Virus attacks increasing for Instant Messaging environment
When it comes to viruses and worms, e-mail gets all the attention--but now that instant messaging has infiltrated both home and office, it too has become an attractive and easy target for virus writers. From 2002 to 2003, worms and viruses that spread via IM and peer-to-peer networks increased 400 percent, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report. Already this year, we've seen the Jitux.A and Bizex worms targeting MSN Messenger and ICQ, respectively.
To prevent infection, keep your IM client updated and follow these tips:
1. Be wary of files sent via IM, especially those with .exe and .scr extensions, or ones purporting to be games. For best protection, verify with senders before opening.
2. Never click an unsolicited link fed via IM, or one lurking in another member's profile or away message.
3. Check your antivirus company's home page or a general virus site, such as About.com's antivirus.about.com, for news on current threats.
4. Evaluate your protection at Eicar.org, which has an antivirus test.
5. Upgrade employees' IM clients. Lotus offers its own secure IM program; AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo all have paid corporate IM services with built-in security. Products from FaceTime and Akonix help secure existing consumer IM apps and let you filter messages by content