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Spyware Makers Aiming For Enterprises

Targeted attacks against organizations are supplanting spyware attacks against consumers as the most common malware threats on the Internet, according to a recent report from Panda software, Glendale, Calif.

"There is a new front to the war," says Patrick Hinojosa, Panda chief technology officer. "The attacks went from script kiddy worms that were easy to create and targeted at filling up e-mails to targeted attempts against organizations."

Companies holding a tremendous amount of customer data are the most commonly targeted victims, but not the only ones. The trend started in mid-2004, according to Hinojosa, and picked up steam after much-publicized security breaches at a pair of credit card service companies. Once a professional hacker learns of a type of attack that works, he's likely to launch one himself.

"Then they know how it's done; there are a lot of opportunists. There's a growing threat vector," Hinojosa explains, adding that the newer malware "isn't flashy, it just tries to get the job done."

Older malware, on the other hand was often written by young hackers just to impress others about what they could do, he adds.

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