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Tighten Security Now

Network attacks are increasing " and at an alarming pace, according to IBM's Global Security Intelligence Services. A report released this week found there were 997 Internet attacks in September directed at networks that the company monitors, representing a 27 percent increase over confirmed Internet attacks in July and August. The most prevalent attacks came from several worms, such as Sasser and Korgo, seeking to exploit a vulnerability located within LSASS, a security component of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The regular monthly report, called the IBM Global Business Security Index, also indicates attacks against critical infrastructure providers, including utilities, telecommunications companies and government agencies, rose 55 percent from July to August.

The IBM Global Business Security Index, assesses, measures and analyzes global network security and business threats and attack trends. IBM collects data from its 2,700 information security professionals and half a million monitored devices and provides a picture of the IT and business threat landscape.

Critical infrastructure providers experienced an increase in worm traffic -- as did most IT environments, according to IBM's analysis. The most apparent increases, however, were caused by attackers seeking vulnerabilities in Web server software (e.g., Microsoft IIS, Apache HTTP Server, and Netscape iPlanet). The report concludes that such reconnaissance activity typically precedes more complex, singularly directed attacks against systems found to be vulnerable.