Yes, Daily Updates are back. And permanently this time!
Good News, Bad News: Virus Attacks Down, but Attacks More Sophisticated
As anyone who follows viruses knows, this has been a rather quiet year for viruses of all types, especially mass-mailers. This is part in thanks to better technology and enforcement, and part in thanks to luck. In any case, though, ZDNet is reporting that antivirus firm Sophos and email security company BlackSpider Technologies both have reported a significant downturn in the quantity of viruses coming in. This is hardly a surprise, especially when you consider that after nineteen months, the top worm still is Netsky.P, which celebrated its eighteen month birthday last month. Worms rarely last longer than a few months on top. A notable exception being Klez.H's two-year reign on the charts starting in early 2002, but unlike Klez, Netsky remains on the top primarily because it lacks any competition for the spot.
Although mass-mailers have downturned over the last few months, an even more damaging threat, especially on the corporate level, looms:
"Smaller, targeted attacks are on the increase, with the emergence of a new breed of financially-motivated online criminal. The concern is that if users continue to combine unsafe computing practices with outdated threat protection, they'll be a soft target for this new form of attack," Theriault warned.
I tend to believe there is little, if any, correlation between the two. Targeted attacks, especially of a financial nature, have been developing for a while, and even made national news when it was suggested that the Sobig.F worm was linked to organised crime. The news about the reduced number of mass-mailer hits is promising, but not necessarily a trend that will last very long. We can only keep our fingers crossed and our software secure.
Bagle Naming Convention Split
Apparently, a number of antivirus companies have determined that recent variants of the prolific and previously successful Bagle worm family are not Bagle-y enough. Computer Associates named a recent Bagle variant Wreckage.A, while Trend Micro has donned a new Yabe family of worms for two recent Bagle variants. These splits have not been uncommon throughout Bagle's naming, and it is possible that the names will be reconciled if a breakout occurs. However, should a major version of the “Wreckage” or “Yabe” worm families be reported in the news, it is fairly safe to assume that they are Bagle versions.
Cool Link of the Day
The University of Virginia provides a Security Tip of the Day on their web site here. The messages are meant for University of Virginia students, and it's not exactly a Tip of the Day (unless refreshing the page somehow has an effect on the space-time continuum, in which case I do not recommend that anyone above 30 use this web site), but it's certainly interesting. The tips are pretty basic, but even the best of us need reminders sometimes. And so do all of your friends and family members who think that “.pif“ stands for “picture information file.“
That's all for today.