Trojan attacks jump 500 per cent

Trojan attacks jump 500 per cent

Microsoft report warns of sharp hike in cyber attacks

There has been a sharp hike in the volume of cyber-crime attacks designed to steal personal information, new research reveals.

Microsoft's most recent Security Intelligence Report shows that attackers are increasingly targeting personal information to make a profit. The report found that during the first half of 2007, 31.6 million phishing scams were detected, an increase of more than 150 per cent over the previous six months.

The study also shows a 500 per cent increase in Trojan downloaders and droppers, malicious code used to install files such as Trojans, password stealers, keyboard loggers and other malware on users' systems. Two notable families of Trojans detected are specifically targeted at stealing data and banking information.

The Redmond company also released findings from a recent survey of more than 3,600 security, privacy and marketing executives across a variety of industries in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, including financial services, healthcare, technology and government. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute LLC, the study found that as security threats increasingly target personal information, more collaboration among security and privacy officers is critical to avoid costly compromises or breaches of personal information.

The study for the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group, titled Microsoft Study on Data Protection and Role Collaboration Within Organisations, found that organisations with poor collaboration were more than twice as likely as organisations with good collaboration to have suffered a data breach in the past two years.

Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, said: "As a company committed to providing privacy and security solutions for our customers, we will continue to evolve our products, practices and processes as security and privacy become increasingly interdependent and as threats evolve.

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organisations looking to effectively collaborate and protect data, but we hope this research will be a good resource for companies thinking about how to approach this."