[ISN] Homeland Security Spells Out Coming Online Threats
isn at c4i.org
Thu Feb 16 05:42:43 EST 2006
Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>
By Gregg Keizer
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, " or targeted
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  read.
NCSA, whose members include America Online, eBay, Microsoft, and
Symantec, operates a site dubbed StaySafeOnline.org  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
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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