Anti-Virus Firms Scrambling to Keep Up

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Sophistication of Viruses and Other Threats Poses Big Challenges for Companies, Consumers

The sheer volume and complexity of computer viruses being released on the Internet today has the anti-virus industry on the defensive, experts say, underscoring the need for consumers to avoid relying on anti-virus software alone to keep their home computers safe and secure.

Approximately 5.5 million malicious software programs were unleashed on the Web last year, according to AV Test Labs, a German company that measures how quickly and accurately anti-virus products detect the latest malicious software, also known as "malware." That volume, AV said, forced anti-virus firms to analyze between 15,000 and 20,000 new specimens each day -- more than four times the daily average they found in 2006, and at least 15 times as many the company recorded in 2005. In the first two months of 2008 alone, AV Test found more than one million samples of malware spreading online.

"Back in 1990 we were seeing a handful of new viruses each week," said David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro, an anti-virus company headquartered in Japan. "Now, we're having to analyze between 2,000 and 3,000 new viruses per hour."

This glut of malware is the result of a long-running digital arms race between security companies and criminals intent on stealing personal financial data from vulnerable computers and using networks of commandeered PCs for all manner of lucrative criminal enterprises -- from sending spam to hosting scam Web sites. MORE

Source: Brian Krebs

Make sure that you have both a fire-wall and up to date antivirus software running on your computer at all times.

For Tips on keeping your PC and stored data safe, see a few earlier blogs:

Protect your computer from hackers -before it's too late.

Mission Improbable: Keeping Cyber Hackers Locked out of University Computers

Hackers Launch Attack on Adobe... Patch Available

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