Symantec, a Web security solutions vendor, on Monday released the tenth version of its semiannual Internet Security Threat Report, which details new and ongoing Internet threats for the period starting Jan. 1, 2006, through June 30, 2006.
The report found that home Web surfers are increasingly becoming targets of hackers looking to exploit their computers to dig up personal information for use in such crimes as identity theft and fraud, among others. Since businesses often employ cutting-edge antivirus and additional security technologies, it is easier for hackers and other criminals to access the personal information of home users who may not keep their security software up to date, according to Symantec.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec also said that not only are criminals targeting home users for their online ploys, they’re getting better at hiding their attacks in order to gain more time to compromise systems and employ them for illegal purposes.
Eighty-six percent of all targeted Web attacks during the six months tracked were perpetrated against home users, according to Symantec, and the report says financial services organizations were the second most targeted.
“Attackers see end users as the weakest link in the security chain and are constantly targeting them in an effort to profit,” said Arthur Wong, Symantec Security Response and Managed Services vice president.
Attacks on desktop system are also increasing, according to Symantec. To avoid new security measures put in place by software sellers and businesses, online criminals are targeting malicious code at client-side applications like Web browsers and e-mail programs, Symantec found. Attacks on Web browsers in particular skyrocketed, according to Symantec.
Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report is based on information gathered from upwards of 40,000 sensors located in more than 180 countries, as well as a database that tracks some 18,000 vulnerabilities that affect 30,000 different technologies offered by 4,000 firms, according to Symantec.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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