Symantec Reports 50% Increase in DoS Attacks

Latest threat report indicates denial of service overloads up substantially


The latest Symantec Threat Report from Internet security company Symantec Corp claims that there has been a 50% increase in the number of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, where networks are overloaded with data by hackers in an attempt to disable them.

The biannual report from Symantec also stated that phishing, where passwords are demanded from users through fraudulent e-mails, has increased by 39% in the past six months. Symantec said that 'crimeware', which aims to steal financial data, is the most recent threat and claimed that cybercrime is moving away from attention-seeking and toward subtle theft.

Bot networks, which involve software robots running on computers without the user's knowledge, are amongst the techniques used by hackers to carry out fraud silently. Bot-infected machines are used to launch DoS attacks, which currently stand at over 1,400 each day, while there are reportedly almost 8m phishing attempts each day. China has experienced a 37% increase in bot-infected computers, thought to be related to the fast increase in broadband use.

Symantec said that current cybercrime uses methods aimed at financial gain and the theft of sensitive information, and predicted that hackers harvesting financial data to sell to third parties may be an area of future growth.

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