News Briefs

Attacking worms burrow through IM

Like airborne viruses, instant messaging worms are fledglings, but very much on the rise. These new worms are also proving that once inside a corporate network they can be just as destructive, if not more so, than traditional e-mail attacks. E-mail remains the most widely used and destructive vehicle for spreading viruses and worms over the Internet, but the first three months of 2005 saw a rise in the number of worms using IM to propagate. Anti-virus company Trend Micro recently released its first quarter 2005 virus roundup, in which half of the reported outbreaks were IM worms. Since emerging as a proof of concept in 2001, IM worms have taken a back seat to e-mail worms. But the sharp increase in IM-based outbreaks this year signals a revival of the IM vehicle, according to Trend Micro officials.

IM worms are on the rise primarily because of the publishing of the source code for existing attacks, said David Perry, global education director at Trend Micro. IM management and security vendor Akonix Systems noted an alarming 400 per cent rise in IM attacks in its Q1 IM and peer-to-peer threat summary. Akonix’s numbers showed more than double the total number of targeted attacks on IM and p-to-p networks in the first quarter of 2005 than in all of 2004, according to Francis Costello, chief marketing officer at Akonix. According to IM security tool vendor IMlogic, nearly 85 per cent of enterprises use public IM systems, and most do not have any additional security in place. – Cathleen Moore, InfoWorld (U.S.)

Crime fighter targets online banking

To help financial institutions combat an onslaught of online criminal activity meant to separate cash from its rightful owners, New York, N.Y.-based Cyota Inc., a six-year-old company that provides online security and antifraud solutions for the financial sector, has launched a product called eVision. The fraud management tool profiles end user behaviour using parameters, sensors and various data points – including user data, device data, transactional data and Internet data. It then uses that information to detect, analyze and score online banking and services fraud in real-time. Some 33 per cent of online users in the United States are expected to use online banking services by 2006. – CSO (U.S.) staff

Data recovery firm opens Toronto base

To better serve its Canadian-based customers, a market that grew 24 per cent in 2004, Minneapolis, Minn.-based Ontrack Data Recovery in May opened a new facility in Toronto, Ont. The data recovery products and services company says the new facility with full-service recovery laboratory and cleanroom will provide more expedient and cost-effective service for Canadian customers by processing recovery jobs in Canada. Data Recovery services include in-lab (cleanroom) or onsite recovery service, do-it-yourself EZ Recovery line of software products and Remote Data Recovery. Ontrack claims to be the only company to offer remote data recovery where data is recovered straight from the customer’s server, desktop or laptop through a modem or Internet connection. The firm now operates 17 worldwide locations with customer support in 11 languages.

Disaster/emergency management event set for July

Business continuity will be one of many issues addressed at the 15th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this July 10 – 13. With 70 sessions to choose from, this conference presented by the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness in Burlington, Ont., includes a roster of international experts covering the theme The Changing Face of Disaster Management, Defining the New Normal. Presenters from Microsoft, Oracle and Allstream will address issues of where IT and technology fit into business continuity management programs in the “New Normal”. Details at

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