Will IM be the next security culprit?
Might instant messaging become the next preferred propagation method for computer worms and viruses? It’s not such a remote prospect. The past year has witnessed the rise of several high-impact worms and viruses that shared three common transmission media: e-mail, network scanning or file sharing. While good patch policies and strong security postures minimized massive infections, a few attacks invariably slipped through the cracks and caused network havoc. These days, IM has become nearly ubiquitous. Every current Windows installation has at least one IM client installed by default, while personal digital assistants and cell phones also have implemented IM software. IM-based attacks present particular danger because they would not cause the changes to machines or networks that make an attack visible. In fact, compared to past attacks, they would need very few connections for full infection. Full Story