Web browser attacks are becoming increasingly popular and sophisticated as cybercriminals seek to control consumers’ systems, according to a recent IBM report.

The 2007 X-Force Security report finds that a complex criminal economy has emerged to capitalize on Web vulnerabilities. Underground brokers are creating tools to camouflage browser attacks, so that cybercriminals can avoid detection by security software. The technique, which has seen a marked increase, allows hackers to steal system IDs and passwords, and personal information. In the case of a corporate machine, this could mean exposing corporate assets.

Also, the report noted a sharp decrease in spam e-mail to pre-2005 levels. The drop is attributed to effective anti-spam technologies that better detect image-based spam.