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    Just a play on words, but also a serious question.

    As you may know, Chinese Lunar New Year is coming up beginning February 7th (2008 is the Year of The Rat) and already cyber crime is taking center stage.

    Our projections are that, unfortunately, the threat landscape in The Internet will become more dangerous in 2008, not less.

    And from Taiwan, we have our first example of Chinese New Year -related cyber crime.

    The Taipei Times reports today that malicious hackers launched a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack against the Taiwan High Speed Rail Co. (THSRC) to disrupt online ticketing purchases in advance of travel associated with the Chinese New Year holidays.

    While the Taipei Times article mentions that a larger percentage of the DoS traffic originated from a single IP address, we know that virtually all DDoS attacks are being launched from compromised PCs which have been “recruited” into botnets. Hopefully, the Taiwanese authorities can have some success in finding the perpetrators of this activity, and bring them to justice.

    Wikipedia describes The Rat as “…the first sign of the Chinese zodiac, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors.”

    If that is true, then Trend Micro is The Rat — and we plan to protect our customers from the increasing number of web threats, and lead the way in 2008, by identifying these threats, adding them to our early warning systems, and extending that protection to our customers as soon as humanly possible.

    Let’s be careful out there!

    Paul “Fergie” Ferguson
    Network Security Intelligence
    Advanced Threats Research

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