Hackers target home users for cash
Consumers are now on the main target of malicious hackers intent on enriching themselves through the misery of others. Vulnerabilities in desktop applications and the increased use of stealth techniques are on the rise among members of the digital underground, according to the latest edition of Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report.
The report, which covers the first half of 2006, suggests that consumer security protection is weak, leaving Joe Public easy prey to identity thieves, botnet herders and other financially motivated criminals. Crackers are using a variety of techniques to escape detection and remain on infected systems for longer. Symantec reckons assaults against consumers account for 86 per cent of all targeted attacks. Banks and other financial sector organisations are the second most prevalent target for internet attacks. Phishing attacks almost doubled during the reporting period.
The first six months of 2006 saw a continuation of the trend of large, widespread internet worms giving way to smaller, more targeted attacks focusing on fraud, data theft, and criminal activity. Client-side applications such as web browsers and email clients are popular attack targets.