A new report produced jointly by the Department of Homeland Security and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has warned of the threat of ever more sophisticated viruses engineered to target applications such as Instant Messenging and text messaging. According to the 2006 Department of Homeland Security and NCSA Emerging Internet Threat List, many new threats will emerge in the malware arena this year, including those targeting wireless devices, such as PDAs and cell phones. Phishing is expected to constitute an ongoing threat and Instant Messenging and text messaging will be increasingly targeted.

"Over the past year, NCSA has worked closely with the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security, to increase awareness and education about staying safe online by identifying the most prevalent and emerging cyber threats that could plague consumers in 2006," said Ron Teixeira, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

"Arming consumers with a list of emerging threats is just the first step to educating consumers about the ever-evolving online security environment, it is critical that we also empower users with the how-to practices to protect themselves against these risks."