The Buzz - 26

Gone phishing

Online fraud

Gone phishing

The best phishing apparently is abroad, according to a study by RSA Security. In its online fraud intelligence report for April, RSA found the majority of all the banks targeted by phishing were based outside the United States. In fact, 57 percent of phishing targets were international. Note that while more international banks are targeted, the volume of attacks on American banks is higher.

Among the findings:

• Nearly 50 percent of non-U.S. phishing attacks are on banks in non-English-speaking countries. Spain and Italy lead the non-English-speaking attack victims.

• Two out of three phishing attacks are hosted in the United States.

• Ninety-three bank brands were attacked in April, down from 127 in March.

Networking

Feeling social?

Once you get your own MySpace account, you may never leave.

Thats the take-away from Nielsen//NetRatings, which said the top 10 social networking sites collectively grew 47 percent year over year in April. Add it up, and these networking sites had an audience of 68.8 million people in April 2006, up from 46.8 million a year ago. (See By the Numbers.)

"Social networking sites are the reality television of the Internet," said Jon Gibs, senior director of media at New York-based Nielsen//NetRatings. "The content is relatively inexpensive for publishers to produce, and social networking is not a fad that will disappear. If anything, it will become more ingrained in mainstream sites, just as reality-TV programming has become ubiquitous in network programming."

And whats the biggest variable for success? Retention. For instance, MySpace had a retention rate of 67 percent, well above rivals. MSN Groups and Facebook had a retention rate of 58 percent and 52 percent, respectively, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The only wild card in the social networking phenomenon is what could derail it. Fickle teens are the most obvious threat. "This is a fickle youth audience, and the masses that have rushed to these sites could turn their attention elsewhere," said Gibs.

CIOs Insight

SOA in, Vista out

SOA is the next big thing to CIOs, Oracles back in favor and Novell is showing slight gains in Linux, according to a Merrill Lynch survey. Vista is on the outs.

Merrill Lynch, which released the survey May 12, found that 47 percent of the 76 CIOs surveyed in April planned to increase software spending. Thats up from 43 percent from January.

Among the key findings:

• SOA (service-oriented architecture) was cited by 87 percent of CIOs as "the next big thing" in enterprise software. However, only 11 percent saw SOA as a key priority for 2006. For 2007, 21 percent of CIOs said they saw SOA as a big priority.

• Oracle applications are gaining favor. Among the CIOs surveyed, 38 percent said they planned to buy more Oracle applications, up from 31 percent in January. Only 10 percent said they would pause spending to wait for Oracles Fusion platform in 2008.

• Among the CIOs surveyed, 58 percent of respondents say they expect to increase Linux use in 2006, with the bulk of the spending going to Red Hat. Novell, however, is gaining some momentum, as 18 percent of CIOs say they plan to buy from the vendor, up from 10 percent in January.

• Vista is out of favor. Among CIOs, only 8 percent intend to upgrade in 2007, and 75 percent plan to wait for more clarity from Microsoft before upgrading.

—Compiled by Larry Dignan