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Computer security under increased threat

More sophisticated internet criminals and powerful software are threatening Swiss computers, the country's information technology security agency has reported.

This content was published on May 9, 2008 - 10:55

The Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance said on Friday in its semi-annual report that activities such as data theft and the distribution of malicious software are on the rise.

The agency said that cyber criminals are often one step ahead of anti-virus software and that users cannot solely rely on technology alone to protect themselves.

Victims are typically lured by deceptive emails or fake websites – called phishing – that lead them to either enter personal information or click on a link that installs malicious software.

The agency said that one of the most common forms of computer hijacking is done through installing botnets – software that remotely controls a computer and uses it to commit illegal activity online.

Another, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, attack a victim's computer, causing it to overload and crash.

The Swiss government's own computers have been attacked, the agency says, through phishing scams targeting civil servants and in a DDos attack on the parliament's website.

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