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Akonix Warns of More Malware Attacks Through IM

Akonix Systems Inc., a major supplier of unified policy management solutions for unified communications (UC) and instant messaging (IM), said on May 29, 2008 that its research experts at IM Security Center detected ten new malware attacks over IM networks in May 2008, taking the total attacks to 73 during the year.

The Security Researchers at Akonix pointed out that computer security was a prime concern as IM has become a popular attack medium for all types of malware ranging from worms, viruses, and rootkit programs to the so-called spim meaning spam over IM.

Akonix, which identified some new worms on IM in May 2008, named them as Foto-nue, Flocker, and Mondez respectively. LdPinch was detected as the most prevalent malware displaying two variants. Aside, the attacks on peer-to-peer networks like eDonkey and Kazaa increased 17% in May 2008 over April 2008 with 21 distinct attacks.

IM worms are quite similar to e-mail worms and they work as e-mail worms do. The IM viruses too trick the end-user into accessing a link that imposes an infection on the system. Subsequently, these viruses spread the exploit to all the contacts on the victim's address list via instant messages. As the instant messaging system popularity increases, it boosts the IM worms in power and prevalence.

According to Don Montgomery, Vice-President of Marketing, Akonix, as organizations rapidly adopt both business and public IM, the potential effect of malware attacks via IM is enormous. Therefore, organization desiring to enhance productivity from UC and IM needs to immediately deploy the appropriate security tools, as reported by DarkReading on May 29, 2008.

According to the researchers at Akonix, the rise in IM attacks is partly due to the use of business IM as UC efforts too are increasing. Organizations in increasing numbers are deploying next-Gen. UC and IM platforms, sometimes without properly testing these mechanisms against external attacks. The other reason for the rise in malicious code attacks over IM is due to the widespread employment of the various public IM networks like Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk and MSN.

Related article: AGMS Admits Falling Prey to Unsolicited Spam E-mails

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