Surge in targeted hacking attacks expected in 2007

Computer users will see a surge in targeted hacking attacks this year as criminals continue to reap large sums of money from phishing scams, security experts predict.

Malicious users will also exploit vulnerabilities in computer software and launch quicker and more sophisticated attacks before security professionals get the chance to develop a patch, according to PandaLabs.

They also expect the design and programming of phishing techniques to become more complex to counter advances in security systems. Moreover, criminals will use more malicious code with rootkit functions to infiltrate computer systems undetected, said the experts.

"The malware panorama for the coming year is worrying," said Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs. "This year we are likely to see cyber-crooks perfecting their methods further and targeted attacks will be one of the major threats in 2007."

He added: "Many criminals identify specific targets and create purpose-built malicious code which is distributed to just a few selected users. The aim is to go unnoticed by security companies so that no antidote will be created."

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