According to Akonix Systems, who supply IM security products, the number of threats to instant-messaging systems has dropped 33 per cent from last month. However, said threats are becoming more sophisticated, with the detection of a virus that queries the configuration of the client software to determine the language setting, and then sends a message in that language.

Kelvir-HI, a variant of the Kelvir virus, can send messages in English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, and Italian, among other languages. The variant represents the increasingly sophisticated social engineering techniques of virus writers, Akonix researchers believe.