A Never-ending Battle

Silicon.Com reports that IT security will always remain a never-ending battle, according to the head of Microsoft's European cyber-crime-fighting unit.

Former police officer Paul Thomas, head of Microsoft's European internet safety and IP investigations team, heads up a unit made up of ex-Interpol and ex-US secret service agents, prosecutors and IT forensics experts responsible for tracking down virus and malware writers, spammers, hackers and phishing gangs.

He told silicon.com: "There will be new threats as long as there are people out there with criminal intent. Most new technology is going to be looked at by the criminals to use to their advantage. As people's use of technology increases then criminals are still looking for opportunities."

he added "One of the biggest security threats today are the armies of 'zombie' PCs that have been hijacked by criminals using backdoor Trojans to gain remote control of a user's computer. A botnet - a network of zombie PCs - can then be used to send spam or launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against a target organisation."

Thomas claims that worldwide co-operation between governments, law enforcement agencies and technology companies - such as the Botnet Taskforce - is proving successful in combating such security threats.

Thomas admits that it will be an on-going battle to try and stay one step ahead of the high-tech criminals and added: "It still often comes down to social engineering. People have to be aware of what it is they are looking at and what they are opening. One of the areas people should pay more attention to is opening jokes and images. Education and awareness is important."