Instant messaging viruses and worms up 271% in Q1 2005

IMlogic Threat Center, a global consortium providing threat detection and protection for instant messaging (IM) and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, issued its first quarterly report on the rise of IM security threats. IMlogic noted a 271% increase in reported incidents of new IM/P2P viruses, worms, and malicious code including SPIM/malware. More than 75 unique IM/P2P threats including IM-specific attacks and “blended-threats” which target IM/P2P applications. 82% of reported incidents include IM virus or worm propagation; 14% are known to hijack IM file transfer capability; 11% of reported incidents utilize known client vulnerabilities.

Kelvir, Bropia, and Sumom worms reported as the top three most frequently detected IM infections in corporate environments. Multiple reported incidents of IM “phishing” and identity theft reported on consumer IM networks. More than 50% of externally reported incidents to the IMlogic Threat Center in Q1 2005 were attributed to enterprises and small businesses utilizing popular IM applications such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. IMlogic highlights the increase in targeted IM attacks on corporate environments and the need for both enterprises and small businesses to prepare and defend against emerging IM threats.