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Online Videos - New Medium for Delivering Viruses

As anti-spam software is effectively improving, hackers are delivering their malicious code through newer vehicles such as by embedding them in online videos, as reported by Georgia Tech Information Security Center.

At the annual summit of the Center, about 300 security experts and scholars got together to talk about threats emerging for 2008. They discussed that the key threat would be malware programs, capable of quietly installing viruses, digging out confidential information, or even taking over a computer.

Just as messaging evolves, so do threats undergo phases of evolution, said CTO for IBM Corporation's Internet Security Systems unit, Chris Rouland. TheAssociatedPress published Rouland's statement on 2 October 2007. As organizations become better in blocking e-mails, people get more creative in their techniques, Rouland remarked.

Also, as the computer users became cleverer and cautious about e-mail spams and other typical methods that are used to install malware onto users' computers to infect them, worm and virus writers search for fresh ways to dupe unsuspecting users. One of the ways that spam emails employ is through HTML links, as users are duped into thinking that they're clicking on the YouTube link. The unwitting users think they are getting recordings that some other user might have uploaded. Online fraudsters also send text-based spam and extend the malaise by embedding the message in PDF or image files.

Georgia Tech's report also highlighted that virus writers are targeting web 2.0 sites as they have become cleverer in beating the anti-virus solutions.

Some malicious codes on the Internet download harmful viruses that a Web page could be hosting. It then modifies the computer virus signature on every download of malware that makes the blocking much harder.

Another growing problem is botnets. The volume of fraud regulated by botnets will continue to increase in 2008, such that infected users would push up to a rate of 1 in ten or more, said Associate Professor Wenke Lee at the College of Computing, Georgia Tech. Vnunet published this in news on 3 October 2007. The IT community as a whole, including security vendors, service providers, Websites and Internet users, must proactively participate in safeguarding against this expanding and evolving threat, Lee commented.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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