browsers and modular malicious code.

The report said attackers are moving away from large, multiple purpose attacks against traditional security devices such as firewall and routers; instead, they are focusing their efforts on regional targets, desktops, and Web applications that may allow an attacker to steal corporate, personal, financial, or confidential information.

China experienced the largest increase of bot-infected computers, with 37 per cent growth -- 24 percentage points above the average increase -- putting China behind only the US in this category, the report said.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 15:59 IST