[ISN] Hackers keeping pace, warns expert

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Tue Aug 17 05:45:43 EDT 2004


Correspondents in Bombay
AUGUST 17, 2004  
COMPUTER hackers are keeping up with the times and are putting an
increasingly technology-dependent world at risk, the chairman of
leading US-based IT security firm McAfee said.

"The telecom infrastructure - whether it be routing in India, UK,
Germany or US - is at risk, " George Samenuk told a business
conference in Bombay.

"When cellphones go down, it is 10 times as worse because the whole
world revolves around cellphones nowadays," he said.

"One major telecom company had 800MB of their source code stolen. A
large retail chain could not operate their credit card automation on a
Saturday because of a virus attack and lost millions of dollars."

Mr Samenuk said software could now automatically block out 90 per cent
of attacks, but other viruses were still getting through.

He recommended complying with normal safety procedures such as keeping
long passwords and frequently changing them and not allowing
unauthorised people to access organisations' networks.

But he said the increased reliance on technology for sensitive
information presented challenges as hackers often posed as banks
inquiring for personal details.

"We have had tens of thousands of people who had money stolen from
their accounts. So this is another major concern," he said.

"As many, many more people are switching to using mobile phones for
emails and tracking stock quotations, we are seeing the propensity of
attacks increase."

The global rush for internet-enabled phones, which are estimated to
number over 15 million by the end of next year, would be an enormous
security challenge, he said.

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