18 mln phishing attempts recorded, viruses on decline

Known computer viruses grew by 28,327 in 2004 to bring the number of old and new viruses to 112,438, according to IBM. In 2002, only 4,551 new viruses were discovered. Of 147 bln e-mails scanned by IBM for customers in 2004, 6% contained a virus. During 2002, just 0.5% of e-mail scanned had viruses. The average amount of spam circulating on global networks was 75%. But during peak periods, spam accounted for as much as 95% of e-mail traffic. The fastest-growing threat in 2004 was phishing – a method of enticing computer users to submit personal information or fall prey to other Internet deceptions. Such e-mails grew 5,000% last year, with some 18 mln phishing attempts recorded, according to IBM.