IBM X-Force: Vulnerabilities down but more malicious

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The number of vulnerability disclosures decreased in 2007 from the previous year for the first time, according to IBM’s latest Internet Security Systems (ISS) trend report.

According to the report, 6,437 new vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed in 2007, a 5.4 percent decrease since 2006.

In 2005 and 2006 vulnerability growth was approximately 41 percent each year, with the X-Force Database historical average hovering at a 27 percent increase a year.

However, the news is not all positive, with the number of reported high risk vulnerabilities increasing by 28 percent in 2007 from the previous year.

“The percentage of high impact vulnerabilities had been decreasing over time however, 2007 experienced a slight upswing in the number of high impact vulnerabilities — from 16.2 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2007, this is the first such increase since 2004," stated the report.

X-Force defines high impact vulnerabilities as immediate remote or local access and/or unauthorised privileges such as buffer overflows, backdoors, and bypassing security on firewalls or other network components.

“This figure means we’re at a higher level of risk even though the lower level of vulnerabilities,” said Peter Allor, worldwide director of intelligence at IBM ISS.
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