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IM Threats Skyrocket In November

Not only did the number of threats grow, but the IM attacks no longer singled out just one vendor or network, Akonix reported.
Akonix Systems, the San Diego provider of instant messaging security systems, said that its Security Center team tracked 62 IM-based attacks in November, a 226-percent increase over last month.

The most significant new finding was that viruses no longer discriminate against specific IM systems, and can have a far costlier impact in terms of potential damage. Akonix reported that 36 percent of the IM attacks hit more than one public network and 13 percent of the attacks had the capability to spread through all four major IM networks.

The Akonix Security Center noted that 58 of the worms detected were variants of previous worms, while four new worms were introduced during November.

The Akonix Security Center issued 17 spim and malware filter updates in November, a 42-percent increase over last month. P2P attacks decreased by 36 percent from October to November with a total of 14 attacks hitting P2P networks, such as Kazaa and eDonkey.

"November marked the highest number of IM threats that we have ever seen to date, proving that hackers see this real-time communications medium as a wide-open security hole in corporate networks," said Don Montgomery, vice president of marketing at Akonix Systems, in a prepared statement.