News In Brief

Are users ignoring anti-virus software? Plus: Security extension for Outlook 2000, 2002; erroneously blocking e-mail

Are Users Ignoring Anti-Virus Software?

Central Command Inc., a PC anti-virus software company, released its Dirty Dozen report—its list of the top twelve viruses for March. The report is based on the number of virus, worm, or malevolent script occurrences confirmed through Central Command's Emergency Virus Response Team.

Here are the month’s winners by ranking, name, and percentage:

  1. Worm/Klez.E (includes G) 21.6 percent
  2. W32/Yaha.E 10.8 percent
  3. Worm/Yaha.M 8.9 percent
  4. Worm/Avril.B 6.4 percent
  5. Worm/Sobig.A 6.3 percent
  6. Worm/Avril.A 5.8 percent
  7. Worm/BugBear 4.6 percent
  8. W32/Funlove 2.3 percent
  9. Worm/Yaha.L 2.0 percent
  10. Worm/Sircam.C 1.7 percent
  11. W32/Nimda 1.4 percent
  12. Worm/Badtrans.B 1.1 percent

An "others" category captured 27.1 percent of viruses reported.

“Central Command saw no major changes in [the] month's Dirty Dozen," says Steven Sundermeier, product manager of Central Command. "Remarkably, the Internet worms Worm/Klez.E and Worm/Yaha.E have remained number one and two, respectively, for the past five months. This is a clear indication that many users continue to ignore the importance of installing and maintaining up-to-date anti-virus software.”

That opinion was bolstered by Symantec's Security Response. For the same period, Symantec reported its top 10, many of which are repeat viruses.

  1. W32.Klez.H@mm
  2. Backdoor.Dvldr
  3. HTML.Redlof.A
  4. W95.Hybris.worm
  5. W95.Spaces.1445
  6. W.32.FunLove.4099
  7. W32.Nimda.E@mm
  8. W32.HLLW.Deloder
  9. W32.Bugbear@mm
  10. W32.HLLP.Handy

For further information, see: http://www.centralcommand.com/ or http://securityresponse.symantec.com.

Outlook Security Extension

Xenos Software released the Xenos Outlook Security Extension, an Microsoft Outlook 2000 and 2002 add-in that runs on Windows 2000 and XP. The extension gives users a range of new options, including the ability to block file attachments, purge deleted data from Outlook's database, and read all e-mail as plain text. The extension adds a new tab to the “Tools” menu. The add-in can be updated via the Internet.

For product information, visit: http://www.xenossoftware.com/

False Positives Drives Anti-Spam Selection

In a recent Web seminar co-hosted with ActiveState, Ferris Research asked participants to discuss spam. The majority of respondents—44 percent—say that the issue of false positives is a key criterion for choosing anti-spam software.

The message to IT administrators is clear: users do not want valid e-mails accidentally blocked as spam. Coincidentally, that’s a huge issue for anti-spam companies; they have a hard time not blocking legitimate e-mails.

Other interesting finds: the majority of users at the participants’ companies spend at least one and two hours per month dealing with spam. For IT administrators, almost half are very concerned by the loss of productivity spam engenders. Almost one-quarter says their main concern regarding spam is upset or unhappy users, closely followed by the toll spam takes on IS resources.

For more information, visit http://www.ferris.com/tc/20030325/index.html

About the Author

Mathew Schwartz is a Contributing Editor for Enterprise Systems and is its Security Strategies column, as well as being a long-time contributor to the company's print publications. Mr. Schwartz is also a security and technology freelance writer.