Virus outlook: Bigger trouble ahead

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Technodrome, Jan 3, 2003.

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  1. Technodrome

    Technodrome Security Expert

    Feb 13, 2002
    New York
    The year 2002 may have been a relatively quiet for virus attacks, but security experts say that this is likely to be the calm before the storm. In 2003, they say, new breeds of computer attacks are likely to emerge that are capable of knocking out millions of computers around the Internet in a matter of minutes.

    "These techniques are now being discussed, and algorithms are being made available," said Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research at F-Secure. "It's just a matter of time before somebody tries them out in the real world."

    The concepts under discussion, Hypponen said, are known as a Warhol worm--so called because it could create a huge outbreak in 15 minutes--and a flash worm, which could do the same thing in 15 seconds.

    "The typical reaction time to a major new incident is two to three hours. If (the attack) takes 15 minutes, you have no chance," Hypponen said.

    Experts have different theories as to why there have been fewer major virus attacks in 2002 than the previous year, but there is no denying that the difference has been marked. F-Secure ranked nine attacks in 2001 as Level 1--the most serious ranking--but only two as of late 2002. In 2001 there were 43 Level 2 attacks, dropping to 13 by late 2002.

    "What's special was 2001. That was by far the worst year in history. Out of the 10 largest virus cases ever, seven of them happened (in 2001)," Hypponen said. "This year has been a bit quiet, but it has not been that different from 2000."

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