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.


06:53 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme

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?


Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Browsers to Enforce Shorter Certificate Life Spans: What Businesses Should Know
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
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
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
An issue was discovered in NLnet Labs Routinator 0.1.0 through 0.7.1. It allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions or to cause a denial of service on dependent routing systems by strategically withholding RPKI Route Origin Authorisation ".roa" files or X509 Certificate...
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Jeedom through 4.0.38 allows XSS.
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Contour ( Ingress controller for Kubernetes) before version 1.7.0, a bad actor can shut down all instances of Envoy, essentially killing the entire ingress data plane. GET requests to /shutdown on port 8090 of the Envoy pod initiate Envoy's shutdown procedure. The shutdown procedure includes flip...
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Sulu before versions 1.6.35, 2.0.10, and 2.1.1, when the "Forget password" feature on the login screen is used, Sulu asks the user for a username or email address. If the given string is not found, a response with a `400` error code is returned, along with a error message saying that th...
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Unexpected behavior violation in McAfee Total Protection (MTP) prior to 16.0.R26 allows local users to turn off real time scanning via a specially crafted object making a specific function call.