Hackers’ work getting easier

Hackers’ work getting easier

Network intrusion and malicious code attempts are on the rise, and the bad news is that it’s becoming easier for hackers to launch such attacks, with the growing popularity of downloadable virus tools.

This was the message Michael Murphy, the Canadian general manager of Symantec Corp., delivered to delegates recently at Showcase Ontario 2003, the provincial government’s annual I&IT event.

“The knowledge required to launch an attack is minimal,” Murphy said during his presentation. “Most of the attacks today – worms, viruses, Trojans – are done by amateurs.”

There are currently more than 30,000 Web sites available to anyone who wants to download “click and hack tools”, Murphy said. To make matters worse, not only are those with a limited understanding of technology able to launch attacks, those with some IT experience are now able to launch a more aggressive intrusion campaign.

“With these automated tools and a certain level of basic expertise…the complexity of attacks is increasing much more rapidly than we’ve seen in the past,” he said. “Clearly the tools available are lowering the bar for hackers to launch attacks.”