Social networking targeted by 19 per cent of online attacks

Hacking report shows 30 per cent year-on-year rise in malware attacks
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Hacking report shows 30 per cent year-on-year rise in malware attacks
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A study by the security and virtualisation specialist Nebulas Solutions Group has reported a rise in internet attacks aimed at social networking websites.

Web 2.0 web sites such as Twitter now account for 19 per cent of all incidents as hacker utilise user generated content to stage and launch attacks. The report also found that internet threats are on the increase, with a 30 per cent rise in web attacks during the first half of 2009, compared to the same period last year.

The most common motive for web attacks remains defacement of a website, which entails either overt changing of internet content or the implantation of malware and accounts for 28 per cent of all attacks. The leaking of sensitive information is a close second goal, accounting for 26 per cent compared to 19 per cent last year.

“The report’s findings clearly show that social networking sites are being targeted,” said the managing director of Nebulas, Nick Garlick. “We’ve seen and heard anecdotal evidence that Web 2.0 applications are being attacked more frequently and more aggressively, but the scale of these findings show very clearly that organisations must now look very closely at their security policies and procedures around Web 2.0.

“Many companies still don’t fully comprehend the security risks that social networking sites and user-generated content can represent, so this report is certainly a wake-up call for them and highlights the need to address these issues as a key priority.”