Senior managers targeted by hackers, according to MessageLabs

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Senior managers targeted by hackers, according to MessageLabs

Cliff Saran

Web security service MessageLabs said it has intercepted more than 500 individual e-mail attacks targeted toward individuals in senior management positions within organisations around the world.

The company’s latest hacking research found attacks were so precisely addressed that the name and job title of the victim was included within the subject line of the e-mail.

Chief investment officers accounted for 30% of the attacks, 11% were CEOs, CIOs accounted for almost 7% and 6% were CFOs, according to the data from MessageLabs.

The results show a growing trend towards hackers targeting attacks at businesses and cyber-warfare. Herbert Strauss, a research vice president at Gartner recently warned, “New and evolving state-sponsored cyber-warfare initiatives pose threats and risks to public and private sector enterprises. Government and private sector executives and IT leaders must understand the nature of cyber-warfare to properly assess the risks."

Last month MessageLabs intercepted 595 e-mails in 249 separate targeted attacks aimed at 192 different organisations. Of these, 180 were one-on-one targeted attacks.

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