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Increase In IM Attacks During May

June 7th, 2006

Postini has announced its systems registered a 138 per cent increase in corporate Instant Messaging traffic and a 500 per cent increase in IM attacks during May. Clearly demonstrating that hackers see the opportunity in compromising IM and underscoring the need for businesses to secure their networks from unwanted IM traffic.

Postini also stopped numerous IM viruses and worms such as Browaf, Tilebot, and Khoobe from infiltrating customers’ networks.

“The fact that IM messages more than doubled in just one month shows the rate companies are adopting IM as a mainstream business communications tool,” said Andrew Lochart, senior director of marketing for Postini. “The sheer volume of IM attacks is a dramatic demonstration that we’re in an environment where hackers, knowing that most organisations are still unprotected against IM malware, are rapidly adopting IM for their attacks.”

“That being said, IM attacks are still only a fraction of the number of email attacks, so it’s important companies keep up their guard on both fronts,” Lochart concluded.

In May, Postini also processed more than 25 billion email messages, a 13 per cent increase from April, with more than 86 per cent of all traffic being malicious or unwanted content.

Out of the 25 billion email messages processed by Postini’s global data centers, 65 per cent of those messages were rejected at the network layer, the only place to stop attacks like DHAs (directory harvest attacks) and DoS (denial of service), where there is no content in the body of the message to analyse with standard techniques.

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