Symantec Security Report Summary

Malicious code threats to privacy and confidentiality increased rapidly in the first six months of 2005 - up 48 per cent on the back half of 2004. Virus writers upped their production lines to release 10,866 new Windows virus and worm variants in the first six months of this year, Symantec reports.

For the second period in succession, NetSky-P was the most reported malicious code sample. Gaobot and Spybot - both linked to the creation of zombie networks of compromised Windows PCs - were the second and third most reported.

Symantec chronicled 1,862 new vulnerabilities during 1H2005 - an average of 10 new flaws a day – 73 per cent of which it categorises as easily exploitable. The time between the disclosure of a vulnerability and the release of an associated exploit was just six days. Half (59 per cent) of vulnerabilities were associated with web application technologies.

Along with computer viruses and vulnerabilities, spam remains a leading security concern. Spam accounted for 61 per cent of all email traffic in the first half of 2005, according to Symantec, with over half (51 per cent) of all junk mail received worldwide originated in the US – The Register