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New Trend Found In IM Enterprise Threats

Nearly a quarter more new viruses threatening corporate computers through employee use of public instant-messaging networks were discovered last month, including one that reflected a new trend of attacking multiple IM systems, a security firm said.

A total of 42 new threats were tracked in July, a 24 percent increase over the previous month, San Diego-based Akonix Systems said. July had the second highest number of new threats seen by Akonix since the beginning of the year. The highest was in April, when 48 were found.

"We definitely see the security threat for IM increasing," David Jaros, director of product marketing for Akonix, said.

Five new viruses were discovered in July, including Rants, Prex, Kirvo, Hagbard and Lamar. The Akonix Security Center also found new variants of previous malware, including Kelvir, Bropia, Opanki and Oscabot.

Of particular concern was the Rants virus, which was found on two different IM networks, Jaros said. In April, Akonix started seeing the same virus written for separate networks, such as AIM from America Online and Yahoo Messenger. Since then, the security firm has seen several multi-network viruses.

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