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This week in security

Technology--and the human spirit--were put to the test after four blasts ripped through London.

Technology--and the human spirit--were put to the test after four blasts ripped through London, killing at least 33 people during rush hour Thursday morning.

E-mail traffic doubled, mobile networks were overloaded and record numbers of visitors deluged British Web sites following the attack, which shut down London's public transit system.

The explosions underscored the problem of picking out a terrorist in a crowd, something that Los Altos, Calif.-based Pixlogic is trying to solve through new software that uses visual pattern recognition and search technologies to match archived still or video images with pictures gathered from security cameras or other sources.

Meanwhile, online security has also been in the news during this abbreviated workweek, shortened in the United States by the Fourth of July.

In the past, hackers wanted to gain notoriety by writing the biggest worm they could. But now they're more likely to be motivated by money. And though the shift could lead to a drop-off in global worms, it still spells trouble. Attacks crafted by businesslike hackers are likely to hit harder.

In the same vein, security company Sophos has seen a dramatic rise in the number of viruses, worms and Trojan horses this year as more organized criminals turn to cybercrime. The company reported last week that it had detected 7,944 new pieces of such malicious software in the first six months of this year--almost 60 percent more than the same time last year.

In other security news, a class action lawsuit filed after a data breach compromised millions of credit card accounts at payment processor CardSystems Solutions now also demands unspecified monetary damages for consumers and merchants. The amended complaint was filed Wednesday on behalf of California credit card holders and card-accepting merchants.

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