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Financial Institutions Under Recent Attack by Hackers

Financial institutions are increasingly becoming targets of hackers, says a research published by security company, 'Kaspersky Lab' on November 29, 2006. Attacks on such establishments increased by 17% in the first half of 2006 as compared to the last six months of 2005.

The findings are discouraging for such financial organizations that began implementing security measures against data theft in mid 2005. The initial measures, which included the process of 'two-part authentication', seemed to have effect because attacks declined by 13% in third and fourth quarter of 2005 over the previous six months. Despite this, strikes increased in 2006 by 17% . Incidentally since 2003, attacks have been increasing by an average of 39% every year.

Time will tell how long these measures will provide effective protection to systems. Although the initial results appeared to have been favorable, when during early months of 2005, the overall percentage of malicious programs used by online criminals dropped for the first time in 3 years.

According to Yury Mashevsky, 'virus analyst' at Kaspersky Lab, spy programs are being popularly written with the help of 'insider collaboration'. This means code writers have created malicious programs by using internal logins and passwords that belong to the organization being attacked. They may also use the knowledge of 'internal database structure' of a particular organization. An attack based on 'insider knowledge' is extremely difficult to conduct but it's possible.

Additionally, the number of malicious programs successfully and simultaneously targeting users of several payment systems' has risen over 2005. One of them is 'Trojan-Spy.Win32.Banker.asq' that launches attacks on almost 50 financial systems and financial institutions at the same time. These institutions include 'PayPal', 'Caixabank', 'Postbank', and many others worldwide.

The number of people targeted by cyber-criminals every year is increasing. In addition, the number of attacks on clients of an organization will grow on the basis of the organization's popularity, its e-payment system, e-exchange system etc. Assessment of study shows that cyber attacks will only increase as will the variety of malware that cyber criminals shall create and apply.

Related article: Finjan Brings Out Report on Web Malware

» SPAMfighter News - 05-12-2006

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