Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Viruses Tag Along

by Donna Buenaventura / March 30, 2004 12:46 AM PST

With vulnerability that lets them penetrate defenses.

If there's one thing that anti-virus software makers fear-aside from a mass change of heart by the virus writers-it's the creation of a virus-delivery mechanism that evades detection by their signature-based products. The development of detection files for every new virus is the meat and potatoes of what anti-virus vendors do.

Because each virus is unique, anti-virus products require new signatures to detect each one, even those that are simply variants of previous malware. Without the signatures, anti-virus software is essentially blind: Not only won't it be able to stop the virus, but it also won't even be able to alert the user that a virus may have come through.

This nightmare scenario is, in fact, playing itself out right now. The latest round of variants of the Bagle virus-Bagle.Q, R, S and T-to hit the Internet has employed a delivery technique that slips past gateway and desktop anti-virus protection, as well as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Like most other viruses, these viruses spread via e-mail. However, they do not include an attachment infected with the actual viral code, which is the delivery mechanism of choice for most virus writers. Instead, the new wave of Bagle variants sends a blank e-mail to random recipients. Once the message is opened, or even viewed in the preview pane in Outlook, Bagle exploits a flaw in Internet Explorer and automatically downloads the virus code from a remote server through TCP port 81.

Because many enterprises don't scan for viruses on their incoming HTTP traffic, the malicious file has no trouble on the way in.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Viruses Tag Along
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Viruses Tag Along
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!