Worm ID scheme gets under way

Common Malware Enumeration scheme aims to clear up confusion by giving each worm, virus or other pest its own unique identifier.

Karen Said
Karen Said Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Karen Said is an assistant department editor for enterprise coverage.

As expected, the Common Malware Enumeration initiative got its official launch with the introduction of its supporting Web site on Wednesday. The effort, headed up by the U.S. Computer Emergency and Response Team, aims to make it easier to identify security threats that are given different names by separate security companies by assigning a unique ID to each high-profile pest. The CME Web site will include a list of identifiers, a brief profile for each threat and alias information.

The indexing scheme is voluntary, but has the backing of a number of security software makers. These include McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Microsoft and Computer Associates, according to Mitre, the nonprofit company charged with overseeing the CME initiative. In the past, the antivirus industry has proved reluctant to get behind common names for worms, viruses and other pests, and CME supporters hope that assigning an identifier will be more popular.