In assessment of the past year in IT security, the company said that proof of the near complete monestisation of malware could be seen in the availability of off-the-shelf kits for a mere US$100-$400 a piece.
A thriving trade in stolen online bank accounts could also be seen with the proliferation of specialised chatrooms designed to facilitated the sale of such accounts, the vendor said.
Despite predictions of the death of phishing via social engineering techniques in favour of banking tojans, 2006 instead saw trojan activity decrease by 32 percent, while phishing activity increased by 60 percent over 2005.
Phishing attacks also evolved during the year to target MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, MySpace, and other social networking sites, Fortinet said.
This was largely to facilitate the capture of active email addresses, allow for more targeted and malicious social engineering attacks, and develop future identity threat operations, the company said.
The year also saw a first in the security field with what Fortinet claims was the first crossover virus. MSIL/Overcross.A was able to jump from Microsoft Windows PocketPC systems to desktop Windows systems, the company said.
Hackers also set to work on the Mac and Unix platforms, during the year with Mac OS threats on the rise in 2006, and Unix threats increasing by 1000 percent from 2005 to 2006, although off a small base.
Worms also continued to grow with activity over instant messaging (IM) systems increasing by 105 percent 2006 on 2005, Fortinet found.
Worms operating over multi-media messages (MMS) also grew, hitting peaks through the year where some 75 percent of all MMS contained some variation of a Symbian worm. This compared to about 5 percent in 2005.
Browser also continued to be exploited during 2006 with both Internet Explorer and Firefox suffering a 17 percent growth in embedded over 2005.
Fortinet reviews the year's security trends
By Staff Writers on Dec 15, 2006 1:36PM