Instant messaging worms on the rise

Trend Micro has identified a growing tendency for virus writers to target the enterprise through worms borne by instant messaging services.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  April 16, 2005

Trend Micro has identified a growing tendency for virus writers to target the enterprise through worms borne by instant messaging services. Although, e-mail remains the dominant method for transmitting viruses, lack of awareness of the vulnerabilities associated with instant messaging (IM) services could make IM worms more damaging. Trend Micro says the first three months of 2005 saw a rise in the number of worms using IM to propagate. In its first quarter 2005 virus roundup, half of the reported outbreaks were IM worms. IM worms are on the rise primarily because of the publishing of the source code for existing attacks, says Trend Micro. The source code of successful IM worms has been made available and this has encouraged others to adapt it for their own ends. IM management and security vendor Akonix Systems also noted an alarming 400% rise in IM attacks in its first quarter IM and peer-to-peer threat summary.

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