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SANS - Survey on application security programs

Sophos users on standalone PCs should remember that they need to download virus definitions after they install their monthly update CD.

During a local (single user) install of Sophos Anti Virus (SAV) the package automatically removes old virus signature definition (IDE) files.

The advice comes from a Reg reader who had had already downloaded a virus signature file for BadTrans-B before installing the CD; but this definition became deleted during the CD update process. He subsequently became infected by BadTrans-B and although he didn't find it hard to disinfect his machine, it's easy to understand how he made his mistake.

SAV automatically deletes IDE files during local installation as part of its housekeeping functions, but for central installations this function is performed manually - so computer networks are not automatically stripped of protection in the same way.

SAV user manuals and installation guides explain what a home user needs to do, but as our correspondent says "no-one really reads the small print in these things".

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus, conceded that it needed to make its software and documentation clearer about the need to download update files after applying a monthly update CD.

"The reason why BadTrans-B detection wasn't included on the CD ROM was simply because of the length of time it takes for the CD ROM to be mastered and properly quality assured," he said.

Protection from the virus has been available on our Sophos' Web site since 24 November but that was too late to get onto its December CD. A description will be included on SAV's January 2002 CD, Sophos says. ®

External links

The interaction between local installations of SAV and the deletion of IDE files

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