Hackers carry out 100 attacks a second

Insecurity outfit Symantec claims that hackers carry out more than 100 attacks a second on the world’s computers.

According to a report, most of these attacks cause no trouble, but Symantec  suggests that one attack every 4.5 seconds does affect a PC.

We are not quite sure of how scary this figure is. When you start talking about global figures you start worrying about things like flapping butterfly wings causing tidal waves in China.

However, what Symantec is really trying to tell us that there has been a steep rise in malware.

The number of malware samples that Symantec saw in 2009 was 71 percent higher than in 2008.

More than half of all the viruses, trojans and other malicious programs it has ever seen were logged during 2009. In total, Symantec identified almost 2.9 million items of malicious code during that 12 month period.

Apparently the rise is all down to novice cyber criminals turning out their own malware.

Tony Osborne, a technology manager for the public sector at Symantec, said you could download most of the kits for free. Although Zeus was available for around £458.

Some had become so successful that their creators now offer telephone support for those who cannot get them to work, he claimed.

During 2009, Symnatec said that more than 90,000 variants of the Zeus kit existed,  and it was responsible for the growth of one of the most prolific malware families during the year.