Identity fraud targest at home users

October 6, 2006 at 4:53 am 2 comments

Would you leave your front door open for a month? That’s exactly what many individual Internet users are doing with their personal computers over the Net.

Internet criminals are increasingly targeting home users for identity theft, fraud and other financially motivated crime, reports the latest Internet Security Threat study released by anti-virus firm Symantec.

Home users are less likely to have established security measures in place and are careless with their data, making themselves a statistic on a security report. They account for 86 per cent of all targeted attacks and are followed by financial services sector and government, education and IT firms. E-mail, browsers and desktop applications are the window to your personal computer. Calling end-users the “weakest link in the security chain”, Mr Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, Symantec India, said that with the emergence of Web 2.0, security concerns would increase. Web 2.0 is the new trend sweeping the virtual world, where concepts such as sharing, blogging, democracy of information, and `power to the individual’ are gaining momentum. Attackers will take advantage of the implied trust between the community of individual developers and the sites hosting content to compromise individual users and/or Web sites, warns Symantec.

Online threats made up 69 per cent of all vulnerabilities. Patches can be downloaded to fix them. However, the numbers give a reality check.

It takes three days to produce a malicious code (virus/ spam/ worm, etc). It takes 31 days to produce a patch for it. The gap of 28 days is open for the attacker to reach into your critical files and steal what information is required.


In a surprising revelation, Symantec reports that the open source Mozilla browser had the most vulnerabilities, 47, compared to 38 in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. However, the more popular Internet Explorer was the most frequently targeted Web browser, accounting for 47 per cent of all Web browser attacks. Twenty per cent of all attacking IP addresses targeted the Firefox browser.

It also said that spam was up from 50 per cent (6 months ago) of all monitored email traffic to 54 per cent. In the last report, the firm reported a decline of spam, but the current reversal of this trend indicates that spammers may have found means to circumvent these measures, such as utilizing image-based spam. One out of every 122 spam messages contained malicious code.


Entry filed under: Authentication.

The Tug O’ War Between Privacy And Data Retention Laptop security is a top priority

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dorian  |  February 24, 2010 at 7:06 am

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    Abaddon from Baton Rouge city

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