Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/11/27/hybrid_viruses_set_to_become/

Hybrid viruses set to become bigger threat

Watch out for the Nerds

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 27th November 2001 16:04 GMT

Viruses which try to infect users through a variety of means, such as the infamous Nimda worm, and mass mailers are predicted to become even more of a problem for Internet users next year.

That's the prediction of anti-virus firm Sophos which has gazed into the crystal ball and come up with some predictions for the threats we'll see next year. Here they are:

Apart from the risk from viruses on handhelds and smartphones, other antivirus vendors broadly agree with Sophos about coming risks. Symantec is placing particular emphasis on the risk of viruses which use hybrid modes of attack (e.g. attacking a firm both through infected email and its Web server) might pose in the future. A good example of this type of virus is Nimda.



Virus writers still sex-obsessed nerds not terrorists

Although viruses themselves are getting more sophisticated, virus writers are not. Sex continues to be a favourite method of tempting users into infection with the technique becoming, if anything, even more popular.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said virus writers are still predominantly males of between 14-24, who are looked down upon by hackers, even though the two groups are not as far apart as they used to be.

There's little evidence that terrorists are interested in developing viruses, which in any case make poor weapons, according to Cluley. Up to date anti-virus software and safe computing practices (such as not opening suspicious attachments, blocking dangerous file types and applying security patches) stop viruses dead in their tracks. It's also difficult to target viruses, Cluley points out. ®

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