news from the virus front
A Reuters report indicates that "script kiddies," the youthful malefactors who assemble harmful viruses such as the infamous "Love Bug" or "Anna Kournikova" from downloadable, cut-and-paste Visual Basic scripts, are becoming a practically neglible threat. The article quotes experts as saying that the email-borne viruses caused a lot of damage but inspired new security measures that are beyond the abilities of the "script kiddies" to overcome. The article notes that other viruses, such as the recent Code Red and Klez, which used more sophisticated programming--including altering their file size at random to throw off antivirus programs--still pose a threat.
The article does not indicate whether users are becoming more wary of email-borne viruses that lure vistims to opening an attachment with an enticing description. One organization where I worked--and a technology-related company at that--endured a practically constant onslaught of the "Anna Kournikova" worm because there was always one person who'd double-click the purported picture, flooding the company all over again.
On a related subject, other Internet security experts worry that the lack of prominent virus threats may lull users into a false sense of security, or lead virus writers to concentrate on other devices such as cell phones. On the other hand, other security professionals expressed confidence that improved antivirus software coupled with increased communication makes the virus writer's job more difficult.