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23 October 2007, 15:12

Microsoft: Number of attacks on personal data skyrockets

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Microsoft reports that the number of attacks by trojans, key loggers, and spy programs skyrocketed in the first two quarters of 2007. Five times as many contaminants as in the previous six months reportedly attempted to filch personal user data. Two of the trojan families that Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) discovered and was able to remove apparently targeted banking information. Microsoft's data are in part based on the findings of OneCare, Windows Defender and the MSRT.

The security study that Microsoft published during the RSA Conference Europe currently taking place in London also contains other unsettling figures. For instance, some 31 million phishing attempts were registered in the first two quarters of 2007, an increase of 150 percent according to the Security Intelligence Report.

Furthermore, Microsoft also published the findings of a survey of more than 3600 security, data protection, and marketing officers in Great Britain, Germany and the US. The study found that greater cooperation between security, data protection, and marketing execs is required to reduce business exposure to risk posed by threats and vulnerabilities. The report says that in the past two years organizations that lacked sufficient cooperation had customer data stolen more than twice as often as companies whose departments worked well together.

78 percent of security officials said that they expected their marketing colleagues to talk to them before collecting or using personal information. In fact, only 30 percent of marketing execs actually did so. At the same time, however, 65 percent of the marketing officers surveyed said that the protection and improvement of corporate image was one of the most important motivations for data protection.


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