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Messaging security risks have upper hand on solutions
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of November 2009
We posed this question to security experts: If leading email filtering products detect and block 95 percent to 99 percent of unwanted email messages, with few if any false positives, why can't we declare victory? The answer is simple: spam still pays. So do phishing scams and links in email messages to compromised websites. "The return on investment is still very high for a very low click-through rate," says Paul Ferguson, threat researcher for Trend Micro. "If [attackers] get one person to go to a discount pharmacy site, they've made their money back in spades." Messaging platforms remain a viable attack vector for hackers who primarily rely on botnets of hijacked PCs to flood the Internet with bogus messages. The messages ply on users with the same kinds of social engineering tactics attackers used in 2004, pushing suspect drugs and knock-off watches. However, rather than using executable email attachments, attackers are luring users to phishing sites or bogus sites, infecting users with malicious drive-by downloads. The ...
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Features in this issue
Spam, phishing and infected attachments continue to plague messaging platforms, despite sophisticated protection. What's the answer?
Rapid7's acquisition of the Metasploit Project takes down one of the few remaining open source security projects. But expect a smooth transition; there have been many success stories and mistakes made to learn from.
Enterprises can no longer differentiate between insiders and external threats. That's such a 2003 paradigm.
Unmanaged changes to IT systems and networks can recklessly increase risk to enterprises. The key is rolling out an accepted change management process, and sticking to it.
Columns in this issue
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Security experts Bruce Schneier and Marcus Ranum debate the longterm viability of antivirus software.
The checklist approach to security is easy, but the result is poor security.