Internet attacks on the rise

Thursday, 2 October 2003, 2:48 PM EST

Attacks on computer systems by virus writers and hackers continued to rise during the first half of the year, the Internet-security firm Symantec Corp said.

Attacks by automated programs that spread like viruses and worms to exploit software flaws rose 20 per cent in the first half of 2003 compared with the previous six-month period.

These attacks, the most significant of which was January's "Slammer" worm, accounted for 78 per cent of all attack activity, according to Symantec's 20,000 security sensors monitoring networks in more than 180 countries.

Meanwhile, targeted hacker attacks on corporate networks rose 19 per cent.

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