Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/1/2008
06:53 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Be Careful With Whom You Chat

Security firm Akonix Systems is warning of a big increase in attacks that target instant messaging systems.

Security firm Akonix Systems is warning of a big increase in attacks that target instant messaging systems.According to the vendor, its IM Security Center researchers uncovered 21 new malicious code attacks traveling over IM networks in April, which represents a surge of 162% over the number of March attacks.

A handful of worms topped the list -- ArcServe, IMspread, QVOD, IRCBot, and Tiotua.

Akonix also notes a 12% rise in attacks over P2P networks.

While the increase in IM attacks is interesting, it's surprising to me -- considering how much sewage transverses P2P networks -- that there's any room for growth at all in those file sharing networks. The risk is minimal for corporations that have deployed closed instant messaging and collaborative systems. Most, if not all, of these worms target the public IM networks such as AIM, Yahoo, and GoogleTalk. But I wouldn't be quick to connect corporate systems to these public networks.

It's my understanding that most of these threats travel like e-mail worms and users have to click to get infected. So common sense is all that's needed to keep most systems clean: do not to accept messages from screen names you're not familiar with and never, never-ever, accept links from strangers.

A quick look at the list of IM threats uncovered this year, available at the Akonix Web site, lets you see that the vast majority are ranked as low risk.

Aside from banning public IM networks, how does your company protect itself from IM threats?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-24213
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
An integer overflow was discovered in YGOPro ygocore v13.51. Attackers can use it to leak the game server thread's memory.
CVE-2020-2279
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A sandbox bypass vulnerability in Jenkins Script Security Plugin 1.74 and earlier allows attackers with permission to define sandboxed scripts to provide crafted return values or script binding content that can result in arbitrary code execution on the Jenkins controller JVM.
CVE-2020-2280
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Jenkins Warnings Plugin 5.0.1 and earlier allows attackers to execute arbitrary code.
CVE-2020-2281
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Jenkins Lockable Resources Plugin 2.8 and earlier allows attackers to reserve, unreserve, unlock, and reset resources.
CVE-2020-2282
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
Jenkins Implied Labels Plugin 0.6 and earlier does not perform a permission check in an HTTP endpoint, allowing attackers with Overall/Read permission to configure the plugin.