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Popularity of Enterprise IM Continues to Grow, with Hackers

Attacks on instant messaging systems used by enterprises and consumers are escalating dramatically, according to the third-quarter report from The IMlogic Threat Center, a consortium that provides threat detection and protection for IM and peer-to-peer (P2P) apps. IM security threats increased 3,295 percent in Q3 of this year compared to the same period last year.

The IMlogic Threat Center says the increasing popularity of consumer IM networks, combined with the emergence of federated enterprise IM environments, continues to drive IM as a popular medium for attacks.

According to its report, released Monday, there have been:

  • 713 unique IM and P2P threats including IM-specific attacks and blended threats, which target IM and P2P applications;
  • 87 percent of reported incidents include IM worm propagation; 12 percent are known to hijack IM file transfer capability to deliver viruses; one percent of reported incidents utilize known client vulnerabilities or exploits;
  • 62 percent of reported incidents over IM networks targeted the MSN Messenger Client, Windows Messenger Client and MSN Network;
  • 7 percent of reported incidents over IM networks targeted the Yahoo! Messenger Client and Yahoo! Messenger Network;
  • 31 percent of reported incidents over IM networks targeted the AOL Instant Messenger Client, AOL Instant Messenger Network, ICQ Client and ICQ Network.

The IMlogic Threat Center forecasts accelerated IM threat growth through the remainder of 2005.

Best practices are available for both enterprises and consumers online at IMlogic.

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