Feeds

Virus naming scheme gets mixed reception

A rose by any other name

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A group dedicated to curing virus-naming confusion enjoyed its official launch on Wednesday. The Common Malware Enumeration (CME) aims to mitigate confusion in responding to viral outbreaks by providing a common name for high profile threats that can then be used in vendor products or their websites.

Users have been asking for consistency in naming from vendors for years and CME (which has been in gestation for two years) can only hope to mitigate - rather than cure - this confusion. Identifiers will be in the format of CME-N, where N is a unique number for each high profile malware strain.

In the rush to write virus definition signatures - and monikers likely to capture public attention - anti-virus firms often come up with a variety of different names for the same piece of malware. CME won't end this practice but it will add an index so that end users can more easily correlate data on the same big-hitting worm or virus.

The CME initiative being sponsored by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and works along similar lines to the existing Common Vulnerability Enumeration scheme, which deals with security vulnerabilities as opposed to malware. Vendors are split over the benefits of CME.

David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro, said the scheme might make things even more confusing. "Now every piece of malware will just have 18 names and a number," he said. Supporters of the scheme rejected this criticism. "Big-hitting viruses will be tied together with a common thread," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. Larry Bridwell, content security programs manager at ICSA Labs, said conceded that the scheme was modest in its proposals but argued it was still a step in the right direction.

Members of the CME Editorial Board are drawn from a raft of security vendors including Computer Associates, F-Secure, ICSA Labs, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, MessageLabs, Microsoft, Norman, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro. More info on the scheme can be found here. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.