Symantec says phishing attacks up by 81 per cent in first half of 2006

Symantec’s tenth Internet Security Threat Report is out, and it offers new insight into threats people face when using the Internet for email and financial transactions.

The report found unsurprisingly that 86% of attacks by hackers were targeted at the people who connect to the Internet at home. Hackers are more frequently finding and using flaws in coding for popular applications like office software and browsers. For example, 47 vulnerabilities were found Mozilla browsers, and 38 in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Only 12 were found in Apple Safari. More than 2200 vulnerabilities were found, which shows an 18% increase over the previous period.

However, software companies are patching flaws more quickly, taking an average of 28 days to release a security solution, down from 50 days.

The main goal of attacks is to secure confidential information like passwords, login information, and addresses to be able to meddle in people’s financial affairs. Phishing attacks, where hackers “fish” for information have increased 81 percent from the previous 6 month period.

Symantec has calculated that a whopping 54% of email that it monitors is spam, and but that only 0.81% of that contained malicious code.


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