“A rise in attacks for financial gain, as opposed to attacks motivated by the creator’s desire to gain notoriety, is a disturbing trend noted in Symantec’s latest report on Internet security. Symantec is a leading provider of antivirus and PC security software,” Samantha Perry reports for Computing South Africa. “The people behind these types of attacks, says Symantec Africa regional manager Patrick Evans, are well-funded, organized crime groups that use networks of bots to obtain financial information for their own gain. ‘It is not just script kiddies anymore,’ he says, ‘although they are still there.’ Bots, Evans explains, are installed on vulnerable PCs and can be remotely controlled. A further implication of such control is that code can be updated on the fly, rendering antivirus software useless in a matter of seconds.”

“‘Bot networks are the favored mechanism of organized crime syndicates to gather financial data,’ Evans says. The latest report notes that there has been an enormous increase in the number of IP addresses associated with bot networks–from an average of 2000 per day from June through December last year, to an average of 34,000 per day in June of this year, with a peak of 75,000 per day in March 2004,” Perry reports.

Full article here.

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