Hackers up pressure on P2P networks

A newly published security report has identified 22 previously undocumented Peer to Peer (P2P) attacks in October which were targeted at networks including Kazaa and eDonkey. The study from Instant Messaging (IM) security firm Akonix Systems indicates a 19 percent increase in malicious P2P exploits compared with the volume recorded in September 2005.

Over the same period the company noted a slight decrease in IM attacks, with 19 threats spreading over public IM networks in October. Its October report also tracked several newly discovered IM viruses, in addition to multiple variants of existing attacks. Among the new viruses were Anixma, MSNOpt and Sdbot.

The Sdbot was highlighted in the Akonix report as being of "special interest" because October marked the first time it appeared over IM, typically it is seen only on IRC. In addition, one major public IM network was found to have suffered IM attacks increasing by more than three times what it experienced in previous months this year, making it the network of choice for IM attacks for the month of October.

"October marks the first month that P2P attacks increased while IM viruses decreased, revealing a new trend in hackers' attack methods," said Don Montgomery, vice president of Akonix Systems.

"Companies who have not deployed a real-time communication security solution, need to take a serious look at the type of activity taking place within their organization - before it is too late. It is just a matter of time before we see an IM or P2P attack that will bring down entire networks."

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