Feeds

Sophos rebuffs virus-spreading charge

McAfee software thought rival's alert was the Homepage worm

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Antivirus vendor Sophos has been forced to deny spreading viruses itself after the virus scanner of rival McAfee flagged up an alert as a copy of the Homepage virus.

Sophos said that some versions of McAfee's VirusScan issued the false alarm because its write up of the Homepage virus used the phrase "VBSWG", the name of the toolkit used to create the virus, and quoted a filename with a double extension.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said that McAfee customers who subscribed to the Sophos alert service received an email suggesting Sophos had sent them a copy of the Homepage virus.

He blamed "over sensitivity" in the automatic detection of viruses (or heuristics) that features in McAfee's products.

Jack Clark, European product manager at Network Associates, McAfee's parent company, dismissed the issue as a storm in a teacup that affected few people.

He said that heuristic and generic detection were effective and pointed out that McAfee scanners blocked the Homepage worm without an update to antivirus definition files other vendors' products needed for detection.

"If you take the Sophos approach you've got to wake people up, develop a driver and distribute it," said Clark. "You can push it too far and get false positives but heuristics allow you to identify viruses written with the same toolkit. Sophos is only criticising the technology because they don't have it themselves." ®

External Links

McAfee falsely accuses Sophos of distributing virus

Ralated Stories

Homepage spreading faster than Kournikova worm
Homepage Net worm spreading like wildfire
Hunt on for porn-meddling virus writers

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?