Has It Peaked?

Monday, 2008-September-22 at 18:04

This Summer was a challenging one, as Antivirus XP 2008 started popping up everywhere. I have users all over the state, so this could have been a lot worse than it was. Still, I was dealing with it often enough that I made sure I could find the “fix”.

The authors were using various means to spread their malware, and it really was spreading everywhere. Now, however, I haven’t seen an infected system in two or three weeks. Not that my experience is necessarily the same as everyone else’s.

If this has peaked, we know the guys behind it are preparing an even worse version for release, or perhaps using infected systems to collect personal financial information (PFI). We should not let our guard down, because AVXP2K8/AVXP2K9 or its successor will be back.

We have given our users the impression that all we need is another firewall, another antivirus, another automated security layer and we’ll be alright. The truth is, they need to be aware. They need to be watching for anything questionable. They need to be the ones who are careful about what they click. We are not doing them a service when we encourage them to disconnect their brains and passively rely on automated security. (By the way, IT staff members are users too. All of this applies to us, just like it does to everyone else.)

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