IT security and data protection firm Sophos has published new research into the first six months of cybercrime in 2009. The Sophos Security Threat Report examines existing and emerging security trends and has identified that criminals have increased the focus of attacks on social networking sites. At the same time, the first half of 2009 has seen an explosion in hackers exploiting scareware tactics to con computer users in to paying for bogus anti-virus protection.
The Sophos Security Threat Report examines existing and emerging security trends and has identified that criminals are doubly exploiting social networks, using them first to identify potential victims and then to attack them, both at home and at work. In Sophos's opinion, Web 2.0 companies are concentrating on growing their usersbase at the expense of properly defending their existing customers from internet threats.
The firm's report - available free for download - reveals that IT teams are worried that employees share too much personal information via social networking sites, putting their corporate infrastructure - and the sensitive data stored on it - at risk. The findings also indicate that a quarter of organizations have been exposed to spam, phishing or malware attacks via sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.
"What's needed is a period of introspection - for the big Web 2.0 companies to examine their systems and determine how, now they have gathered a huge number of members, they are going to protect them from virus writers, identity thieves, spammers and scammers," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "The honeymoon period of these sites is over, and personally identifiable information is at risk as a result of by constant attacks that the websites are simply not mature enough to protect against."
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.