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RealTime IT News

P2P Attacks Up; IM Hits Down

IM security solutions provider Akonix Systems said its research team tracked 22 new attacks on Peer-to-Peer networks in October, a 19 percent increase over September.

The attacks on networks such as eDonkey and Kazaa came at the same time the Akonix Security Center tracked a decrease in attacks on Instant Messaging networks during the same time frame.

Don Montgomery, vice president of marketing at Akonix Systems, said October marked the first month that P2P attacks increased while IM viruses decreased, revealing a new trend in hackers' attack methods.

"Companies who have not deployed a real-time communication security solution, need to take a serious look at the type of activity taking place within their organization - before it is too late," Montgomery said. "It is just a matter of time before we see an IM or P2P attack that will bring down entire networks."

Among the new viruses showing up are Anixma, MSNOpt and Sdbot. The appearance of Sdbot marked the first time the worm appeared over an IM network, which typically has been seen only on IRC channels, researchers at the Security Center said.

The Akonix Security Center also said it issued 14 security policy updates, using dynamic IM malware, SPIM and protocol update system to automatically push updates to customers and block worms and viruses at the network perimeter in real-time.

In addition, the company said the MSN IM network experienced an increase by more than three times what it experienced in previous months this year, making it the network of choice for IM attacks for the month of October.

Last month IMLogic reported MSN Messenger was the most frequently attacked network, accounting for 62 percent of reported incidents. AOL's AIM client was hit 31 percent of the time, and seven percent were aimed at Yahoo Messenger users.

In another report released Tuesday, the IMlogic Threat Center said monthly IM security threats in October 2005 increased more than 1,500 percent over October 2004.

As the number of threats grew, their payload carried by the IM worms additionally evolved to become more malicious and destructive, ImLogic's Threat Center said.

More than 60 percent of the worms identified in the month of October delivered malware capable of disabling existing desktop security software, operating without end user knowledge and undermining traditional anti-virus detection and protection capabilities, according to the report.

The Center said the monthly report reinforces its findings of the IMlogic Threat Center Q3 2005 report , which showed a 3,295 percent increase in the number of instant-messaging and file-sharing worms in the third quarter of 2005, compared with the year-ago quarter.