Attack of the mutant killer whatnots

Mi2g say things are getting uglier

Following the breached Operating System (OS) trend established as a result of the January mi2g SIPS data, 19,038 successful overt digital attacks were analysed in March by the mi2g Intelligence Unit, and the most attacked server side OS remained Linux (14,635) at 77% up from 67% in March, followed by Windows (3,472) at 18% down from 22% and trailing significantly behind were Mac OS X and BSD (499) at 3% down from 4.5%.


DDoS attacks alone have caused between $3.4bn and $4.1bn of economic damage in Q1 2004, which exceeds the total damages from DDoS in 2003 estimated to lie between $1.3bn and $1.6bn.

The volume of spam sent out in Q1 2004 has crossed 1.6 trillion unsolicited messages and now exceeds the 1.5 trillion sent throughout 2003. The economic damage from spam is now estimated to lie between $58bn and $71bn worldwide for Q1 2004.

And if that wasn’t enough

With 95% off all digital attacks against home and small business computers, the Giga Flops of computing power, Giga Bytes of free memory and easily available 24/7 broadband connectivity are increasingly responsible for alluring criminal syndicates who seek zombies to send out spam, carry out phishing scams and spread malware infected email. Where large corporations are increasingly better prepared against digital risk, home and small business computer users are often unaware of the damage they cause by leaving their online computers unprotected.

and then, if gets worse

In Q1 2004, the economic damage from malware – virus, worm and Trojan – proliferation alone has reached an all time high of between $122bn and $150bn worldwide, dwarfing the impact from malware throughout 2003, when the damage was estimated to have been between $82bn and $100bn worldwide. The global proliferation of MyDoom, NetSky and Bagle malware families, has contributed to the heavy damage inflicted in over 215 countries across the world.

When economic damage from malware proliferation, overt and covert digital hacker attacks, spam campaigns, phishing scams and reputation damaging DDoS attacks is taken together the estimated damage caused in Q1 2004 lies between $217bn and $265bn worldwide, the highest on record for any quarter and comparable to the entire damage estimated for 200

I’m not one for drawing conclusions about the %age of server types attacked – I imagine that profiles change on the back of vulnerabilities available and able to be scripted along with whatever looks most fun, rather than inline with any measure of “absolute security” of any operating system. They’re probably all as insecure as each other. Interestingly though, if most attacks are occuring to homes and small businesses, it might mean that Linux is growing more popular in that space, thus increasing the number of targets.

1.6 trillion spam mails is quite some number. Since I moved to runbox and enabled outlook’s inbuilt checking I’m getting 1 a day and seeing 200 stack up in the runbox trash can – very refreshing, although the mails are still being sent and doubtless the fact that I’m not responding means that the nasty folks have to send more to make up for me.

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