IBM becomes doomsayer for virus-ridden future

Mobile phones, wireless networks and embedded car and satellite communications systems are all prime targets for virus and worm attack in 2005. There will also be a big surge in phishing attacks, Spam (CAN-SPAM notwithstanding), viruses, identity theft and plagues of frogs. (I made that last bit up).

This gloomy report has been made by IBM Global Services as part of its Business Security Index Report. It says the mobile devices like cars and PDAs, which have so far been generally immune from attack, are now the ‘new frontier’ for hackers and spammers.

The report highlights the growing number of viruses aimed at PDAs and other mobile devices, such as the Cabir worm. IBM suggests that this may lead to an epidemic of viruses aimed at mobile devices

Increasingly criminals will target instant messaging systems as a potential weak spot in PC security. Likewise the increasing use of VoIP services by both business and consumers may provide a likely target for blackmail by the threat of denial of service attacks.

As wireless technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth continue to grow, these will provide even more tempting targets for hackers and identity thieves.

IBM despairingly says there is ‘no end in sight’ to identity theft. Phishing attacks launched from spoofed emails and fraudulent websites will provide a constant and growing threat this year.

It says that in 2004 the incidence of viruses and other malware rose as criminals and hackers became more sophisticated. While high-technology companies made strenuous efforts to contain viruses and worms, the number of viruses actually grew last year.

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