[ISN] Homeland Security Spells Out Coming Online Threats

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Feb 16 05:42:43 EST 2006

Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>


By Gregg Keizer 
TechWeb News 
Feb 15, 2006 

The top Internet threats for 2006 will include more attacks through 
instant messages and cell phones, as well as a boost in identity hacks 
against online brokerage accounts, the Department of Homeland Security 
and the National Cyber Security Alliance predicted Wednesday. 

By joining forces, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and 
National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) hope to give consumers time to 
put additional protection in place on their PCs. 

"Arming consumers with a list of emerging threats is just the first 
step to educating [them] about the ever-evolving online security 
environment," said Ron Teixeira, NCSA executive director, in a 
statement. "It is critical that we also empower users with the how-to 
practices to protect themselves against these risks." 

Calling instant messaging networks "extremely vulnerable" and noting
that cell phone malware is on the rise, the federal agency and the
non-profit also predicted more "spear phishing, [1]" or targeted
phishing attacks.

Other threats to expect, said the DHS and NCSA, include an increase in 
brokerage account break-ins. "Since the nature of online brokerage 
accounts makes it easy to transfer funds from various accounts outside 
the firm, online brokerage accounts are attractive targets for hackers 
and thieves," a warning posted online [2] read. 

NCSA, whose members include America Online, eBay, Microsoft, and 
Symantec, operates a site dubbed StaySafeOnline.org [3] which offers 
consumer information on safe computing practices. 

Among its recommendations, the group said consumers should have a 
firewall in place, install and keep up-to-date anti-virus and 
anti-spyware software, and regularly update their computers' operating 

[1] http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.jhtml?term=phishing
[2] http://www.staysafeonline.org/basics/2006threatlist.html
[3] http://www.staysafeonline.org/index.html

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without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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