Trend Micro: Cyber crime attacks more insidious than we think

Trend Micro: Cyber crime attacks more insidious than we think

Security vendor tells customers and partners to be on the alert as attacks continue to increase during the economic downturn

Cyber crime groups are more insidious, clever and business-orientated than many people give them credit for, according to security vendor, Trend Micro.

They are also willing to use the economic downturn and global issues such as swine flu to attack targets.

“Given the global economic recession now, one would think that as most companies are re-strategising or doing stuff to keep afloat, cyber crime might also be doing the same because they are also businesses in theory,” Trend Micro technical communications specialist, Paul J.S. Oliveria, said. “In actuality it is the opposite – they are thriving on the climate.”

Oliveria, who works in Trend Labs in Manila, The Philippines, was in Australia to talk to partners and customers about the security threats posed by the economic downturn.

He pointed to social engineering and traditional threats through email as continuing concerns.

“We’ve seen recently the swine flu is being targeted as a social engineering,” he said. “They should be very wary with these kinds of emails, scams or spam we have seen recently.”

As for other well-known threats, such as Conficker and Downadup, Oliveria said the industry had been distracted by hype.

“Conficker was hyped in the sense that a lot of people focused on the 50,000 URLs it was supposed to connect to,” he said. “But, by that time, obviously cyber criminals knew better than to launch an attack when all eyes are on them.

“Seven days later though, something did happen – there was a variant update. It’s not what was reported to be attacking us. It didn’t go through the 50,000 websites. It actually went via a TCP port in a P2P protocol. It is still to watch out for as typically vulnerabilities are obviously prone for exploitation, it is not just Conficker. If there is anything good that came out of the hype it was that people are aware they need to apply patches.”

However, Oliveria said that while web threat growth had been up around 2300 per cent since 2005, Trend Micro’s own statistics had not seen a correlating spike in attacks with the drop in the economy.

“There is no particular spike - an increased jump or anything. But it is still increasing, unfortunately,” he said. “There hasn’t been any dramatic change.”

Trend Micro recently signed a deal with Ingram Micro for the distributor to take the vendor’s PC-cillin Internet Security Pro 2009, PC-cillin Internet Security 2009, AntiVirus and AntiSpyware to retail.

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